Superintendent’s Blog – Parkview Flex Continues To Grow
My last blog on the Flex program was back in October of 2018. You can check it out here for a refresher on the idea. Since then we have come a long way. Our 14 pilot students have grown to 25 and we continue to get inquiries into the program with no advertising. We mostly have middle and high school students with one elementary student. I am so proud of our pioneer students who are teaching us about how to make the program successful and showing us that they can achieve their academic goals.
From last May until now, myself and fellow staff members have been to at least 6 different conferences or regional meetings where our enthusiasm for the future has been confirmed. Over and over again, we have heard about the need for schools to be visionary and bold in planning for the changing needs of families, in keeping up with an evolving education system, and in focusing on the needs of students. It can be a little scary going against tradition and proven business models to try something new. I thank my board, my courageous parents, our pioneer students, and dedicated staff for supporting Parkview in pushing our boat into uncharted territory.
The following are some things we have learned in the first semester:
- Students who are in the program do not want to go back to a traditional classroom.
- Students call it “easier,” but that means they like it better, not that it is easier academically. They report that it involves more writing and taking control of your education than a traditional classroom.
- New students can get behind quickly until they understand how to pace themselves. They must develop the responsibility of taking charge of their work schedule just like the real world.
- Students who try to rush through their work find that it takes longer if you do not follow all the directions. You will be made to go back and do everything correctly before you can move on.
- When students understand the new role of the teacher and use this resource wisely, they move ahead with confidence and success.
- Early communication between the teacher, student and the parent is a strong mixture for success.
- Human relationships between the teacher and students have developed more fully than in a traditional class setting.
During our second semester, we began adding dedicated staff to the Flex program who could further develop successful structures, increase the quality of the program, and prepare themselves to go full speed next August. We have also been visited by several outside administrators who want to see what we are doing. That collegial experience has been an encouragement to us. We are also listening to parents share what they would like to see in a program. A number of gymnasts have been inquiring about how the program may meet the needs of their unique schedule. This interest has caused us to fast track an elementary program for next year.
The near-future plans for our Flex program include expanding our information on our website and further developing our policies and handbook. We are planning for a possible elementary class and enrolling up to 40 total middle and high school students for next year. If current students stay in the program, that is only about 10 openings each for middle and high school. Our goal is to listen to the community, start small, and grow with quality in mind. We are also planning for a heavy dual credit rotation for students who are interested in accelerating their college experience. All of this will be wrapped in a more robust spiritual experience for our new year.
Lastly, this idea has grown out of a heart to make Christian education accessible. Our last survey rated the cost of education as the number one concern among today’s parents. We are committed to tackling this huge challenge and are offering our Flex program for nearly 30% less than our traditional program. If we can all think differently, use our creativity as believers made in the image of a Creator God, and not be sidetracked by challenges, I believe we can set a new course that is student focused, family friendly, God honoring, and accessible to more of our community. I look forward to sharing more about our Flex program soon. For more information or a tour, please contact Cindy Harrison at 291-2500 Ext. 104 or schedule a tour by clicking here.