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How to choose classes

How to select your classes

Choose your classes carefully! Classes in high school are year-long and the decisions you make when you register this spring will impact you the entire school year!

Avoid choosing classes because your friends are taking them, or because you want something “easy.” A high school career should lead to some very specific outcomes. Whether you wish to attend a university, college, vocational/technical school, or want to move directly into the job market, each class you take should move you closer to your overall goal. The purpose of this handbook is to allow you to make these choices in an informed manner. You should discuss your choices with your parents and also your counselor.

Step 1: Review the information in the program planning guide carefully

The information on this website should be reviewed carefully as you plan your program for next year and consider how that program will fit into your overall four-year high school plan. In selecting your classes for next year, please note the grade level of the course as well as any prerequisites that are needed. Also note the description of the course to get a sense of what the course is all about.

Step 2: Select your classes

After reviewing the variety of courses that are offered, make note of your selections. Consult with your counselor in making your selections to ensure that they are appropriate and match the pathway that will allow you to meet your post-high school goals. If you are not sure who your counselor is, go to the Counseling Department Staff page or call 559-730-7396.

Step 3: Should I repeat a class?

Failed courses (“F” grade) must be repeated when it is a specific graduation requirement. A grade of “D” is considered a passing grade for graduation. If a student is college bound, courses required for college entrance generally must be repeated if a grade of “D” or “F” is earned. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Please be sure to consult your counselor if you have a question. Grades of “C” or better are considered college-qualified marks and should not be repeated, as the colleges and universities will use only the first qualified grade received in a specific course. In all cases of repeated courses, both the original grade and the repeated grade will appear on the transcript. There may be cases in which a teacher may recommend that a student repeat a course in order to improve the students’ skills before moving on to a higher level of the same subject. The policy stated above still applies in such cases and the counselor should be consulted.

Step 4: Know your post-high school goals: Basic diploma, Career Technical Education, or college preparatory pathway?

Before you look at the specific classes that you want to take for next year, you should review with the counselor and with your parents the page entitled “Graduation & A-G Requirements”. This page will give you a sense of what the district’s graduation requirements are. It will also show you what the California State University (CSU) system requires as well as what the University of California (UC) system requires. This page is critical in aligning your future goals with the classes that you may need to take.

Step 5: Will athletics be a part of the picture?

In order to promote healthy, competitive athletes, a program of strength and conditioning is recommended for all athletes grades 9-12. All freshmen are required to take Physical Education 1 and freshmen athletes will take Integrated Core PE, which includes a weight training element. The VUSD Activity Code that describes the code of conduct for participation in athletics or extracurricular activities has also been included in this guide.

If you want to participate as an athlete in college, you must also maintain academic eligibility in high school. We have included a page entitled “NCAA Eligibility” that will help you understand what you need to do. Your counselor can help with explanation of this as well.