11 High School Schedules with Flex Periods
Updated: Feb 23, 2022
Originally Posted on March 3, 2021 | Last Updated on February 23, 2022
There’s no denying that adding Flex Periods to high school schedules has become increasingly popular in recent years, despite going by many different names, like Mascot Time, Intervention Periods, What I Need (WIN) Time, among many others. Their popularity is largely driven by the fact that they provide space for targeted interventions that are otherwise challenging to fit into the school day, as well as opportunities for students to access more enrichment and extracurricular offerings. But as schools take different approaches in creating the time, the ways they schedule them are even more varied. Because of that, schools often tell us they like to see schedules from other schools to learn how they’ve organized their time. Given we have the chance to work with schools across the country, we’re sharing several examples of high school schedules that include a Flex Period below in hopes it could help your school think of different approaches, whether or not you already have a Flex Period in your school day.
New to Flex Periods but want to know more?
Check out our What is a Flex Period post for a summary of the basics or our Ultimate Guide to Flex Periods for a deeper dive.
Why Example Flex Period Schedules Are Important
While there is no right or wrong way to build a Flex Period into your schedule given how varied every school’s individual context is, it’s often helpful to see examples so you don’t have to recreate the wheel (after all, most great ideas are built off the ideas of others in some way). Seeing other examples can help give a school the confidence that a particular model is possible. It can also spark a new idea for making it work by seeing another model that organizes it in a way you hadn’t yet thought of. And while many schools believe it’s a best practice to avoid the first or last period of the day to house your Flex Period because of the logistics that come with starting and ending the day, other schools find that these options work best for them for other reasons and are willing to make that tradeoff.
At the end of the day, the most important part is that you know why you’re implementing a Flex Period in the first place and doing it in a way that best fits your school’s specific situation. While it might be challenging to move around parts of your schedule mid-year, it’s not uncommon to reorder and restructure your schedule between school years, so you’re not locked into anything forever.
11 High School Schedules with Flex Periods
And now, with no more delay, here are ten examples of high school schedules with built-in Flex Periods.
Schedule 1 - 1 Flex, 5 Classes, + 1 Lunch
In this example, the Wisconsin-based school has a single Flex Period called PRIDE Time. The school chose to schedule it for 30 minutes, compared to the 68 minutes given to their other five periods dedicated to regular classes. They also chose to include it at the end of the day, right before school lets out. Given this school is a smaller school, you’ll also note that they only have one lunch (also 30 minutes).
Schedule 2 - 1 Flex, 8 Classes, + 4 Lunches
In this example from Nebraska, the school has a single Flex Period called Extra Learning Opportunities. The school chose to schedule it for 29 minutes, compared to the 48 minutes given to their eight other periods dedicated to regular classes. They also chose to include it at the end of the day, right before school lets out. This school also has four lunch periods built into their day, allocating only 24 minutes for each.
Schedule 3 - 2 Flex, 4 Classes, + 3 Lunches
In this Wisconsin-based example, the school has a single Flex Period, called Academic Focus, in their block schedule that consists of 4 regular classes, lasting 90 minutes each and changing at semester. The school chose to give their Academic Focus 30 minutes, right after the first block, so students start their day in a consistent place and get settled. They also chose to include an additional Flex Period called Student/Teacher Consult, three days a week at the end of the day. This school also has three lunch periods built into their day, allocating only 25 minutes for each.
Schedule 4 - 1 Flex, 7 Classes, + 2 Lunches
In the example below from a Wisconsin-based school, they have a single Flex Period, called W-Hour, in their seven-period schedule. They give regular classes 49 minutes each while giving their W-Hour 28 minutes in the late morning before lunch begins. This school has two lunch periods of 35 minutes each.
Schedule 5 - 4 Staggered Flex, 4 Classes, + Four Staggered Lunches
In this example from Minnesota, the school has four Flex Periods, called Resource Periods, in their block schedule that consists of 4 regular classes, lasting 85 minutes each and changing at semester. The school chose to give their Resource Period 37 minutes and stagger them over four different start times that accommodate their four 30-minute lunch periods, all of which happens in conjunction with their third block. In this model, each student and teacher only participates in one of the Resource Periods, so it’s common for students to get academic support from teachers that they don’t have for a particular class when their assigned Resource Period doesn’t line up. While this may seem like it’s not ideal, when teachers of the same subjects work well together, it can be better for students as they get exposed to multiple methods of learning based on different teachers' specific techniques and explanations.
Schedule 6 - 1 Flex, 8 Classes, + 2 Lunches
In this Wisconsin-based example, the school has a single Flex Period in their schedule that consists of 8 regular classes, lasting 50 minutes each. The school chose to give their Flex Period 31 minutes in the mid-morning. This school also has two lunch periods built into their day, allocating 30 minutes for each.
Schedule 7 - 1 Flex, 8 Classes, + 3 Lunches
In this example, the Wisconsin-based school has a single Flex Period, called Anchor Time, in their eight period day, where each class lasts 45 minutes each. The school chose to give their Anchor Time 35 minutes between the first and second half of regular classes. This school also has three lunch periods built into their day, allocating only 30 minutes for each.
Schedule 8 - 3 Flex, 5 Classes, + 3 Lunches
In the example below, this school from Nebraska has four Flex Periods, called Cardinal Time, in their five-block schedule, where each class lasts 84-85 minutes each and rotates on an A/B day schedule. The school chose to give each Cardinal Time 30 minutes coinciding with their three lunch periods, which also receive 30 minutes each for a total of 90 minutes dedicated to Cardinal Time and Lunch each day. Currently, teachers have an assigned lunch each day that dictates when they’re available for students to be assigned for Cardinal Time, where they keep the same students during each 30-minute Cardinal Time block, though they have the option to give students access to two different teachers for each of the two Cardinal Time blocks that they are not eating lunch.
Schedule 9 - 2 Flex, 4 Classes, + 2 Lunches
In this example from Texas, the school has two Flex Periods, called Tutorials, in their 4 block day, where each class lasts 90 minutes each and rotates between odd and even classes each day. The school chose to give their Tutorials 30 minutes that coincide with lunch periods of the same length (often referred to as a Lunch & Learn model). In this model, students have a default lunch period, with the intent that they participate in a Tutorial for the other lunch period. If they choose to, students are also able to opt into two Tutorial Periods and eat lunch during those or swap their default lunch and tutorial periods if their desired teacher doesn’t have the same default lunch period.
Schedule 10 - 2 Flex, 4 Classes, + 2 Lunches
Here, this school in North Carolina has two 30-minute Flex Periods combined with their lunch periods, often referred to locally as a SMART Lunch model. They also have four classes that operate on a block schedule that changes at the semester. Their blocks are 88 minutes each, with the exception of the first block, which gets some extra time for settling in and daily announcements. In this model, students are expected to eat lunch during one of the two options and attend a tutoring, enrichment, or extracurricular session during the other, but it is common for students to take two lunch periods as well.
Schedule 11 - 2 Flex, 4 Classes, + 2 Lunches
In this example from Massachusetts, the school has two 40-minute Flex Periods every other day on their block schedule. Each of their seven classes operates on an alternating block schedule that alternates every other day. Their blocks are 85 minutes each, with Period 3 and Period 6 also containing four different lunch periods of 30 minutes each.
As you see from the examples above, from schools across the country, there are many approaches to implementing Flex Time in high school schedules, with even more in middle schools. But despite the differences that are frequently results of the local context, like bus schedules, size of the student body, the capacity of cafeteria and classrooms, and many others, the purpose is often the same: to provide additional opportunities for students to get the support they need and have a choice in how they spend a part of their school day.
Wherever you are, we hope these 11 examples have been helpful as you consider your own schedule, whether or not you already have a Flex Period built into your school day. If you’re looking for more information on Flex Periods, don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Guide to Flex Periods here. And if you’re looking for more examples or want to connect to find out how to make Flex Periods easier for your school, book an introductory call with us to discuss your specific needs and how we help schools.