Malden High School has a certain part of the day called Flex Block. On Gold days, Flex is incorporated into the schedule where it is a period divided into two blocks: Enrichment and Joy. It is a time where students can have time in their day for enrichment and support because school can be stressful for some students. Flex is used for a variety of reasons, and one of the reasons after-school clubs are taking advantage of this block is to find more time to meet.
A club in particular that uses Flex is the Spanish Heritage Club. “This club was designed by students… [where] a group of students proposed the club and needed an advisor so I volunteered my Flex block so that they could organize and run the club,” explained the advisor of the club, guidance counselor Alison White.
“Because this club runs during Flex, it allows for students who may have other obligations after school to participate in a club during school hours,” White stated. She continued that “when the club was proposed, the students requested that it take place during Flex rather than after school.”
The club's members are reasonably self-sufficient. They spent the previous cycle choosing themes they wanted to cover, playing games and making posters to hang around the building to promote the club.
Ralph Mckenzie, a Special Education Math teacher and the advisor of the Literary Society, is also using Flex. Mckenzie said that he "spoke with Mr. Gallagher and senior Brandon Wong about taking over the Literary Society… It's been a fun diversion from some of the stresses of this school year.”
“When Brandon approached me about advising The Oracle, [the magazine that the Literary Society produces every year], he was the only returning member. Joy block seemed like a convenient and low stakes way to encourage students to participate on a trial basis,” Mckenzie explained.
He believes that artistic undertakings are an excellent method for kids to express themselves and share their perspectives. More students have the chance to learn about themselves and from one other by having a secure area where they may discuss their work.
In addition, the yearbook club is also utilizing Flex block to meet. James Valente, who is the advisor, expressed that “The Maldonian, like The Blue and Gold, is a class that meets on the schedule of assigned students…The idea of using the Flex block to meet with those students as an extra way of getting the work done was always appealing.” Valente went on to say that they needed the time to meet "so that the co-advisor to the class, Mrs. Horwitz could be in with the group whereas this year she is not in the actual course, and she is vital to the course because she is the financial advisor and works with us to raise the $28,000 we need to make the yearbook.”
“We needed the time with our co-advisor to create fundraising opportunities for the yearbook,” Valente said.
Flex has overall been a great way for students to be productive and get extra help when they are not able to come after school.