Master of the Schedule: Amy Paulsen


Anthony Chan

Paulsen works very hard towards the end of the year to finalize the master schedule by the end of the school year. Once the course requests are in, the master schedule is constructed according to student preference.

Ki Joon Lee and Dylan Vanek

As the school year draws to a close, assistant principal Amy Paulsen starts to construct the master schedule that organizes the courses for the school year. The master schedule is very difficult to create because it needs to satisfy both student and staff member needs at the same time.

“It is all about the students,” Paulsen said. “It is solely based on their requests.”

To begin, Paulsen places students in “singleton” classes, or courses locked in one certain period, such as Symphonic Orchestra. Students are last placed into their general academic classes, such as science, as those classes have multiple periods available.s

“About 25 percent of my job involves the master schedule,” Paulsen said. “The biggest challenge is the hours I have to put in…I have to meet with every department to figure out who needs to teach which classes based on the number of students signed up, which is a very long process.”

Another factor that complicates the process is rule that 25 students need sign up for a course for it to be taught at Portola High. If a class does not get the required amount Paulsen must cut the class from the schedule.

“The biggest focus is letting the students take what classes they want to take,” Paulsen said. “We want to make sure the students who have a certain class still have the opportunity to take other classes that they want to take.”

Paulsen also takes into account the teaching staff who have other positions on campus, such as coaching a sport, because those teachers are only available to teach certain periods.

“The part I enjoy the most is working with our amazing staff, that is the reason why I love working on the master schedule,” Paulsen said.