Change is Hard – August 2017

— I am the first to admit that people could call me a creature of habit.  Each time my kids ask to sit in a different location in church I quickly squelch their request.  After all, sitting in a different location would be different and would force me out of my comfort zone.  Thinking about it now, I’m wondering if it would really have any impact on the outcome of the hour?  Would it only feel weird for a few minutes and then go back to business as usual?  Would my willingness to change be a beneficial example for my children?  The next time my kids ask to sit in a different location; I’m going to grit my teeth, smile, and say sure.  I have to be honest, just thinking about this in the future is already causing a little uneasiness.  Who knows, maybe the simple answer of yes will lead me to an experience that I never thought possible.  Time will tell.

The new Flex Mod Schedule for our 7-12 students at OPS is, without question, a big change. This new change is making people uncomfortable.  I can relate, change is arduous.  It may be safe to assume that much of the uneasiness is from the fear of the unknown. How will this work?  How am I supposed to answer questions for my child when I don’t understand the new schedule?  Why is the school pushing this new schedule that is causing our students to be pushed outside of their comfort zones?

The decision to make this jump was a joint effort by the 7-12 staff and administration and I fully support this initiative as the Superintendent.  Here are some positive results other schools have seen from the Flex Mod Schedule according to Jacob Baumann:

  • Future readiness for the students to handle any type of schedule after graduation.
  • Teacher collaboration improves to prepare for large group classes, labs, and small group sessions
  • Built-in time for almost anything such as RTI, enrichment, extracurricular activities, etc.
  • Students can fit in more courses with this schedule which allows for enhanced variety and selection of their desired classes.

We’ve had students that have picked up their class schedule and the master schedule, gone home, and come back with requests to add more classes that they found will fit into their schedule.  It is rewarding to see this happening for those that are wanting more than they thought was possible due to scheduling constraints.

If you have questions, compliments, or concerns, I encourage you to contact Mr. Bata, High School Principal.  If you are still needing further resolve, please contact yours truly.  My request is that you do your best to allow this new schedule to play out.  It won’t be perfect and we know it will need tweaking.  We are hopeful and confident that this schedule will benefit our students and will become the new norm at OPS.  Who knows, maybe saying yes to change and being uncomfortable for a while will lead to new outcomes that we never thought possible.  I myself may be surprised by following my children to a new spot with a different vantage point!

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  Socrates



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