LANSING, Mich. (WHTM) — An experimental program called Eastern Flex Academy is taking place at a Michigan high school, where a handful of students attend school from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. according to an NPR.org.
NPR reports that the students start off with English and math classes, break for dinner and then finish their remaining courses online.
They say the motivation for the program was two-pronged. The district wanted to make better use of its building during off-hours and the school board wanted to find out how a mobile, digital 21st-century workflow could replace an agrarian-based 19th-century school day.
Eastern Flex Academy was designed to accommodate part-time job schedules, internships, and even family responsibilities. But NPR says there’s a more basic — and popular — reason for flex classes: catching up on your rest.
Senior Taylor Burford is dual enrolled in college, works at a child care center and takes dance classes. Burford tells NPR going to school late in the day has really helped her.
While some schools provide evening classes to help students recover lost credit hours or help working adults earn their GED diploma, the Lansing model is different because flex students are on a parallel course with their daytime peers.
Monika Kincheloe, a senior director with America’s Promise Alliance says, “I think what you’re seeing in Lansing is a response to the needs of young people. That gives me great comfort in knowing that they aren’t getting lost because they’re part of the school.”
The program is already planning to grow. This semester, the Lansing School District will offer it to juniors and seniors in the city’s two other high schools and even to neighboring schools in the suburbs according to NPR.