Lauren Kimoto, Features Editor
Many of the returning staff and students of Walnut Grove Secondary School are wondering exactly what flex time is and how it is going to work for different students. With valid arguments being brought up by students and staff, it’s a matter of how well our school will adapt to these big changes. Is flex time actually flexible enough?
Flex Time is a 42 minute long block that occurs between first and second period everyday. This time is replacing tutorial Wednesday because staff felt as though tutorials were “no longer an effective way of supporting students who truly need help”. Teachers of first block classes can make students stay for flex time to make up missing work, or if the teacher feels that the student requires additional help. Staff now has the opportunity to keep students every eight days, in accordance with the block schedule; where as with tutorial Wednesdays, teachers were only able to require students to stay and make up work, maybe once every two months. The hope is that flex time will help students stay on top of their work.
“Flex time will make balancing grade 12, working, exercise, and a social life so much easier!” – Sam Armstrong (Grade 12)
The true flexibility of flex time will be gradually introduced as the staff feels the students are able to handle the increased freedom. At the beginning of the year the students will stay in their first block classes for flex time. As the year progresses students will be allowed to choose where they wish to spend their flex time. The only requirements for students are that they use their time productively (working individually, in groups, on special interests, homework, or reading) either in a classroom of a current teacher, or other learning space. For example students in grade 11 and 12 are able to use the library and annex. As flex time is considered instructional time students will have to do something that is productive and clubs cannot hold meetings during flex.
“I always forget due dates, so now I can catch up on missing assignments.” – Irene Joo (Grade 9)
At the moment the student body seems to be divided on the usefulness of flex time. Students have come up with pros and cons and the majority are valid points. Flex time should be a success as long as each student is focused on their learning and not the habits of others. A student could use their 40 minutes of flex time to finish ten math questions, write a paragraph for English, read two chapters in a book, or finish other homework; but will every student use this time effectively?
After much discussion between staff and student groups, and a teacher vote, it was decided that the school would try flex time. Now, it is time to put it to the test. See if it really will help students.