Scheduling for next year can be challenging. Asking questions about classes can be even more challenging sometimes. Here are some questions about scheduling that Mr. Westra, a 10th-12th grade counselor here at Penn, may be able to clear up any confusion about scheduling.

Q: “Do students need to pick classes that fit their academies?”

A: “If a student is selecting courses within their academy/program of study, it would seem to be far more meaningful for their future endeavors.  With that said, students do have the option to select classes outside of their designated academy as they explore other areas of interest.”


Q: What happens if someone doesn’t schedule?

A: “If a student were to ignore the scheduling process, both on HAC and with their counselor, that student could lose any and all flexibility to make changes later in their scheduling process.  In addition, a student failing to schedule may get excluded from their desired courses due to the limited availability of some courses and overfilling of others.”


Q: Are students allowed to change their diploma course later in their high school career?  

A: “Yes, a student does have the option to alter their previously determined diploma track. However, making changes to a diploma option could be limited by the completion of specified requirements, making it difficult to transition from one diploma to another.”


Q: What kind of mindset would a student need for an AP class?

A: A student considering an Advanced Placement (AP) course should have the same mindset as any other student, in my opinion.  Successful students demonstrate specific traits, they’re organized, motivated, good self-advocates, responsible etc. Just as any student, a student taking an AP class will need to demonstrate the attributes of a committed, hardworking person.”

By Kevin McNulty

Kevin McNulty teaches English and Mass Media Studies at Penn High School. He advises the Penn News Network and manages the PNN Studio and news room. For more information, navigate your browser to