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Course Selection

Current eighth grade students attending a South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) middle school will select courses for the fall semester of their freshmen year after meeting with high school counselors in January.
Parent involvement is essential during the course selection process and to the overall success of the educational planning process.
Students new to SSFUSD and El Camino High School (ECHS) will meet with counselors to select courses after completing the student enrollment process
Current ECHS freshmen, sophomores, and juniors have one (1) week to return their scheduling forms to school after deciding on a new semester schedule in consultation with their high school counselors and parents. Students enrolling in honors or advanced placement (AP) courses must receive recommendations from their teachers and turn in a signed student/parent contract.

Four Year Plan

Every class taken during high school is a step on a pathway to the future. That's why having a four-year plan is important. The plan helps students map out their graduation, college, and career goals and align their courses and activities with them.
High school counselors can help students identify their goals and put together individualized plans to realize their goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Counselors are not on campus during the summer. They return one week before students in August and are then available from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Call 650-877-8806 x2 for additional information.
ECHS does not accommodate teacher choices. The counseling department and staff at ECHS take pride in preparing students for life after high school. A very important life skill students should learn is the ability to work with different personalities and teaching styles.
The only time students may have a free period is during the second semester of their senior year, if credits permit. Students who have a job may receive academic credit in the 11th grade by enrolling in Work Experience Education during fifth and sixth period. Otherwise, students must fill six periods a day with classes.
During spring semester each year, ECHS counselors conduct transcript reviews with freshmen, sophomores, and juniors to decide which courses the students plan to take in the coming year.
During this time, students are given a course request form, which they should bring home to discuss with their parents. Students and parents must sign this form and return it to school no later than March 1.
Course requests are then finalized, and a master schedule is created for the following year. Once the master schedule is created, the ability to make course changes becomes limited. Class sizes must be balanced, so that the teaching load is distributed equitably. 
Students with a compelling reason or extenuating circumstance that warrant a course change after March 1 should speak with a guidance counselor as soon as possible.
Reasons for a class change after the creation of a master schedule may include:
  • Scheduling conflicts         
  • Scheduling errors       
  • Unavailability of original course request
  • Alternative placement due to CST test scores
  • New course recommendations due to change in second semester final grades
  • New placement due to changes in summer school grades
Schedule changes WILL NOT be made to accommodate preferences for certain teachers, students, classrooms, or periods.

Many students and parents think that ECHS graduation requirements and the “A-G” college entrance requirements are different sets of classes. Students who complete high school graduation requirements with C’s or better and who also pass Algebra 2, a second year of foreign language, and a year of a college prep electives will be ready for college as long as they maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Colleges and universities generally seek to ascertain the difficulty of a student's course load in comparison to other college-bound students at the same high school, so they can identify the students who have challenged themselves academically. As a result, it is better to earns C's in honors and AP courses than straight A's in regular level courses.

No. Graduation requirements must be fulfilled during the school day at ECHS. Students are allowed to take courses in math and foreign language for enrichment purposes. Students are also encouraged to take courses that help to build a college transcript and/or earn elective credit at ECHS. Students must have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 for concurrent enrollment at a local community college. 

Courses taken during sophomore and junior year are calculate as part of a student's “A-G” college GPA, which helps determine college eligibility. Students should take as many “A-G” courses as possible during this time, because non “A-G” courses will not factor into this GPA.

Colleges do not accept D’s, so many students choose to retake a class they may have earned a D in for a better grade. In many cases, however, students cannot earn academic credit twice for the same class. When a class is repeated, academic credit is attached to the new grade instead of the previous grade.

Students who earn Ds in a class are generally required to take the class again in order to pass the class. However, there are certain classes that students do not have to repeat, if they earn a D in the fall semester, as long as they earn a C or better in the spring semester. This rule only applies to math courses, foreign languages, and chemistry. However, the earlier D will still be factored into the student's cumulative GPA.