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Flex Period: What is it?

How SHS Students are Responding to the New Flex Schedule
STATS.+The+pie+chart+shows+that+85.4%25+of+Summerville+students+like+the+new+flex+period+that+was+introduced+this+year.+Meanwhile%2C+14.6%25+of+students+do+not.+
Madeline Sharkey
STATS. The pie chart shows that 85.4% of Summerville students like the new flex period that was introduced this year. Meanwhile, 14.6% of students do not.

For Summerville Union High School, the 2023-2024 school year started off with something completely brand new—a “Flex period.” This new change resulted in all Study Skills, Language Arts Development (LAD), and Math Support classes being removed from the Master Schedule, creating the latest class: Flex period.

Ms. Weller, Grade Level Coordinator (GLC), shared more about what “Flex” is. 

“[Flex period is where] students can have a break, can have fun, learn something new, or they can make up assignments,” explained Ms. Weller. 

While Study Skills, LAD and Math Support all operated as a time to get work done, Flex has much more to offer students. 

Mr. Christopher, school principal, explained how the idea of a Flex schedule came to be. 

“It was a mutual agreement that was initially brought up by teachers that had been talking about schedule changes and updating the schedule, and trying to offer students better opportunities to access their work.” 

While some had heard of a “Flex Period” as a conversation, the plan was solidified when an email came out June 9th of the 2022-2023 school year. 

Some students were upset about the fact that there was a change to the upcoming school year and seniors in particular were upset that it had interfered with their reduced schedules. Now Monday-Wednesday, they are not able to leave at lunch. The Flex schedule requires two classes to be after lunch. 

Senior Maryn Costa shared her personal experience with the Flex schedule and how it has affected her work and school life. 

“This new schedule makes lunch really early, and then pushes two classes after lunch. It is a bummer to me that I can’t work as much as I wish,” stated Costa. 

With any change, there were expected bumps in the road. The new schedule brought confusion and more questions than answers. 

Mrs. Fray, GLC, responded to the issues regarding Flex.

“It was brand new and nobody really got to use it and it’s new to our school. I think the biggest thing was just getting it started and seeing how it was going to go, which was a little nerve-wracking at first.”

Many students shared the same struggles as they tried to get into classes and Flex offerings that they either needed or wanted to join. 

Students still seem to struggle with getting into the classes they need and or want, creating some competition in Powerschool. When the opportunity arises to pick Flex classes it has become a first-come-first-serve system.

Senior Makayla Smith agreed, stating, “After you choose your flex, the next day if you want to switch it to something else, you can’t. It won’t let you and it’s annoying because if I want to go into a Study Hall instead, I can’t switch out of it.” 

Instead, students will go to their assigned teacher, asking to switch. 

The intent of the Flex Schedule is that Monday will be a  “Homeroom” Flex and students choose their Flex options for Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Not all students are waiting until Monday to sign up for their Flex classes. As soon as teachers upload their offerings, students can sign up, meaning that those who sign up earlier are at an advantage for choosing the Flex classes they want or need. Flex offerings fill up quickly, forcing students to sometimes join Flexes that are not interesting or helpful for them. 

“I’ve been forced to sign up for Flexes I do not even want because people want to go and waste time instead of picking something they actually want to do,” explained junior Olivia Demuth. 

In response to issues of Flex, Mr. Christopher weighed in.

“I mean, there’s hiccups along the way for sure but it is something that’s new, so we knew inevitably that there would be a couple speed bumps here and there,” Mr. Christopher commented. 

All teachers are required to hold a Flex, which created many different unique classes students were able to choose from. Beyond the Cave interviewed Mrs. Banks about what her Flex offerings are. 

“We have AP practice for my students, a study hall, German for Fun, World Club Culture, and then I have a Spanish game Flex.” 

Ultimately, there is at least one Flex period a student would find some sort of interest in. If not, study halls are almost always available for students who wish to have the additional time to work on school work. 

Flex offerings that are a bit more specialized and unique include “German for Fun” with Mrs. Banks, a “Wellness Walk” with Ms. Garcia, “Bake Something Fun” with Mrs. Kerns, or, if you are a football player, Coach Leveroos offers “Advanced Trigonometry on the Gridiron.”    

Regardless of issues at the start, students are enjoying Flex period as an option overall. According to a survey sent out regarding Flex, about 85% of Summerville High students say they like the Flex option. 

Freshman Cora Young says she enjoys Flex and appreciates the additional time built into the school day.

 “[Flex] gives me time to do homework, relax a little bit, and makes the school periods shorter, which is nice.”

— Cora Young

Students feel that Flex gives them time to do homework and get any help they may need from their teachers without having to give up their lunch period or stay after school, when many students have other commitments. 

“Overall, I like Flex. I do wish it was after lunch though, and I wish there was a way to allow the seniors to still be able to leave at lunch. If students were failing a class or needed more help, they could be required to say, but I would like to see it optional,” shared senior Alyssa Puccio.

Having a Homeroom on Monday has also been a topic of conversation. Senior Macormic Stark shared her thoughts on having Monday Homeroom.

“I don’t feel we need the Homeroom Monday. Most students choose their Flex offerings over the weekend anyway. It would be nice to have three ‘choosing days’ so we can choose which offerings to attend,” said Stark. 

A new addition to the Flex Schedule starting the week of Sept. 25 is that the Flex Schedule will be “locked” on Monday morning, meaning students are locked into their Flex options after Homeroom Monday. 

“I need to have the option to change my Flex option right before our Flex period. I don’t always know what I need until right before Flex. I may have chosen something fun, and then that day, realize I need a study hall,” shared Puccio. 

BTC expects the Flex period to continue to evolve over time and that it will be fine-tuned into a great opportunity for students. 

 

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Madeline Sharkey
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    Brittany GarciaOct 2, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    Great article. Personally, I don’t like flex. I think it’s cool that it shortens classes, and you get to “pick” your flex but it sucks that I can’t have a long class where I get to do my work and now am required to pick electives I didn’t like.

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