Flex Block Curbs Some Elective Enrollment

An image of a computer screen showing a students schedule.

New schedule changes and the addition of Flex Block have limited elective options for freshmen. 

Some students are disappointed that they could not take all of the classes they had been looking forward to. “I really wanted to take Journalism,” freshman Sarah Holbrook said. Journalism I typically sees more than 40 students each year, most of whom are freshmen. This year, 7 freshmen are enrolled in the class, according to Shakerite adviser Natalie Sekicky. Similarly, Theatre Department Chairman Scott Sumerak wrote that the Junior Ensemble class, which is geared toward freshmen, has seen a drop from about 40 students a few years ago to only 15 now. 

Beginning with the class of 2026, freshmen are required to take a health class. Before this new requirement, freshmen could choose to take an additional elective and take health as an upperclassman or online through a third-party provider. In the past, first-year students could take both a music or art class and an additional elective such as Journalism I, Junior Ensemble or add a study hall. 

Flex Block is a new initiative that occurs on even days (Tuesdays and Thursdays), taking the place of an 8th period class. “We want all our students to take the learning occurring in classrooms across our school, and apply it to real issues that matter in our community,” Princical Eric Juli wrote in an Aug. 19 email to students. During Flex Block, students can attend club meetings, get extra help or work within the community. Some students, however, consider it an early dismissal. “I don’t see Flex Block as a time for more learning,” freshman Drake Mccandlish said. “I just see it as I get to go home now!” 

Wrote Sumerak, “One of the things that SHHS has always been proud of was the depth and diversity of opportunities students can encounter in the classroom. We need a schedule that can support that kind of depth of experience.” 

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