Teacher recommendations regarding placement are an important part of the course selection process. Teachers make course recommendations based on student performance in class, course prerequisites, and their knowledge of expectations and rigor of the subsequent courses in their curricular area. Generally speaking, teachers use B+ to A+ as the guiding grade criteria for a student to be recommended for an accelerated or honors level course. Additionally, when making recommendations, teachers closely consider student study skills, work habits, motivation, and student interest and initiative in a subject area.
Teacher recommendations have been shown to be good predictors of success and are encouraged to be followed. Students, with parental approval and support, may choose to enroll in a course for which they have not been recommended. They should be aware that the course in which they wish to enroll may be difficult for them, possibly resulting in low performance rather than success.
The expected outcome of the course selection process is a schedule that is challenging, yet realistic, and allows the student optimal opportunities for success in school. Every effort will be made by teachers, counselors, and administrators to discuss and offer all options and advise students and their parents on the importance of following course prerequisites and the value of teacher recommendations.
Students and their parents should be aware that teacher recommendations for placement are made at midyear. For many full-year courses, 60% of the student’s final average is unknown when course recommendations are made. In some cases, teachers may find it necessary to change their recommendation before the year ends. If this happens, parents can contact their child’s counselor to review the student’s proposed schedule. Teachers will notify the student, parent and student’s counselor of the change, and the counselor will update the course requests.