Choice in Study Session location for “Flex Thursday” gives students more options


Camille Panuwat/Devayani Batra

Students work in the room of art teacher Carolyn Moore on Oct. 6, the first day of the new “Flex Thursday” options for Study Session, which allows students to choose where they want to go for the 35-minute period between third and fourth periods.

Natasha Cohen, Staff Writer

The addition of a free choice for the 35-minute Study Session period on Thursdays is something students have looked forward to since the beginning of this school year, and it finally became real. 

As of Oct. 6, students now get to sign up for whatever classroom they want or need to attend the Thursday Study Session between third and fourth periods. Students use an online sign-up process through the Teachmore app, placing themselves in one of about 60 classroom choices. Similarly, teachers can plan for a specific group of students – for instance a study group for a planned topic – and designate those students to attend their class on a Thursday.

“I find it really useful,” senior Kesenia Goldstein said. “It allows me to work with people I don’t normally work with, and to connect with my teachers.”

“I kind of wish we had [Flex Thursday] both days,” senior Zoe Cheaterman said.

Northgate is modeling the flexible Study Session on other successful programs. “We’ve seen SS work at other high schools nearby,” Vice Principal, Tyler Rosecrans said about the thought process behind why SS was added to Northgate and the addition of Flex Thursday. “Students really liked it,” Rosecrans continued. “It gave them more choice and more voice, and that’s what we want to do, have students have an option to pick something they may need.”

Having the new study session period structured like a homeroom has already been helpful for students to get work done at school, which lowers the amount of work that has to be done at home. It’s also flexible. 

Students are now able to sign into a Thursday Study Session class of their choice through the Teachmore website and select a teacher’s class they need to get classwork done, make up a test, or study with others. Students have their ID cards scanned when they come into the classroom to be marked present, which allows for a quicker and less distracting way for teachers to get attendance done. 

Senior Anna Sinz likes that Flex Thursday doesn’t require a seating chart, allowing students to work with anyone they need to. “It’s one of the best things that has ever happened at Northgate,” Sinz added.

Some students expressed some room for improvement. Junior Noah Jennings said he likes the choice Thursdays, but he wishes students could have until Wednesday to sign up for a class. He also wishes that a simple Google form, and not the Teachmore App, could be used to sign up for classes.

Meanwhile, Study Session still continues with students in their regularly assigned classes on Tuesdays.  Administrators say that overall, the plan for study time every Tuesday and Thursday, not every day, is  to help students avoid burnout. “Having SS just a couple days a week was a good mix,” Rosecrans commented. 

Now on Thursdays, students will be able to move to their classroom of choice, which could help even more with getting work done at school. “Instead of just having one SS and that’s all you get, [Flex Thursday] just makes it a bit better,” Rosecrans said. 

Students could use the Flex period on Thursdays for other reasons than classwork, as some of the teachers who run clubs have their doors open during the study session so that students can get work done for their club during that time. “I think that’s a great way to have more club involvement,”  Rosecrans commented. “We’re excited to watch staff use it for club purposes.”