New district policy for dropping classes

Blue Valley implemented a new policy for dropping classes at the high school level. Students will now have to drop classes much earlier than the previous policy allowed.

Zac Johnson, Senior Entertainment Writer

With a new school year underway, BVNW, along with the other high schools in the Blue Valley school district, will be adopting a new policy for students wishing to drop classes.

“The new policy we are introducing moves the drop deadline to what is the start of the eleventh week of the school year, which for the first semester is the Monday after parent teacher conferences,” assistant principal Katie Bonnema said.

Last year, Blue Valley’s policy was that a student had until the last full day before finals to drop a class if they wished to do so.

“If they dropped a class last year then a student would receive a ‘W’ on their transcript, which just means that they withdrew from the class,” Bonnema said. “Since it’s on their transcript, colleges can see that a student withdrew from a class; some colleges care and some don’t.”

The change will affect students, teachers, counselors and the administration at BVNW. Beth Ricke, a counselor at BVNW, said that her biggest concern was not communicating the change effectively.

“My biggest concern is going to be that we will have communicated it through email, put it in announcements, spread it by word of mouth and then even a week after the drop date kids will still be coming in trying to drop classes,” Ricke said.

Bonnema said that the policy was introduced by a group of principals and assistant principals who looked through about a year of data in regards to when and why students were dropping classes.

“We had a lot of students dropping classes for what we felt like were not always good reasons,” Bonnema said. “For example, some students would drop a class because they had a ‘B’ in the class, just because they didn’t want it on their transcript.”

The new policy will force students who have not dropped a class by the specified drop date to stay in said class and receive whatever grade is in the gradebook at the end of the semester.

“I think the policy is more realistic for the real world,” Ricke said. “You have to deal with the consequences of your actions, and if you didn’t put in the work and do what you needed to do then there isn’t always a way out at the end.”

According to Bonnema, the district looked at school districts similar to Blue Valley and found that none of them had a drop policy as lenient as theirs.

“We headed down that path for a variety of reasons,” Bonnema said. “For one, you as students will not see a policy like this replicated at any other point in your academic careers, so to us it was doing the students a disservice.”

Bonnema said she thinks the counselors are in favor of the policy, but they are probably realizing that they will be needing to have some different conversations with kids when they are approached with requests to drop classes.

“I think it’ll make students realize that they’re going to have to work through some tough times,” Ricke said. “If they hit a roadblock they’re just going to have to try their best to pass the class regardless.”