2010 Parker-RMHS Connect

This page is for questions about whether students should choose honors, strong college prep, or college prep classes. You can ask about the differences between the levels, the class sizes, the workload, going along with 8th grade teacher recommendations or choosing to override them, etc.

How many electives can a freshman choose in one year? Ryan K. (86)


re: Course Placement
Ryan, Freshmen generally take one elective each semester. Your electives could include different sorts of art classes to different kinds of business classes. You may also be put in a study one semester, and take an elective the other. You also will take a semester course called Decisions, which basically is all about choices you make during your High School career.
-Brian C (Block C)

I'm confused on how the lunch periods are organized. How will they be shown on our scheduels? - MadisonD86

Lunch takes place during fourth period and there are three lunches. What lunch you have will not be shown on your schedule. On the first day of school you will go to that class first and your teacher will tell you what lunch you have. You will have kids from all grades in your lunches and not just Freshmen. A lot of people worry that they won't be in the same lunch as all their friends. You will know at least twenty Freshmen in your lunch and it is guarunteed that at least one of your friends will be in that lunch with you.
This is a link to what a lunch might look like at RMHS. http://www.mbaj.com/projects/images/New%20Project%20Photos/WrightCafeteria%202.jp This is not an actual picture of a lunch at RMHS but it is very similar to it. Will Melley Class Block C.


- Is it a good idea to take all honors classes freshman year? (Hannah L. 85)

It depends. It's definitely possible to take all honors classes and not be overwhelmed. I take all honors, and I'm doing fine in all of them. It's different for everyone, though. I'd say listen to your teachers. If they recommend you for all honors, then you can probably handle it. If you can't, there's always the option of dropping down a level. If you want more information about course selection, go to this website (http://www.edline.net/pages/Reading_HS). Go to the heading "Contents" on the right and click the second link, which says "2010-2011 Program of Studies." It should give you more information about course selection. I hope this helps! (Anna T., Block F)

-I am planning on taking spanish next year instead of french, but would it be a better decision to take a beginers spanish or continue french in an easy level? -Amanda L(85)

-Since my grades are not the best in the one subject I like, would I have a chance to be in that class for honors?(Rob C)
It really depends on what class you want to take honors in and how your grade is. Classes like history and biology can be taken if you have a lower average than they want but will require hard work. If it is math or english the material gets harder and you will be asked to think deeper and answer more complex questions. If your grade is only a bit below where they want it and you really like the class then take the honors but you will have to try hard. Say your grade is a C+ and your teacher wants a B+ or A- then take the CP cp course and try as hard as you can and you might be able to move up. Your teachers usually know what they are talking about so if they strongly believe you will be much better off taking the college prep course then consider that and talk to them about extra help or some other way to get into the honors class. Also think about how hard you tried in that class. If you slacked off and barley did the assignments and truthfully think you can do better try it but, if you struggled trying as hard as you can I wouldn't recomend taking a hard class in that subject. Here is the link to the course book. http://www.edline.net/files/_CBICq_/a9ec94fd9a8eb6983745a49013852ec4/CSB_2010-2011_3.1.pdf look over the course you want to take honors in and see if it is for you. (Nick A. Block F.)

-Would we be able to change to different levels of education in mid year or somewhere during the year?(Patrick M)
It depends on where you want to go. If you start out in a higher level and you think it is to hard so you want to drop down it is easier than going up. I have a friend who stared out in honors math but she wanted to drop down. She had to make up all of the work from earlier in the year that she hadn't done because she was in a different class. It is possible to drop down but just keep in mind that you will have to make up all the work so if you are uncomfortable in a class talk to your teacher earlier rather that later. Dropping down is much easier than going up because going up you still have to make up the work but it will be a lot more work than dropping down. It is possible thogh. Hope this helps. -Meghan B

- How do you know if the class is too hard for you? Right now in school whenever I don't understand something I go see my teacher before school, if I continue to do this in High School does that mean the class is too hard or should I keep asking for help and stay in the same class?(Matt V 85)

- If I'm placed into a class that is too hard or easy for me, can I go into another class and if so, how long does it take until I'm in the class of my level?(Matt V 85)

- When coming to a decision on what class I should take in high school, what should I mainly base my decision off of? (Matt V 85)
Matt, If you need to make a decision on which classes to take next year base it solely off of what YOU want. Even if you have friends in a different level or your parents want you take a different course, the choice is always yours. You are going to be the one taking the class and doing all the work. when it come down to either honors or college prep. you should really listen to what the teachers say. They have seen all your work and know your grade the best. Sometimes though, during the school year if you are not feeling comfortable with the course you are in just go to the Guidance office and they may be able to help. here is a link to their Edline home page. http://www.edline.net/pages/Reading_HS/Guidance Hope this helped. Emily O'S (Block C)

-Did your teachers know best when they told you which course you should take? Is it smart to go off your own ideas? (Kaylee R. #85)
Kaylee, When deciding for all honors, some honors, or college prep you really should listen to your teachers for most of your decision. They have graded all your work, know your strengths, weaknesses and have been with you all year. Now you don't have to 100% base your decision off of them but take into consideration their opinion. To go off your own ideas for course placement is smart. you know how much time you have for homework, how long it takes you, even the difficulty it takes so that really should be a huge portion of your overall decision. here is a course selection booklet with the courses and a small description. http://www.edline.net/files/_CBICq_/a9ec94fd9a8eb6983745a49013852ec4/CSB_2010-2011_3.1.pdf Hope this helped! Emily O'S (Block C)

I do very well in school and could get into all honors classes. Should I take all honors classes or should I take some strong college prep classes?( Chris P 87)

I would do what I felt comfortable with, if you don't want to take honors than don't take honors. But being recommended for honors is a good thing, this means your teacher thinks you can handle it. If you wanted to try out the class at the honors level but then after a few weeks or so you feel that it is too difficult for you, you can always talk to your teacher and/or guidance counselor to move down a level. However, if you really don't feel comfortable with going into an honors class, your parents can override your teacher’s recommendation. RMHS has provided a course selection book on Edline to learn more about the courses you can take at the high school, graduation requirements, the differences between the class levels (AP, Honors, Strong College Prep, and College Prep) etc. If you go to http://www.edline.net/pages/Reading_HS and go to the side bar on the right that is labeled “Contents,” under that should be a link to the "2010-2011 Program of Studies." Once there, go to page 5 and this page should give you all the information on what’s required from each class level. In the "2010-2011 Program of Studies" there is also information on the differences in the class (for example Honors English as opposed to Strong CP English) for a specific subject. This starts on page 9 and goes through page 25.
I hope this helps! (Nicole A. F)

If you take all classes that are honors, do you have too much homework? Do you personally think that you shouldn't start off with all honors classes, and maybe just start with a few? (kaseyl85)

Good Question! If you take all honors you do have a decent amount of homework , somedays. But other days you might only have a little, because of the new schedule, you drop a class everyday so this can sometimes give you more time to work on homework. __http://www.edline.net/files/_3TL50_/7be47f9bf3cd6ae63745a49013852ec4/RMHS_Bell_Schedule_09-10.pdf__ (Here is a link to the schedule, each block is a different subject so say if G was English, you skip in English on Day 1.) But I feel that if you have a good work ethic and good time management skills you will be able to get your homework done, and still have time to participate in other activities. I would say the average amount of homework for one night is one to two hours, but this can vary. I feel that there are some weeks in which you might have a lot of tests and homework, but then the next week you have a lot less homework.
Personally I think that you should start with a class that might challenge you. If you feel like there is one subject that you are okay in and not great in I would recommend that you choose the class that will challenge you more whether that be Honors or Strong College Prep of College Prep. If once you start a class you feel is to easy you can move up, but you will be behind so that can be hard. It might be better to start with the harder class and then if you don’t think that its right for you you can move down with the teacher’s permission. I personally believe that moving down is easier than moving up.
__http://www.edline.net/files/_CBICq_/a9ec94fd9a8eb6983745a49013852ec4/CSB_2010-2011_3.1.pdf__ here is the course selection booklet for this year, you might find this helpful in choosing what classes to take, and the requirements of each class. Good luck next year! (Julia C. Block F)

What is the difference of the levels? For example, how much more difficult is strong college prep than college prep and how much more difficult is honors than strong college prep? (Kristin L 85)

If I take an Honors class and it turns out to be too hard, can I change it to an easier class during the year, or do I have to wait until next year? (Andy J. 85)

If you are taking an honors class and it turns out to be too hard, you can definitely switch into an easier class. You don't have to wait until next year to do so. During the first few weeks of school, you are given time to adjust to your schedual and your classes, and during that time you will notice that a lot of your fellow classmates are going to guidance, meeting with their guidance counselor and dropping down in a class or two. I recommand to take the honors classes first, and then if you feel the need, drop down. It is a lot easier to drop down in a class than to move up a level. But, if you feel like a class you are taking is over whelming, then don't be afraid to talk to your guidance counselor because they are a big help and part in the changing of your classes. Here is a link to Guidance Home Page, on here will be a page that says Meet The Staff, and if you click on that, then you will see the list of all the guidance counselors at RMHS. All are very nice, helpful, and friendly so don't hesitate to talk to them about your classes. (Kelsey M. Block F) http://www.edline.net/pages/Reading_HS/Guidance

To start out, everything usually works out in the end so I wouldn’t be too worried about it. Normally the classroom teachers would prefer you to drop down to a lower level within the first 2 weeks of school and that is completely normal and many kids do it at the high school. It is common for kids to overload their schedules with honors class they think they can take and then when school starts they realize they cannot. The teachers are completely understanding about this and they do not mind you moving down once school starts. To do this you make an appointment with your guidance counselor and they will work out the rest for you. If you are halfway through the year and you decide you want to drop down you will have to talk to your teacher and guidance counselor about it. If you have a certain grade in a class that is pretty bad, the teacher has to let you move down. Overall, I wouldn’t worry about it to much and you will work it out when the time comes.
- This is a link to the RMHS program of studies with includes course descriptions which you can read about each class and decide if it may be too difficult for your standards. http://www.edline.net/files/_CBICq_/a9ec94fd9a8eb6983745a49013852ec4/CSB_2010-2011_3.1.pdf to access this link you may have to sign into edline first. If you go to the RMHS website you can find this handbook on the right hand side and it says Program of Studies and you have to click on that.
- This picture is the cover of the program of studies and it is useful because once you see this picture you know you have the right document you are looking at.
- http://www.edline.net/files/_CBICq_/a9ec94fd9a8eb6983745a49013852ec4/CSB_2010-2011_3.1.pdf
(Amy Czarnota block C)

What is the difference between an honors class and a strong college prep class?
(Alexa M 85)

I know that I will have classes in different buildings and I am giving four minutes to get there. What happens if you are late for a class? (Alexa M 85)

I want to try to be in atleast four honors classes my freshman year. Do you think that would be to overwhelming? How much homework do you usually get a night? ( Alexa M 85)

I plan to take all honors in high school, but I was just wondering what are the positive and negative sides to taking all honors that I should know about before enrolling. (Elaina S Group 87)

I think I have the choice of going into all honors classes for my freshman year. Do you think I could be able to do that and still have a social life at the same time? (Jared D 87)

That is a great question Jared. I was thinking the same thing when I went into high school. This year, I chose to take all honors classes just like you are planning to do. I love hanging out with my friends and have a social life, too. I feel like I have kept my same social life as I had in eigth grade. In some ways, it has improved because I have met so many new kids from Parker (I went to Coolidge for middle school). Don't feel like school will take away from your social life. On the weekends, I am out every Friday and Saturday night. However, I don't have any time to hang out with friends on the week days because I play sports after school. I played soccer in the fall, ran track in the winter, and I am going to play lacrosse this spring. If you don't have anything to do after school, I'm sure there is time to hangout with friends before you do homework, but you have to make sure you don't put off your homework until it's too late. To keep a very good social life, try to get ahead on long term assignments. This will give you more time for a social life because you don't have to stay in and do the whole assignment on the weekend before it is due. I have done this a few times, and it does take away from my social life. Always be aware of your assignments and their due dates! There are also many social events that you can do through the high school. You can attend dances, go to the plays, go on class trips, and go to many different sporting events. Here is a video of the highlights from the RMHS football team winning the Division 2 superbowl vs. Natick at Gillette Stadium. This is an example of a social event you can attend that involves the school.

Video available from YouTube by pzykotic1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEoJIBS44Bo&feature=related
I hope my response helped you!
Scott F (F Block)

I'm planning on playing hockey and soccer in highschool, would taking some honors classes be overwhelming?(Megan M 86)

I was thinking about taking Spanish 1 next year but I took French in middle school, should i continue with french or should I consider taking spanish? (Megan M 86)

By the end of freshman year, are you allowed to move up a level if you feel you can handle it? If so how? (Shanna G 86)

It is completely possible that you will be able to move up a level at the end of your freshman year. For most classes, if you maintain a certain grade, such as an A, throughout the entire year and show that you understand everything you have learned, then your teacher might recommend that you move up a level. Each class has a certain grade that you must staya bove in order to do so.
You can check the program of classes to find out what that grade is for each class:

Alexa B. (block F)

How long does it take to get from class to class? (Peter D 85)

It usually takes a few minutes to get from class to class depending on how far one class is from another. If you don't stand around to talk with friends you will most likely always be on time. I have a class all the way at the end of the school, and then I have to go all the way to the end of the field house to get to my next class. That is pretty much as far as you can get and I still make it within the four minutes they give you. I just walk really fast which I suggest you do if you have classes far away from each other like that. But i wouldnt worry because teachers are pretty flexible with being a minute or two late. Here is a link to the bell scheduele if you have any more questions about class times. http://www.edline.net/files/_3TL50_/7be47f9bf3cd6ae63745a49013852ec4/RMHS_Bell_Schedule_09-10.pdf Hope this helps!! Hope you have fun in high school!! (Megan D. Block F)

If you were to do all honors classes, what are the ups and downs? If you forget to do your homework one time are you way behind, or would you be able to catch right back up again? (Megan S 85)

The ups would be that if you do well then you demonstrate that you are adept at the honors courses you have selected or in this instance, all of them. Also, you can get an idea of what you would like to pursue so far as AP in the near future. The most prominent down would be that as you may have heard honors courses are often difficult. If you do not do well it doesn't neccesarily mean that you are bad at a subject or that you lack the capabilities to understand the subject matter it is simply that you may not be able to handle the workload. I'm going to assume that you are reffering to forgetting to complete your homework for the aforementioned theoretical honors courses. If you forgot your homework and you are in an honors course then the only option is to complete the homework. Whether or not you are able to catch back up or fall behind is entirely dependent on your abilities. In the offchance that you do fall behind then with even minimal effort you will be able to catch up. Honors courses are designed to give a better education that your abilities can maintain, not fail you. Keep on your toes and the workload should be no problem.

Ben L (Block F)


I heard that if you are in honors geometry that you fill up 5 3-subject notebooks just for notes. Is that true and if not how much?


re: Math Notes
For me, honors geometry is the hardest class this year. You need to be ready to work hard and take notes, but not as much as 5 3-subject notebooks full. So far, and this is almost three quarters through the year, I have around 90 to 100 pages of notes, written on front and back. Just be aware that it is a hard class, but it is not as bad as you may hear. Also, some units may be really hard for you, and others really easy. Just study well, do lots of practice problems, and do not get nervous when taking a test. You will do better if you can focus. Good luck!

Here is a link describing some of the material in the first math unit we did this year. It is about symmetry in plane figures. Note: The web page can be confusing. Only read about the first part with the cubes. It gets to be really complicated material at the end of the page that we did not look at, so ignore that.
(Meghan F. Block C)