Changes to the Flex Program
By Esther Seawell
Additional Reporting by McKenna Ross
The Flex Program is preparing for a big change in the upcoming school year as they switch back into one session.
The Flex Program originally split into two sections for the 2012-2013. This decision was made to manage the student to teacher ratio and to give students more flexible schedules.
Many changes came into affect with the split, which made it harder to maintain Flex’s sense of community. According to Flex teacher Robin Moten, that is one of the core aspects to the program.
“We like to talk about being a community of learners,” Moten said.
Much of the discussions and experiences were different for the morning and the afternoon sessions, and that made it hard to have a cohesion between the two. That is one of the things sophomore Eric Ruthruff is most looking forward to.
“We will all have the same experiences,” Ruthruff said. “On occasions the AM team has gotten different speakers than the PM team and that won’t happen anymore.”
The fondly titled “One Flex”, is what most of the students and the team wanted.
“A lot of our students, and the teachers, really wanted to go back to one section,” Moten said. “We thought it was better for the program.”
For the underclassmen, it will be something new to experience.
“I have only ever heard good things about One Flex so yes I am looking forward to it,” Ruthruff said. “I think the main reason that it sounds so appealing is the thought of a closer knit team.”
Junior Cate Goldman experienced One Flex as a freshman, during the 2011-2012 school year, and said she prefers it to two sections.
“I will know be able to truly know everyone. My favorite aspect of Flex is the strength of its community,” Goldman said. “With One Flex it will be a lot more cohesive and everyone will be able to form stronger and closer relationships.”
The Program has around 150 students enrolled next year, which is what allowed the program to go back to the original model.
There were some things about the split that appealed to students.
“I liked that the rooms were never too crowded in split Flex,” Ruthruff said. “Also I felt as if I met tons of new people every trimester and got to hear them share their ideas.”
Others will miss certain aspects of the both sessions.
“I will miss the teachers saying ‘Well AM is a lot better than you guys’ or vice versa,” Goldman said. “I always thought that was pretty funny.”
In addition to recombining, the Flex Program will be adding another teacher.
Matthew Szalkowski, who was Ms. Olsen’s maternity sub in 2011, is the newest addition to the Flex Team.
“I’m looking forward to everything,” Szalkowski said. “Flex is the program I’ve been trying to get in to, I’ve been actively pursuing Flex since I heard about it. It’s just a phenomenal opportunity to learn and do great things for the community.”
Flex was started in 1964, so the Program’s 50 Year Anniversary is this upcoming year. That makes the team and the students even more excited for the 2014-2015 school year.
“There’s a certain feel, a certain dynamic, to being together and experiencing everything together,” Moten said. “We really are back to being a community.”