As the summer of 2017 begins to come to a close, the new 2017-18 school year is quickly approaching. Before the new school year begins, we want to provide updates and information that will be occurring in this new school year. One major happening for the junior high and high school will be implementing a new schedule (Flex-Mod) for our 7-12th grade students. We’d like to share with you what the Flex-Mod Schedule is, what opportunities it will provide our students, and clear up any miscommunication on the topic. It’s safe to say this is a big change for our school and community, but this innovative change will provide new opportunities for our students and fully prepare them for the ever-changing real world.
What is the Flex-Mod Schedule? The Flex-Mod Schedule is a scheduling technique that dates back to the 1960’s, where the school day isn’t composed of “hours or periods” but instead is made up of small chunks of time called “mods”. At Oakes High School, a mod will be 20 minutes long, and we will have 21 total mods that encompass our entire school day. Classes are then scheduled very similar to the way college classes are scheduled, where classes meet at different times and for different lengths of time throughout the week. This is the flexibility part of the Flex-Mod Schedule. This allows us to provide both longer and shorter class times that are tailored to fit the students and each class. This also allows opportunities for students to attend resource centers during the day, which will provide help for students in content-specific departments (ex: English resource center, Math resource center, etc).
Another major component of the Flex-Mod Schedule is the opportunity for students to truly learn time management skills. Due to the flexibility provided in the Flex Mod Schedule, students will have “open-mods” during the day where they have no classes scheduled, and they will have the opportunity to manage their time. 10-12th grade students will have an open campus, and are required to attend one resource center per day during any of their “open-mods”. Students will then have the ability to decide which resource center they need to attend or how else they will manage their time. 10-12th students will have the ability to study, read, workout, get help at a resource center, go home, run errands, eat, go to work, etc. on their “open-mods”. However, if any student should begin to have difficulty in any of their classes, or have any behavioral issues, they would be required and assigned resource centers to attend, and their open campus privileges would be suspended. It should also be mentioned that all 7-9th graders will be assigned resource centers to attend and will not have any open-campus privileges.
Here are some common questions concerning implementing the Flex-Mod Schedule that we’d like to clear up.
Will students just be running around all day and not in class?
Absolutely not! 10-12th grade students will have an open campus, but if at any time students are struggling in a class academically, or are having behavior problems, their open campus privileges will be suspended. Students need to have the opportunity to learn time management skills BEFORE they graduate—otherwise having poor time management skills can be a very expensive lesson to learn in the real world.
Why are we changing, the normal school system worked just fine?
Our current school system is over 100 years old, and designed to produce factory workers. Our world is constantly changing and embedded with technology and innovation—however our school system has always remained the same. While everything else around us has changed (GPS, iPhones, tablets, auto-steer, drones, etc.) why shouldn’t our school system reflect our current world today, and not the factory model from 100 years ago. We need to provide opportunities and skills for our students for tomorrow’s world.
What can this Flex Mod Schedule do that our old schedule couldn’t?
The Flex Mod Schedule allows students to take various combinations of classes, opportunity to learn time management skills, have better access to teachers for help, and allow better opportunities for internships and real world job shadowing.
No doubt about it, we will come across several challenges and problems this upcoming school year. However, like most things when change occurs, we will continue to improve and find solutions to our problems/challenges. We will be the first class B school in North Dakota to implement the Flex Mod Schedule. Instead of waiting and following other schools, we will be the leaders in this innovative change to our school system. Yes, it would have been much easier and safer to have continued with our same schedule as we always have, but we want to improve upon our school system because our kids deserve it and are worth it.
Student schedules will be available for pickup on Monday, August 7 and Tuesday, August 8 from 8am-4:30pm in the Central Office. Any student schedule changes can be made on Monday, August 14 through Thursday, August 17 from 8am-4:30pm in the Central Office. We appreciate your help in making these changes prior to school starting, as we transition to the Flex-Mod Schedule and a new school year. If you have questions or would like more information, please stop by the school or contact me at Brandon.Bata@k12.nd.us or at 742-3234 ext 144. Below is a video of the Flex-Mod Presentation that was presented to parents at the spring parent teacher conference and may help to answers some of your questions.
Flex-Mod Presentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnLC0DHP2HU