Middle School FLEX Program Overview
Each semester (twice a year), students in grades Five through Eight have the opportunity to provide input into special enrichment coursework of their choice that is led by a teacher with interest and expertise in that field. These special classes are developed and instructed by Middle School teachers and are called FLEX Classes; they meet the last two periods on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
FLEX enrichment clusters are:"...non-graded groups of students who share common interests, and who come together during specially designated time blocks during school to work with an adult who shares their interests and who has some degree of advanced knowledge and expertise in the area." (Reis & Renzulli, 2010)The vision for these elective enrichment experiences is to provide mixed age levels of students with authentic opportunities to learn and grow both academically and socially in a co-curricular experience based on their own interests, talents, and readiness. The coursework is simply for the love of learning, is ungraded, and provides a chance for students to participate in academic enrichment experiences that complement and expand upon school curriculum and programming.
FLEX experiences are designed and coached by Avon School teachers based on their own interests and talents. Check out what Scott Swaaley from High Tech High and GRITLab has to say about these types of teacher facilitated experiences:The goal is that students will be able to apply knowledge and skills acquired in core content areas to FLEX Course problem-solving. Students do not necessarily have to "study" for FLEX classes, but they may have to dedicate time outside of school to prepare and complete projects and demonstrations of their learning for performance experiences.The good news for students is that they get to make choices! The bad news is that they have to make some tough choices! During the selection process, students evaluate course descriptions of each of the FLEX class that will be offered during the semester. Students should make selections that compliment their own interests and talents; we do our very best to ensure students get their choices - but give priority to Eighth Grade students first and work our way down to Fifth Grade selections.