CRF season

Students have recently been given their course request forms, and some are struggling with their many choices


It is the time of the year when Course Request Forms (CRFs) are being handed out again and students are gearing up to decide what classes they are going to take. The school offers a lot of classes that many other schools may not, and many students take advantage of that.

“I take Graphic Communication Systems, which is basically [Adobe] Photoshop and Illustrator,” sophomore Emilie Doty said.

Doty takes this class at the Arlington Career Center and initially chose it because of her interest in the arts. She wanted to take a creative class, but at the same time wanted to pursue something new and different than the typical art classes at the school.

“I would recommend [the class to] anybody who’s into the arts and who likes using technology because [the class] is really working on the computer,” Doty said. “I would [tell someone taking the class] to just be confident and not really care about what level you are in Illustrator or Photoshop because it doesn’t matter; we’re all going to be learning the same thing.”

The school has many interesting art-focused classes, and also has more technology-focused classes.

Sophomore Julia Beverley takes a Technical Theatre class, which, according to the program of studies involves “students learning the basic elements of lighting, set construction, costume, make-up, and props by being actively engaged in providing technical support for a variety of theatrical events each term.”

“My favorite thing about Technical Theatre is how open it is and how easy it is to learn,” Beverley said. “There aren’t a lot of kids in the class so everyone gets time to learn things that are specific to them. I think anyone interested in construction or set design should take this class. Even if you don’t have any experience with set it is still really fun and easy to learn.”

Last year, in order to help students choose their classes, the counseling department started showing videos to explain the CRF process to them. They created a general video to show to the entire school, and then grade-level specific videos since courses differ through high school. There are also different videos focused on electives and other information students need to know about CRFs. On one day, these videos will be shown in GP and counselors will come in to talk to students. The videos will also be accessible on the school website around the time CRFs are given to students. Additionally, counselors are in the process of meeting with students to discuss their four year plan.
“[The process of choosing classes] is stressful for everyone I think, in different ways,” counselor Ms. Zarin Kapadia said. “Once students get their CRFs, I think the important thing is to really sit and think about what classes they’re interested in.”

Ms. Kapadia emphasized the importance of picking classes that students want to take, communicating with your counselor, and turning things in on time.

“Pick a class because you want to take it, not because someone you know is going to be in that class,” Ms. Kapadia said. “There’s over 2,000 kids in this school, so the odds of you being in the same class are not very likely. So pick classes that are important to you and that you really really want to be in and be mindful of picking those classes as well as alternates; I think that would be super helpful [for the counselors].”

Choosing CRFs can be a stressful time for students and counselors, but Ms. Kapadia emphasized that it is important for students to choose their classes wisely because it is much more difficult to change courses after CRFs have been submitted.

“We have a lot of resources,” Ms. Kapadia said. “The program of studies is listed online, we have the videos, we’ll be coming into classrooms. [Students should] take advantage of the time when counselors come into classrooms. If you have any questions, ask them now, because it’s easier to answer questions now than it is to try and change your schedule later.”