Classical Academy offers three different courses of study for its high school students. The Studio Program is most traditional and most popular, with around 500 students. These students attend classes four days a week in a "traditional" classroom setting with the chance to meet with teachers on Monday if they need extra help. The Independent Study Program has a very low enrollment but allows kids to complete their coursework on their own with a once a week check-in with their teacher. The third program is new this year and is called the FLEX Program. This is a hybrid online/traditional classroom program in which students attend classes two days a week and complete the rest of the coursework online. This program is only available for freshmen and sophomores.
We didn't necessarily leave there with big takeaways of things we could do at W-SR, but we know that students learn in different ways and in different settings and that we need to strive to accommodate all of our learners. We have more in-depth knowledge of how a hybrid program works and things we should do and avoid if we adopt a program like this. Students involved in a hybrid program must be highly motivated and self-directed, as well as have strong parental structure and support. We thought that three offerings seemed like too many options and that they could probably do away with their Independent Study program because all students could benefit from at least some type of peer and face-to-face interaction with a teacher. Additionally, the Independent Study program Is not centered around project based learning, which is our ultimate goal.
We did see some things that we thought were benefits of the FLEX program. They really emphasized the advantage of being able to have students complete work at home that doesn't doesn't lend itself well to a classroom setting or that doesn't make the best use of time when interaction could be happening (reading and taking individual notes). There is virtually no discipline, making classroom management and other things easier. The teachers are also able to develop strong relationships with their students because they work with a limited number of kids.