Should Vanguard students have the opportunity to go blended?

By Ally Jorgensen

As the chatter slowly fades away in the Vanguard classrooms each morning, the students start to work independently on their practice assignments, checkpoints, and performance assessments. Some students prefer the classroom environment, having immediate access to help from teachers. However, others wish they could work outside of the classroom on their independent work. 

Recently, there has been talk of implementing a blended-type system into the Vanguard classrooms to avoid distractions and reward students who are ahead of the “green light” pace.  

Lots of students find that it can be very difficult to focus on their work in a noisy room and claim that it can be hard to get things done and have a productive day. Others enjoy working alongside their classmates and find that extra help from teachers is ideal. 

“I think [Vanguard] should be blended because we already have the structure of a blended class. For instance, in math class we watch videos to learn. We [could] easily do that from home and come in and ask questions if needed,” sophomore Abigail Rice said. 

On the other hand, teachers worry that students will take advantage of their blended time, and fall behind in their classes. 

“I don’t believe Vanguard should be blended because we will end up rewarding vanguard students [who are] on pace when we should be allowing kids who are ahead of pace to be blended. [Being blended] could potentially get misused,” sophomore Vanguard math teacher Patrick Odarczenko said. 

Instead of going blended in Vanguard, teachers are throwing the idea of “flexing” around. 

“The idea of ‘flexing’ where they’re working [in the school], is different than blended. [They are] still [working at] the school, but potentially ‘flexing’ to areas like the Hub or the commons,” Odarczenko said.

It is currently unclear if teachers will start letting kids “flex” around the school anytime soon, but lots of Vanguard students are hoping to receive those opportunities at some point. Why should the rest of the students at Huntley High School get the opportunity to work outside of the classroom while the Vanguard students are stuck inside?