Course Selection

Course Description Guide 2017-2018

The Program of Studies
 indicates which courses are available at Alton High School. These courses are described in the Course Description Book.  Fill out the Requirement Worksheet/Elective Worksheet for the year you are registering for.  These worksheets can be found here.

What to Take?


Planning an educational program is an ongoing process and should involve the student and the adults who know the student best, including parents, teachers, and guidance counselors.


1. Work Together to Select Courses -- High school course selection marks the beginning of responsible decision-making for many students. Parents should be involved in giving both help and direction as a student works through his/her decision.


2. Gather Information -- A major part of the process of course selection involves the gathering of information. Classroom teachers and guidance counselors are valuable resources at this stage.

  • The Course Description Guide has been prepared with YOU in mind. Read it first to obtain information on the entire high school curriculum and then read the course selection booklet a second time, more carefully, to obtain specific information on those courses which are either required for next year or those in which you have a particular interest and will elect.
  • The classroom teachers have in-depth knowledge of the content of various courses taught within his/her department. In addition, he/she is usually aware of the level of expectations within each course.  Knowing you as a student and the kind of work of which you are capable, your teacher can make valid recommendations as to which courses to take within the department.
  • The guidance counselor has a broad overview of the entire curriculum. Besides having a strong sense of the student’s performance and ability level, the counselor is very much aware of courses necessary to fulfill graduation requirements. The guidance counselor can also provide good advice about the kind of program and courses which will be helpful as you prepare yourself to pursue post-high school plans, whether these be a four/two year college/technical school or immediate entry into the world of work.
  • A student conference can be arranged by coming to the guidance office to make an appointment. A parent/counselor conference can be arranged by calling 618-474-6900. Final placement can be discussed with the principal. Not all student choices can be accommodated within scheduling constraints and school placement policies. Final decisions on placement will be made by the principal.

Freshman Course Registration
Course Selection for Freshmen takes place during 8th grade and those teachers will recommend the classes they feel are appropriate for each student. All incoming freshmen will take a math placement exam.  Additionally, those students who are interested in Biology honors will be required to take an additional Biology placement exam.  A course selection sheet will come home with the students and parents will have the opportunity to review it with their child, 8th grade teachers and the guidance department before signing the sheet and passing it in to guidance.  
Upper-class Course Registration
While in High School, students will receive course selection sheets each year in January, at which time they will consult with parents and teachers about which courses to take. Course selection for Sophomore, Junior and Senior years takes place in January, and forms will be passed out at school.  Students must obtain recommendations and signatures from current teachers.  Parents who disagree with a recommendation may state so on the course selection form.  Ultimate decisions in these cases are made by the Principal. Classes will be selected with the minimum graduation requirements in mind.