High school hopefuls

Eighth graders registered for ninth grade classes.


Cadence Kilmer

Rising freshman sat through a presentation regarding class registration.

The eighth graders had a Middle school informational meeting, which is a glimpse of what it would be like to be a student in ninth grade. Most eighth graders were looking forward to this event, but others were dreading it. For them it is the end of an era, leaving many of them feeling nostalgic for days of less homework and less stress. That’s right, it was the informational meeting for picking high school classes.

This is not a new program. Kirsten Hoffman, the high school/middle school guidance counselor, has been conducting the meeting since she started working at the school thirteen years ago and she remembers having the meeting herself when she was in eighth grade back in the 1980s. 

Ninth graders are kind of limited in their elective choices.”

— Kristen Hoffman

The students have many options for classes to take, such as Welding One, Art One, and Concert Band. The eighth graders learned about all of the credits they would have to fulfill, as well as what most colleges want for years in a foreign language, and in core classes like science, social studies, language arts, and math. “Ninth graders are kind of limited in their elective choices,” Hoffman commented. The eighth graders must have 24 credits to graduate high school. Freshman Gideon Anderson has one piece of advice for the future freshman: “Don’t take any study halls as a freshman; take them when you’re a senior. Take classes you like.” 

There are also options for world languages and online classes. There is Spanish classes available and Chinese, which you have to learn with people from other schools through the ITV (Interactive Television) program. Options are available for other foreign languages, but there is often a lengthy waiting list, especially for American Sign Language, or ASL. Online and ITV courses are allowed,but have to be arranged with Hoffman.

Hoffman gives advice as to what classes she recommends all eighth graders take. “Of course, it depends on the student. Spanish One is good to have. It’s not required for graduation, but it’s a second language. If you’ve been in a band, keep band. It goes towards a fine arts requirement.” 

The eighth graders picked their classes on Thursday, January 30th by bringing home a sheet with elective choice slots on it. They could access the full list of courses that were available in the student handbook on the Cannon Falls High School homepage under the Guidance Office tab. The eighth graders needed a signature from their parents and then the guidance office will make the schedules for the 2020-2021 school year. The upperclassmen will get top priority in picking classes, giving the soon to be ninth graders last pick. However, many of the classes that the older students will pick are only available for grades 10-12, so the eighth graders will get many options for classes with a decent chance of getting into them.