FLEX options provide different paths to graduation


Jessica Leininger

For years, students have complained about having to give up or rearrange classes that they want to take in order to take a gym, science or language class that they need to get out of RHS. Things like having to swim for a week have become almost a rite of passage for students, but this is about to change.  The graduation requirements for the class of 2016 and on are going to have more leeway, beginning in the Fall of 2015. New FLEX Options allow for replacements for Physical Education, Science, and World Language credits.

A half credit of Physical Education can be replaced by two seasons of sports, or marching band. A half credit of health will still be mandatory. The third science credit can be replaced by a computer science or CTE (OTech) program. A second year of World Language can also be replaced by a CTE program, or an additional art credit. Counselors have yet to hear much reaction to the changes, but students have been thinking about how these changes could impact their futures.

Engineering is a lucrative career choice, and these FLEX options allow for students to

to opt for an engineering heavy course load, but junior Nick Drinkard thinks that taking an engineering class in lieu of a third science credit could be detrimental in the long term.

“I think it is a good idea to not only take Mr. Lotter’s engineering classes,” Drinkard said. “But to also take physics, because taking additional math and science classes going into a very math heavy career would have nothing but benefits.”

Besides propelling students into the life that they are trying to set themselves up for, the FLEX changes allow for students to cut their courses down into something they get more satisfaction out of. Junior George Baseski is realistic in his approach to courses.

“I don’t see the reason,” Baseski said. “For kids to sit in a class that they don’t necessarily benefit in,” He goes on to discuss his own choices in schedule. Having participated in lacrosse his freshman and sophomore years, he could have replaced his gym credit with this. “It would take all the excess and unnecessary parts of my curriculum out of the way,” Baseski said. “Particularly in things such as sports.”

The physical education credit can also be replaced by marching band. Some people may question this, but RHS senior and drum major Sydney Treichel wants to help people understand that it is an appropriate change.

“Marching and playing an instrument at the same time is more physically challenging than many give us credit for,” Treichel said. “And we do it every day too. I love that it will finally count as a gym credit.”

The ability to cut out a gym class allows for band kids to fit their music classes into their day, without having to give up another class that they want to take.

Students still need to think about how they can best take advantage of the four years they have at RHS, and the new options can help do this. Counselor Christopher Green is adamant about having  students think about their future, but still comes to the defense of the current set of mandatory courses.

“I feel that students should be using the new FLEX options to create a plan that leads them to the best opportunities after high school,” Mr. Green said. “Not every student may want or need to go to a 4 year college. What every student will need is post high school education and skills on some level if they want to enter into a long term career. This will require the basic skills that a student obtains from our current graduation requirements.”