Nest Flex idea still settling in with students

Abby Lamine, Staff writer

The school year is fresh, and some students are ready to leave the nest.

The new addition to the school day, known as Nest Flex, has not been well received by the students thus far.

In a Crimson Aviator poll, 30.5 percent of students said they like Nest Flex, while 25.2 percent said they did not like it and 44.4 percent of students said it was OK.

The results were not shocking to assistant principal Mrs. Jadin- Rice.

“It doesn’t surprise me because anything new for students and even adults, people don’t tend to like change,” she said. “I think we need to give it more time.”

Last year students were asked to respond to a school-sponsored poll regarding how they felt about whether or not they have a teacher that they trust somewhere in the building.

Mrs. Jadin-Rice said the responses from that survey were alarmingly negative.

“A very low percentage of kids said they felt they had an adult at school that cared about them,” she said.

The Nest Flex has two parts. Nest, held every Monday, is a community learning and friendship building piece, while Flex gathers the other four days of the week and is for intervention or extra academic help.

When asked if there were advantages to the new schedule, Mrs. Jadin-Rice listed a couple: flexible time for students to get help in a specific class (Flex), and a form of community learning and a support group for students (Nest).

A major disadvantage, she said, was the loss of class time. Classes are 49 minutes this year as opposed to 52 last year. Also, some students may struggle to find where they are going if they do not check their email frequently.

Mondays are easy to remember because students will always report to their Nest class, but Tuesday through Friday students are sent an email stating where they will go for Flex.

Teachers have stressed the no phone rule when in Nest or Flex. According to Jadin- Rice this rule is enforced because students need “time to disconnect” from electronics.

Each student was randomly put into a Nest with about 6-16 people from the same grade. Nest was created to be a long-term commitment, so freshmen and their Nest teachers will be together until the students are seniors.

State law requires that if students are asking for help, the school must provide time for them to get the extra help they need. That is where Flex comes in. Students can either sign up for the teachers they want or they can be assigned to a teacher.

Students will only be assigned to teachers they have on their schedule. This is a way to ensure no time is wasted and students can work on assignments from that class for the day.

The following are a sampling of the comments from the 151 students who responded to the Aviator survey:

** “I like Nest time, but I just haven’t made any friends yet.”

** “It gives I/E a new name that is school-based (now that’s school spirit!) and gives time to watch announcements without wasting class period time. We can also do ALICE training without using class time. Great idea by administration.”

** “4 minutes is taken away from every class, which can be vital to the learning environment in some classes. In all seriousness, we should focus on school things during this time instead of trying to bond and create new friends.”

** “I think Nest/ Flex time provides a positive opportunity to meet and get to know different people.”

** “Waste of time. Makes the day feel longer.”

** “I don’t think it’s as beneficial for the seniors.”

** “We just talk about stuff we already know, or it just ends up with people talking and doing nothing.”

** “I’m actually a fan of the idea of having a set group I’d stay with for all four years.”

** “I’d rather have an extended study hall.”

** “Teachers seem unorganized.”

** “They should have an app for signup and text alerts.”

** “Even though Nest is for meeting new people and such, everyone just hangs around their friends and doesn’t bother trying to talk to anyone else unless forced.”

** “I like it, well… I like nest. NOT flex. I like nest because it gives me a chance to take a break from learning and just chill and eat some food with the rest of my class.”