Middle School FLEX Program Overview
Each semester (twice a year), students in Grade Five through Grade Eight have the opportunity to provide input into special enrichment clusters/coursework they want to experience here at Avon School. These special classes are developed and instructed by Middle School and Related Arts teachers and are called FLEX Classes (as in: flexible, meaning student choice).
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 students with an authentic opportunity 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 an opportunity for students to participate in academic enrichment experiences that complement and expand upon school curriculum and programming and advance their life and career readiness.
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:FLEX Course experiences are designed so that students are apply knowledge and skills acquired in their core content areas while learning a new set of skills, techniques, and strategies. 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 summative performance expectations.
The good news for students is that they get to make choices! The bad news is that they have to make tough choices! During the selection process, students will be able to read descriptions of each of the FLEX classes that will be offered during the semester. Our hope is that students make selections that compliment their own interests and talent; we will do our very best to give students their choices - but priority is given to Eighth Graders first during scheduling, then we work our way down to Fifth Grader students.