Students, Teachers Prepare for Flex Period

Natalie Paradzick, Staff Writer

School administrators and tech leaders have been working on the logistics to roll out a scheduling program, called Enriching Students, in preparation for flex period pilots that will occur the week of December 6 and the week of January 3. The FLEX period for this year is a prototype that will evolve as teachers and students experience this opportunity for connection and academic assistance.

The flex period will be a time for students to get extra-help from teachers. The designated 34 minutes between blocks 1 and 2 will allow teachers to pinpoint which students need extra-help and schedule them. Teachers will have 12 slots available to assist students in addition to their 12 assigned homeroom students. Unlike in a study when teachers may be teaching another class, the flex period allows teachers to utilize another intervention to help their students.

Because students will be receiving help from teachers, students will be moving around from room to room. To only have 12 students in each advisory will allow other students from other flex homerooms to go to a teacher they need and prevent classrooms from becoming too crowded.  The four pilot run throughs of the flex period schedule will reveal any issues to be addressed. The plan is that the flex schedule will be implemented at the start of the 2022-2023 school year.

Sangay Gurung enjoys the idea of this flex period because of past experiences from middle school.

“I love the idea of flex,” said Gurung. “I am already used to it since we used to do this in my middle school. Sometimes I felt like it saved my day because I could do some work I missed or I could get to recollect my thoughts and ideas before the rest of my classes occurred.”

Unlike Gurung’s excitement about the flex period, some students wonder how the flex period will work on a practical level.

“It is a good idea, but it may be difficult being only 30ish minutes to get wherever the class is, get the help and then get to your next class on time,” said Kaiden Audy.  “It won’t leave you the necessary time to get the help needed, especially if more than one kid is working with the teacher at once.”

In addition to the questions about the actual availability to get extra help when needed, some students are just concerned about having more changes to the school schedule.

“I think it would be fun to try, but I think it might be hard to adjust to,” said Sadie Thompson. “Adjusting may be hard but there have already been changes in the past year because of COVID, including us going to block schedule, online learning, etc.”

If students could decide when the flex period would be in the daily schedule, many expressed it be between blocks 2 and 3 or between blocks 3 and 4, so it wasn’t early in the day.  

“I think it should be a time spent for students to do what they want on campus,” Paige Sullivan said. “They don’t need to be in a classroom, they can go see friends if they want, see teachers if they want. I think the time to get help is already a study hall. Yet, some students feel they don’t need studies, so having that 34 minute block would give them that extra time in case they want to use it.”