Flex Periods Canceled


Daania Adeel

Work piles up as many students pull off all-nighters, struggling to prepare for their tests and finish assignments. Making up for time lost due to the cancelation of the Flex period has been stressful for them.

The Covid-19 pandemic over the past few years has taught us many things, such as bravery, compassion, and versatility. LHS has displayed versatility beautifully; it has changed and adapted over time, bringing new initiatives such as the block schedule, off-campus lunch for all grades, and the Flex schedule.

In the Flex schedule, a Flex period was at the beginning of each Wednesday, resulting in school starting at 9:30 AM instead of 8:45 AM on those days, with the class periods being five minutes shorter than days with a regular schedule to make time.

The District 128 administration decided, however, to remove the Flex schedule.

“A day is supposed to be three hundred minutes in length,” stated Assistant Principal Mr. Ray Albin. “We got some special exceptions during the pandemic [for] school days and instructional time, but we wanted to adhere to the three hundred instructional minute concept [this school year].”

Some benefits of this decision are holding regular length classes on Wednesdays instead of shortened, forty-minute ones and increased contact between teachers and students during these classes.

Mr. Albin added that the long-term results would only be determined in time. “We won’t know until we look at the results of the semester and the end of the year,” he said.

The Flex schedule made teaching and managing time more difficult for some teachers. 

Mr. Peter Olszewski, a biology teacher, stated, “It was nice to ease in and have that little bit of extra time…but at the expense of losing five minutes of every class period, I’d rather not have that time and still have the consistent starting time every day.”

Due to the shortened class periods, it was difficult for many science teachers to have labs and hands-on activities on Wednesdays. According to Mr. Olszewski, they often had to reschedule the ones that were supposed to occur on Wednesdays to avoid inconvenience. 

Most students, however, have a different outlook on the cancellation of Flex Periods.

“I think the Flex periods being canceled relieved quite a bit of stress off of [my teachers],” said sophomore Jack Nevill. “The decision still upsets me, though, because I needed a little break to be able to do things that I had no time to do before school, and the cancellation of Flex period kind of dropped all of that.”

Students who had work to do got it done during Flex periods and were able to retake assessments.

“I felt like a lot of pressure had been taken off me while we still had Flex periods, especially with being able to do retakes then,” stated sophomore Enrique Norman.

There are concerns, however, about how the recent removal of Late Start Wednesdays would affect neurodivergent students as well.

“I have ADHD, and [Flex periods] allowed me to take the time to look at what was going on more, how I was dealing with myself, and whether I was missing things or not…” explained junior Finley Roman. “I feel like the school has taken away an option that really benefited neurodivergent students, with no explanation. It doesn’t make sense, and it just puts students in boxes when not everyone fits into the box of a regular schedule.”

For neurodivergent students, having time to reflect and finish work that may have been difficult to finish is essential, and canceling the Flex schedule can make this very difficult.

LHS has made adaptations and changes to many aspects of the school – some were welcomed, while others were not. There will be no new initiatives similar to the Flex schedule shortly, the cancellation causing both benefits and setbacks.