Flex Friday dedicates 20 percent of the week to student-managed, long-term projects that are relevant to each student’s interests and goals. Student teams identify a real-world problem, define how they might solve it, pitch their solution to a faculty review board, network with outside experts, and then set to work.
Some students may choose to work in a large group to develop an experimental model for a fish hatchery, others may want to work individually on a writing a database program with a local company.
Groups of students are able to coalesce around projects of common interest and work collaboratively without scheduling difficulties.
Teachers, freed from other teaching obligations, are able to focus on advising students as they work through their projects, assisting with skill development and making sure they ask the right questions, follow through on their work plans and collaborate effectively within work groups.
Flex Friday fosters the skills needed to succeed in the real world; these skills require time, responsibility, and creativity; and they are found outside of the standard high school curriculum.
Finding student collaborators, and working with a teacher, students prepare a formal proposal describing the project details. Schedules, finances, outcomes, and connections to learning are all integral parts of that proposal.