By Parijat Jha, ’11 & Will Seymour, ’11

Principal Kip Greenhill and the faculty at UAHS had a tough decision on their hands pertaining to the flex credit option; although the option was mandatory to all schools in the state of Ohio when first proposed, schools were later given a one-year reprieve from the state if they were not ready to use flex credit for the 2010-11 school year. Despite the short timeframe to prepare and perfect the option, the faculty decided to take on the project and do the best it could.

Public Speaking

Senior Abe Lucey prepares to take his exam. Although 27 students originally signed up to flex out of Public Speaking over the summer, only two took the test and prepared speeches. Photo by Vince Camillo

After hearing about the flex credit option last spring, many students initially planned to use the option to flex out of required coursework. Some of these students later realized the flex credit option still requires a fair amount of preparation and work. Public Speaking teacher Chris Goddard experienced the results of this realization firsthand.

According to Goddard, 27 students originally signed up flex out of the course. Ultimately, only two students out of the original 27 completed the flex credit process. Senior Abe Lucey was one of these students. He said he used the flex credit option so he can keep his schedule open for other classes he would prefer to take.

Lucey, an IB Diploma candidate, doesn’t turn down any challenge when it comes to his schoolwork and studies, but admits that he was weary of flexing out of Public Speaking.

“It’s challenging, and flex credit definitely shouldn’t be used by students who don’t know anything about what they’re flexing out of,” Lucey said.

Although Lucey passed the class, he wishes he had had more contact with the teacher.

Lucey said the point of the flex credit option was to learn on your own.

“I was surprised when I found out I could e-mail back and forth with the teacher. I was a little confused with the exact requirements of the class,” Lucey said. “I think the administration should take it upon themselves to outline the class and make sure every student has a firm understanding of what they’re getting themselves into.”

The requirements for Public Speaking include three written speeches which are presented during the exam, one impromptu speech, and a written exam with approximately 150 multiple choice questions.

While the future of flex credit is still unclear, assistant principal Emilie Greenwald said she sees it as just another option for advanced students.

“Flex credit just allows students who excel [in a subject] get credit for [that knowledge],” Greenwald said.

According to both Greenhill and Greenwald, flex credit can be a good thing, but it takes a lot of careful planning and personal reflection, otherwise it can harm their future success in the more advanced classes in the subject they used flex credit.