FLEX Showing Improvement in Students’ Grades


Mrs. Allen (left) helps sophomore Maci Morris (right) with homework during FLEX time.

Natasa Dobras, Staff Writer

The beginning of the spring semester of the 2017-2018 school year offered a new schedule dedicated to allow tutorial time to occur during the school day. This schedule, known as the FLEX schedule, offers 25 minutes worth of tutorial time every day. Algebra II teacher Lisa Allen has noticed a difference in her students’ grades ever since the start of the FLEX schedule.

Students who are failing classes are required to attend a closed tutorial during FLEX time, but students who are not failing that want extra assistance are allowed to attend an open tutorial that is not mandatory during the FLEX period. The purpose of these tutorials is to improve grades among students.

“Yes (I’ve noticed an improvement) in grades in a few of the students,” Allen said. “Some of them do not use FLEX time the way I wish they would use FLEX time.”

According to Allen, she assists 8-10 mandatory tutorials every week during FLEX time. However, her room is usually packed during the open tutorials with students wanting extra help.

“Mainly right now I’m doing tutoring (during FLEX),” Allen said. “On open tutorial days, (students) can use (FLEX) to correct a quiz, retake a quiz, and we are now allowing them to retake a test if they scored a low enough score. I use (FLEX) for individual tutoring as well.”

Allen said she thinks that the tutorials help most of the students. For students who cannot attend normal tutorials before school, at lunch, or after school, FLEX allows them to have an opportunity to come in for a tutorial according to Allen. However, Allen said there are sometimes conflicts that prevent students from attending FLEX tutorials.

“Some of the conflicts I am seeing are with athletics using FLEX time for team meetings and extracurricular club meetings,” Allen said. “I have had some students that have not wanted to come during FLEX time because they have a club meeting or something.”

While the FLEX period is normally dedicated for tutorial time, club meetings and pep rallies are also reserved for the FLEX period. Another problem that can arise from FLEX time is the time of the actual period itself. According to Allen, FLEX time offers her enough time to instruct a closed tutorial, but on open tutorial days, it can be difficult.

“On open tutorial days when I am loaded with students and I don’t have a specific thing I want to tutor on it’s tough to get to all of the students,” Allen said. “I’m afraid if (FLEX) was longer we’re going to take away from too much class time and class time needs to be at least 45 to 50 minutes so I can cover everything.”

Allen said she expects to see improvements in grades as the semester continues in students who are utilizing FLEX time since she has already noticed a difference in grades in students who are attending open tutorials. However, she is still having trouble getting some students to come in during the tutorials.

“For other students the only time that I can get them in here is during that mandatory tutorial time and it really has yet to make a difference in their grades because I can’t get them to come in during open tutorials, but that may be because they are going to see other teachers,” Allen said. “I’ve even called a few of their parents and their parents say that they will get them there before school or that they’ll come in at lunch, but I still can’t get them to come in.”

Allen’s mandatory tutorials occur on Wednesday every week, and students who are required to attend the close tutorial must come in or else they will suffer consequences such as lunch detention or a day of ISS. Despite the conflicts, Allen said she wants FLEX to remain.

“I am getting students who do not want to come early in the morning, they do not want to come after school, but they’ll come during FLEX time because it is during the school day,” Allen said. “I love that because those hard to reach students are actually coming in for help.”