Written by Kush Dubey
Published in the September 11, 2015 issue
Included in the new bell schedule are additional, mandatory periods called Flex Time and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), which takes place every Tuesday. According to Assistant Principal Jack Ballard, students and teachers can take advantage of Flex Time through three central ways: intervention, support and enrichment. Both teachers and students can make appointments to discuss and receive help in an area in which students are struggling.
However, all students will have access to facilities including classrooms, the library, the Academic Center, the Student Activities Center and gyms. Ballard believes this will help students allocate more time to homework, projects and study groups. Students will also have the option to engage in enrichment activities such as yoga sessions and open gym workouts.
Ballard adds that students and teachers can be creative in how they spend this time. “At [Fremont High School], there was this one teacher who would host weekly TED Talks,” he said. “Also, if a student is curious about a topic in class and wants to explore it more, they can schedule an appointment with their teacher and talk about it.”
The change comes with new technology. Barcode scanners have been placed in all classrooms and student areas for staff members to use for checking in students with their Student Identification cards. TeachMore, a new web-based application developed by the Fremont Union High School District, also enables students and teachers to schedule appointments during Flex Time. Both students and teachers can log in and view available times to meet and set a date.
Nonetheless, the administration does reserve this time for grade-level assemblies, SEL lessons and Titan 101 sessions.
Overall, students have a positive perspective on Flex Time. Sophomore Nikhil D’Souza feels that mandatory tutorial allows students to be more productive during school hours. “[It] can be a great time for those students who need to either make up a test or ask questions,” he said.
Senior Grace Park also believes mandatory Flex Time especially helps students with outside committments. “Because it’s in the middle of the day, students with after-school obligations like work or sports don’t have to sacrifice some lunch or a prep to talk with their teachers in person,” she said.
Despite the current benefits, D’Souza believes that there is still room for improvement, especially in the online and scanning systems. “I would like to see a more organized system for the tutorial,” he said.