FlexTech High School Now Open

There’s a new type of school in town with flexible scheduling that’s chock full of cutting-edge technology that none of the kids are too cool for.

FlexTech High School, located near the I-96 and Grand River Ave. intersection, is well into it’s first week of classes and is running smoothly, according to the school’s principal, Melanie Laber.

It’s evident from the moment you walk in the door that Flex Tech is a far cry from the traditional high school classroom.

“My dad said he felt like he was dropping me off at a college campus,” 9th-grader and Brighton resident, Lucas Stanesa, said.

Students and visitors see the school’s state-of-the-art computer lab as they enter through the front door.  The lab is equipped with several state-of-the-art iMacs and various tablets, with technology being a huge staple at Flex Tech, Laber said.

Instead of cell phones being taboo as they are at most other schools, students are encouraged to bring their own computers, tablets and even cell phones.  Flex Tech offers many online courses to it’s students, giving them the option to work from home or to come in and use the school’s brand new facilities.

Classes that are held at the school are done in 90-minute periods twice a week–more similar to a college schedule than a traditional five-day schedule like most high schools.

While Flex Tech offers the standard Michigan Merit Curriculum courses, it also offers students interesting electives, such as video game design and computer programming classes.

The classes held at the school are done in a project-based manner, which helps kids get used to the types of work they will encounter in the real world, Laber said.

For instance, the physics class held at the school will center around a project that takes a gas-powered remote control car, and transforming it to run on an electric motor.  Students are free to design the car and make any changes that they want–total creative freedom.  At the end of the course, students will take their finished products to the Michigan National Speedway to let their cars take a lap around the track.

Flex Tech classrooms generally have 10 to 15 kids per class, so kids are in a smaller, more intimate setting with their teachers.  Kids are encouraged to work at their own base and undergo one advisory meeting per week to check their progress.

During advisory, kids learn how to manage personal finances, how to behave during job interview, how to build a resume and other skills that help to prepare them for the rest of their lives.

“We’re trying to teach the kids 21st century skills,” Laber, said.

Laber says that Flex Tech is a great fit for a variety of kids.

“Maybe they didn’t fit in, or they’ve been bullied in the past, or just want access to the technology,” Laber said.  “Some kids just don’t do well sitting in a classroom all day long.”

FlexTech High School is public charter school, and therefore is state-funded and tuition-free. During open enrollment periods, the school is open for any 9th through 12th grade student in Michigan.

Flex Tech currently has about 130 students enrolled, though numbers have been growing in recent weeks.

For more information on Flex Tech High School, please visit http://www.flextech-hs.org or call 810-844-3366.

As read on: http://brighton.patch.com/articles/flextech-high-school-now-open

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