Administration Finalizes Decision on Current Flex Time
For the past two weeks, high school principals have been meeting to finalize a change in Flex Time to account for a newly discovered state requirement of 7,830 Carnegie units, minutes required for high school students to be in a classroom.
As the rumors spread of possibly taking away A Day Flex Time to make up for the time lost to inclement weather days, students and staff alike shared their views opposing the decision.
Earlier this week, Principal Dr. Steve Hankins, along with the other high school principals, contacted the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to confirm the state requirements and how Flex Time plays into them. Yesterday afternoon, it was confirmed that as long as a school meets the 1,044 hours required as overall school hours, there is no change needed.
“Our calendar, the way it was built, we’re well over the 1,044,” Dr. Hankins said. “There doesn’t have to be any changes to Flex Time.”
However, next semester C Day Flex Time will be 90 minutes following second hour, with lunch shifts during fourth hour. Dr. Hankins said this decision was made after getting feedback from students and staff who felt the current 120-minute Flex Time felt too long.
He said the change in C Days also will allow staff to better manage their personal time while still helping and connecting with students.
“It is a different dynamic than a classroom setting,” Dr. Hankins said. “[Teachers] are getting to know their kids better and they’re helping give more individualized instruction, but everyone needs a break. Take 30 minutes and have a lunch.”
Having lunch shifts during fourth hour will allow for the Commons to be used more as a space to get work done than just eating and socializing. On C Days, students also will not be allowed to sit in the halls in an effort to make the 90 minutes more academically focused and structured.
Jocelyn Fretwell, language arts teacher, said this decision will benefit students and teachers alike.
“Having Flex Time after second hour will be so much better too for that sixth hour class because it was really hard for sixth hour to come back after that kind of free time,” Fretwell said.
When she heard about the possible option of getting rid of Flex Time on A Days next semester, while disappointed, Fretwell understood the decision.
“There will always be tweaks. This is such a new schedule that I kind of expected it to be this way this year,” Fretwell said. “You kind of have to just go with it and know that there gonna be changes and next year there will probably be some slight changes too.”
The Scheduling Committee will continue to meet during the year to better grasp the effect of Flex Time and to consider possible ways to improve the schedule for next year.
This morning, Dr. Hankins sent out a notice to the staff announcing the decision of keeping Flex Time unchanged. Fretwell said she was excited to hear this news because she has noticed multiple students use the time to make up assignments for her class.
“No matter what, I know as a building, we are trying to find out what works best for everybody and hopefully we find that this year,” Fretwell said.
Mayce McEvoy, junior, said keeping Flex Time the same this year will allow more students to take advantage of the time and use it to their benefit.
“It’s a great time to relax a little bit, destress,” McEvoy said.
She is one of many students who spend their Flex Time sitting in the hallways, but said having to instead sit in a classroom or the Commons during C Days next semester will not be too big of a hassle.
“I know plenty of teachers and I mean I can obviously sit in a classroom and do homework, relax and destress in there,” McEvoy said. “It’s not gonna change much.”
Dr. Hankins sent out an official announcement to students and parents today through email.
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Marta Mieze, senior, is the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Messenger and the Script Editor for MHSNews. She has been on the Messenger staff since 2017 and...