BY SKYE GOMEZ
Last spring, the Flex Room, in which students stayed during their free periods, was closed because the administration said students’ behavior there was out of control. At first, this closing led to a solution in which many people were unhappy: students had to stay in the hallways, which made it very hard for them to do homework and interact with each other like they did in the Flex Room. Then they were allowed to stay in particular rooms that were available during their free periods.
Now it’s a new year, and while the Flex Room is still closed, and although not everyone is happy with it, an improved version of the second alternative seems to be working well.
Although we’re not in the same big room as last year, when people have a free they are to stay in a particular room with the designated teacher that week. The subs being hired to supervise seem to have more control over the students than last year and the students as a whole are better behaved.
However, students, such as Agim Lamaj, are unhappy with it. I asked him if he misses the Flex Room and he said, “Yes I miss it very much. Because it used to be very fun and I used to complete my work.” It seems that what Agim, and others don’t like is the fact that a lot of the free room teachers don’t let the children speak, even when it has to do with work. In fact, he said, “It’s actually an alright alternative. It could be better, though, if we had more freedom and a laptop cart in the room.”
I spoke to Ms. Jessica Marchetti, assistant principal, about the issue of teachers not letting the students talk to each other and she said, “I think that quiet collaboration should be and is allowed. The problem is when students start to become off task.”
Even though, according to Ms. Marchetti, students are “more productive when they have a space to work,” I asked her why the Flex Room didn’t reopen after students agreed they would take more care of it and behave better. She said, “The Flex Room did not reopen, unfortunately, because we needed to use the space in 226-228 for new classes.” She added, “For the near future, I don’t foresee us getting more space. However, I still think it would be great if students volunteered to monitor the study hall and make it great.”