The Liberator

LASA level change policy

Alec Lippman, Staff Writer

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Level changes are one of the only opportunities for LASA students to adjust their schedule to what is best for them. However, just because you request a level change it does not necessarily mean you will get one. Many students will express strong interests to change their level and still end up getting denied. For classes that have bonus content options (BC), there is always the option to level down from the class into the AB version, a less demanding class. The requirements for LASA administration to even consider allowing a level change is having a 75 or below as a final grade even with attending tutoring or office hours for a considerable amount of time each week, according to the LASA student handbook. The requirements to be approved for a level change eliminate other justified reasons for wanting to switch classes.

Starting off this school year, I immediately knew that taking Precalculus BC would be too much on my plate. The very first night of school, I came home with hours of Precalculus homework which seemed impossible. No matter how I looked at the problems I never seemed to make any progress. Starting the year off by staying up all night was an immediate red flag that would foreshadow my future in the class. That first week of school I already knew I wanted a level change. I ended up deciding that it would be best for me to get a level change so I could manage my time efficiently and effectively along with maintaining a healthy state of mind.

After requesting my level change at the end of the first six weeks I waited to be called into the office and get to switch into a Precalculus AB class. I had reviewed the level change policy when I made my request and I knew that I was not in line with what they stated is required for a level change. I did not fit into any of these requirements because my problems stemmed from the workload and the time spent on the class outside of school rather than trouble with the content. I could understand the content we learned, but the effort it took to do this and the time I spent on the class outside of school was not worth taking the advanced class. I assumed that the LASA administration would understand my motivations for wanting to level down. Unfortunately, I was wrong and my level change was declined by LASA administrator Andy Paulson simply because I did not fit into the requirements in the LASA student handbook for getting a level change. The LASA faculty constantly reminds the student body that the students’ best interests are their best interests as well. With the issue of level changes, though, LASA shares the student’s best interests only to an extent. In terms of level changes, many students are declined by the LASA administration even though going into the AB version of the class would be best for them.

Managing a school and the constant needs of other faculty and the entire student body is a large task. It is rare to see an administrator doing anything but work at LASA, and accepting too many level changes could be rather difficult for them to do. However, at such as rigorous school, students should be able to change to an easier course if they would like too because they know what they can and cannot handle and if leveling down would be the smartest decision for themselves.

The entire process of level changing should be made to allow those with a legitimate reason want a level change to get one because the best interest of the student should be the best interest of the administration. This could be done by removing the current level change requirements and creating a more open-ended request. It could also be through a writing submission required by the student where they explain their specific circumstances warranting a level change. The level change requirement should be focused on not just doing poorly in the class but the impact of the class on the student’s overall well being. I hope LASA can eventually reconsider their requirements for level changes to make them more inclusive for all reasons one may want.

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LASA level change policy