Not even the most diligent senior is ever truly prepared for Concord Academy’s infamous Drop/Add cycles. The lofty stakes of a perfect schedule hang over the heads of students frantically submitting their forms, and running to Director of Studies Alyse Ruiz-Selsky to beg for clemency when they forget to submit them on time. To the Class of 2027 and other new students: heed this introduction to the Drop/Add system designed to grant you a leg up in the process.
Before the Drop/Add period even begins, it is imperative that you have thoroughly planned out the changes you seek to implement in your schedule. Merely adding one minor elective can be a daunting task, forcing you to switch the blocks of your more frequently offered majors (something that is not done automatically for you).
The first thing to look out for is the open course list which will become accessible before the first Drop/Add day’s deadline. Beware: the open course list is not the same as the course catalog, also provided on the Drop/Add home page. The open course list will only display the classes with open space and what block (A-G) the class is offered in. Studying this document carefully is integral to a successful Drop/Add experience. Before you begin filling out your forms, map out the requests you will have to make. This can be as easy as one request to drop a minor elective, or five requests to switch into a new history, drop photography, add drawing, and therefore be forced to switch into a different English and geometry block. The only limit to your ability to shift your schedule around is your imagination, graduation requirements and the course prerequisites. Note that you are not permitted to switch into the same class in a different block unless that switch is prompted by another request (i.e. the history elective you want is only offered in the former block).
If the class you hope to add to your schedule is not on this list, do not yet panic. Drop/Add typically spans three days with three corresponding cycles. When the schedule changes from the first cycle are solidified, a new open course list comes out with some classes filling up and others opening. If you are truly desperate to take that computer science class, be sure to check the open course list after each cycle, not just once. Historically, the Drop/Add form has had a non-negotiable closure time of 4:00 p.m., but to be safe, aim to submit your form before the end of the class day to avoid immense frustration.
Unfortunately, it is not time to rejoice once you submit the forms. Multiple people might request to switch a class with only one opening. In that case, those students would enter a lottery for the class where seniority determines how many times one’s name is entered. If this happens, your request may not go through, meaning your schedule would stay the same. Do not assume any change in your schedule until you receive a confirmation email.
During Drop/Add, students also have the choice to audit or pass/fail a class. Auditing a course means that you will not receive any credits or a grade from it and it will show up on your transcript as AU. Classes can only be taken as pass/fail if a student has already met the graduation requirements for that subject. All ninth grade fall courses are pass/fail anyways, so freshmen should not concern themselves with this feature just yet.
Finally, keep in mind that the chances you emerge from Drop/Add with the ideal schedules are slim. Keep an open mind regarding what your schedule may look like, and do not hinge all your hopes on a request that may be rejected. Good luck, and welcome to Concord Academy.