Administrators have decided to implement a new bell schedule called FLEX for the 2018-2019 school year. Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, all class periods are shorter to allow for an extra 30 minutes in second period for a study hall of sorts, since grades were unsatisfactory last year. Students may have to report to a different class if their name is posted on the wall outside the Matador Commons, or they stay in their second period if their name is not displayed there. The purpose of this new addition to the list of bell schedules is to raise the amount of students who pass the STAAR test this year.
English teacher Gretchen Pearson believes it is beneficial to all students. She points out the fact that the FLEX schedule gives students more time to participate in extracurricular activities and even work after school.
“I think it’s good, “ Pearson said. “I’m hopeful that it will be effective because it’s during school hours and lets students improve their grades. It makes it so students aren’t required to do extra tutorials, which would normally intrude on their personal lives after school.”
While teachers have their views, not all students find the new change helpful. Junior Dalton Ferris is a student whose second period is College Algebra, and passed the STAAR test last year, so he does not have to go to a different class when the FLEX bell rings. Ferris believes that this schedule disrupts his learning.
“It’s a cool concept, but the fact that students who don’t need it still have to participate sucks,” Ferris said. “I have to stop what I’m doing and work on English assignments in math class.”
Another student, junior Hailey Lynn, has Dual Credit U.S. history for second period, and also passed the STAAR test.
“Not everyone needs to do it,” Lynn said. “Students that passed the STAAR test should be allowed to use the time as study hall.”
Despite the conflicting views, the FLEX bell schedule will stay in place for the entire course of this school year. The results it brings will become apparent when the STAAR test is administered later this school year.