New program provides FLEXibility for students to pursue topics they’re passionate about

New program provides FLEXibility for students to pursue topics they’re passionate about
Posted on 02/23/2023
Students learn in a MHS FLEX classThis is the first year of the new FLEX program at Mehlville High School. Ninth-grade students in FLEX receive personalized instruction through cross-curricular lessons that showcase how different subjects are connected and how skills learned in one class can be applied to another.

“FLEX is set up so kids can have more flexibility within their day,” said Kristin Busch, Mehlville High School FLEX and science teacher. “We have nine blocks instead of seven, so that gives students time to work on things they need to work on, but it also provides them time for passion projects.” 

Adding the extra class during a student’s freshman year has added benefits down the road. By taking additional credits early, it provides students more opportunities to enroll in elective classes of interest during their junior and senior year since they’ll already have more of their required classes completed.
MHS FLEX students build simple machines
IMAGE: Mehlville High School freshman Aidan Furgeson speaks to FLEX teacher Beth Johnson about an assignment to build a simple machine using food. The project was incorporated into foreign language class where students described their simple machine using French or Spanish.

“I was looking for a real learning challenge and also something different than sitting for an hour and a half for a lecture,” said Aidan Furgeson, Mehlville High School freshman. “FLEX is something more engaging where I’m able to use my time to do things I want to do that are still relevant to the program.” 

In FLEX, teachers focus on how different subjects relate while making sure students reach required grade-level benchmarks. For example, students recently completed a Civil War project that connected all of their classes. While students were learning about the Civil War in history, students were studying writing and analyzing texts in English language arts. In foreign language class, students were learning words related to the war and studying monuments from the era. In math, students were focused on scale drawings so that what students were learning in math wasn’t in a silo from what students were learning in other classes.
MHS FLEX teacher Stephanie Guliano

Image: Mehlville High School FLEX teacher Stephanie Guliano leads a math lesson with students.

FLEX encourages students with the opportunity to retry assignments they didn’t do well on to make sure that they learn the material before moving to the next assignment. 

Mehlville High School is expanding FLEX for the 2023-2024 school year to include tenth-grade students. Families interested in taking FLEX should speak with their child’s counselor.

“One of the things the district has created during the past few years are personalized opportunities like MyPath to focus on what makes each student tick,” said Busch. “FLEX helps students get more credits under their belt so they can explore more opportunities that interest them in their sophomore, junior and senior years.” 

Oakville High School staff is in the process of creating a personalized learning experience for students similar to Mehlville High School’s FLEX program. OHS parents can expect more details later this year.

The Mehlville School District strictly prohibits discrimination and harassment against employees, students or others on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or sex including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity and other characteristics protected by law. The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: contact Adam Smith at 314-467-5006 or [email protected].