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Students enjoy new flex extensions

Junior+Alexis+Ortega+plays+along+in+Susan+McKenzie%27s+flex+extension%2C+Modern+Rock+Band.
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Students enjoy new flex extensions

Junior Alexis Ortega plays along in Susan McKenzie's flex extension, Modern Rock Band.

Junior Alexis Ortega plays along in Susan McKenzie's flex extension, Modern Rock Band.

Angelea Fingado

Junior Alexis Ortega plays along in Susan McKenzie's flex extension, Modern Rock Band.

Angelea Fingado

Angelea Fingado

Junior Alexis Ortega plays along in Susan McKenzie's flex extension, Modern Rock Band.

Angelea Fingado, Staff Writer

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The flex program has expanded to include “extension” classes.

Students have been using their flex time for extra help with teachers and “interventions” if they have an average of below 75.

“Intervention is for students that need assistance; for example, if you missed a test because you were out sick. That’s intervention,” Principal Daniel Donovan says.

In addition, teachers have been hosting “enrichment” or “extension” flexes to engage students in new areas of learning and to offer some fun throughout their new, dense block schedules.

Junior Christian Coronel sings along while other students play along in Modern Rock Band flex.

Guitar and piano teacher Susan McKenzie, for instance, holds her Modern Rock Band extension on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in room A306.

“Students really love getting together and playing music,” McKenzie says. “My flex is always filled.”

Senior Genesis Freitas says, “I take modern rock band during flex to get extra practice with guitar and to meet and play with others who have the same interests.”

McKenzie lets students use instruments such as electric guitar, acoustic guitar, keyboard, bass and the drum kit.

Sophomore Daniel Silva says he looks forward to every week in McKenzie’s flex. “It helps me practice with the instrument I play, and to play with other instruments that I can’t play outside of class,” he said.

Senior Marco Frascone adds:  “I love it! I get to do a lot of things I’m usually not able to do. I can expand on my learning in art and music.”

Speech arts teacher Michael Burnett offers his “Focus Fridays” to manage stress, stage fright and anxiety associated with performance, public speaking and daily living. No cell phones allowed in this flex.

Junior Elizabeth Valencia says it’s a great way to take a break from the stresses of classes and academics.

”It teaches ways to relax and focus,” Valencia says. “We all sit in a circle and close our eyes while relaxing music plays in the background. Afterwards we talk about how we felt and what we got out of it. It’s my favorite part of the week.”

Junior Delaney Dempster adds: “Focus Fridays are great, they’re a good way to get away from the stress of core classes. I think focus Fridays are a good use of flex time.”

Meanwhile, In the G gym, Caitlin Lewis holds a yoga enrichment flex on Friday.

“We do a mix of building strength, deep breathing and stress relief,” the crisis counselor said.

Lewis says she has a lot of repeat students who enjoy the class. She says that block schedules can be prolonged and she likes to provide students with a healthy escape.

Some other extension flexes open to students are story time with Social Studies teacher Michelle Passarelli in D380 on Wednesday, building connections with board games with CTEE teacher Sterling Miller in A208 on Wednesday, stress management with Science teacher Raymond Marchinkoski on the first Wednesday of each month in C541, and film appreciation with Scott Carrizzo in the black box theater on Thursday and Friday.

Not all ideas from staff get approved. Donovan says he has to take into consideration whether the school has the room for what’s been pitched. Another consideration is whether the teacher proposing the idea should running such a flex instead of helping struggling students in their respective courses.

“Kids who are going to them love them and want more of them,” Donovan says. “But it’s a balance we have to maintain between a non-academic flex versus an academic flex.”

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About the Writer
Angelea Fingado, Staff Writer

My name is Angelea Fingado. I am a junior at Danbury High School. This is my first year working with the Hatters Herald. For as long as I can remember...

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Students enjoy new flex extensions