Integrated vs Traditional Program

By Ana D. and Felicia M.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! No, I’m not talking about Christmas, I’m talking about the time to choose courses for the upcoming year. The whole Mid-High campus is anxiously scratching their heads. Should I choose Art or Drama, Biology or Physics, or should I take all four? Indeed, it’s a very confusing time for all, with many compromises and tears. To add to the pain, Grade nines this year are faced with an additional choice. Many students will be wondering whether to take the new option, better known as FLEX, or remain in the traditional program. To aid you in making the best decision possible we interviewed other students to find out what they have to say about this dilemma.

Grade ten opinions

The representatives for the Traditional Program are two girls, Hilda and Mayonnaise. The Integrated representatives are a boy and a girl, Eeyore and Glen, respectively.


What do you like and dislike about the integrated/traditional program?

Eeyore (I)– I like that I can work at my own pace on assignments. The teachers don’t really crack down on assignments though, which makes you lose motivation to actually get it done. The thing is, the teachers let you have way too much free time. For the past three months I’ve just been watching How I Met Your Mother or Friends.


Hilda (T)-You get more attention, because there are a lot of people in the integrated program and our classes are a lot smaller. It may not sound as fun, but it’s a lot better if you’re struggling. It’s a lot more focus work on a subject.


Mayonnaise (T)-What I like about the traditional program is that it keeps your work ethic up. If you don’t learn something you’ll do badly. It’s hard to keep up. If there’s a portion of a unit that you don’t understand you have to learn it yourself, and you have to go with your class’s speed.


Glen (I)-If you’re an organized person and you have a good work ethic but you also like to relax, FLEX is a good choice for you. If you get material and finish it quickly you can do it. If you have a bad work ethic there is no pressure to finish it. Work snowballs and you end up with a lot of missing assignments. You can seek out the teachers and they give you a lot of personal advice, but you have to seek them out. You need to know that you need to stay on things


What are some positive and negative experiences you’ve had in FLEX/traditional?

Eeyore (I)– We don’t actually get pushed to do well academically, they just let us do our thing most of the time. The 20s and 10s [math] are separate, so the one on one interaction is there, cause it’s a small classroom. A negative experience, on Anil’s Ghost, a book we were supposed to read, we were supposed to hand in an essay and a presentation for it. That was supposed to be done two months ago and I’m on page fifteen of the book. There was a time that he asked for something and I handed it in about a month late, he [Mr. Doyle] looked at it for ten minutes and gave me 100%.


Hilda (T)-While I was in FLEX, I don’t think I handed anything in at all, I wasn’t really pushed to do anything. It’s fun, but not good academically. In traditional I had a lot of time to get assignments in cause I came into the program late, I handed a lot more in and had more focus put on me to make sure I handed stuff in, and the class sizes were smaller. I still don’t hand a lot of stuff in, but that’s just me.


Mayonnaise (T): Sometimes your classes are much smaller if you do traditional. In social I had fifteen people in my class. You get different teachers for subjects so there is a variety of teaching styles.


Note:There were over forty students in the integrated program this year


Glen (I): I had a very positive experience when, say something happens and you’re sick and you’re not ready for a test, it’s flexible, and they extended the day and offered extra studying because I was proactive and spoke to them. Negative experience? Things snowball, say you sleep one class, doodle the next class, then sleep the next class, which I have done. That’s three days of work that you haven’t done. You miss out on the enriched learning if you don’t pay attention.


What made you choose integrated/traditional? Do you regret that choice?

Mayonnaise (T)-When I was in junior high we essentially had the FLEX program, and I wanted a change. I’m not a very self driven person, so if I was in FLEX I wouldn’t get anything done and probably fail high school.


Glen (I)-I didn’t pick FLEX. I wanted to go into traditional actually so I could get more courses in. My mom signed me up for me without me knowing, it didn’t appeal to me at all. The first semester I didn’t do anything, now I’ve caught up mostly. Yea, I do regret it, not because of my experience, but because I’d rather have a larger amount of credits in a shorter amount of time. I could finish FLEX in a shorter amount of time. I would prefer a compact thing so that I have structure. I like getting stuff done, but it was a lot of sleeping and eating and sleeping.


Hilda (T)-I didn’t like being in FLEX because I wasn’t getting anything done. I don’t regret my decision to leave. What made me choose FLEX is that the traditional program wasn’t really working for me either. They made it sound like it was gonna do stuff off of personal needs, like if Eeyore wasn’t good at math but he was good at memorizing song lyrics, what they’d let him do is rap a math project. They didn’t live up to the expectations that they set for themselves. For me with traditional, they let me do whatever I want, but there are still confines. I have special stuff, so they let me have more time for assignments.


Eeyore (I)-The thing is, initially I chose traditional, but there weren’t enough people in FLEX, so they asked a bunch of teachers like Mrs. Dunseith or McCartney to select creative learners they thought would be good for it. They gave us a special presentation that said we could have four assignment that we could hand in as one large one. They said that there was this thing where a guy didn’t want to do the history of some country but he loved songs, so he made a song where the notes spelled out an essay. They used a bunch of different ways to hand in assignments that traditional courses didn’t offer. But now that I’ve been in FLEX this whole year, they’ve stopped mixing subjects and they say now is your math time, now is your social time. I feel betrayed.


Grade nine opinions

While it’s all fine and dandy to interview people who have already gone through the two programs, it’s also important to ask the ones who are actually faced with this enormous choice. So we did just that, we asked eight grade 9 students, four guys and four girls, how they feel about the two programs. The results were… mixed. These students also have fake names:


Tyrone-Traditional, because FLEX, honestly the way that they’re putting all the courses into two blocks I don’t really trust the school to structure time to ensure that students pass all their courses.


Franceso Rodriguez-Traditional, because having a structure is easier for me to follow even if there is more bulk involved. I’m pretty scatterbrained, but not scatterbrained enough to grab an assignment and do it.


Python-It’s not what I want to go into, it’s what I have to go into. I’ve taken science ten and math ten, so I can’t go into FLEX. If I could, I’d probably go into FLEX, cause the people I’ve asked about it said it was cool.


Matilda– FLEX, because it’ll be easier to manage because the due dates aren’t supposed to be as close together, which will be easier to balance with my extra-curriculars.


June-Traditional, because I’m honestly lazy. From my experience, I did much better [this year] than in grade eight when they combined all our classes into the same blocks. I also don’t want to take all of my exams at once


Violetta-Integrated, cause it’s easier for me. You have all your cores in the morning, and your options in the afternoon, and you’ll have the same finals.


Xana-My mom is making me do FLEX. I think it’s really interesting, like, the benefits are not that high but it depends on how you learn


Lily-Traditional, because I like structure, FLEX has a really good benefit of less structure, but I like the structure as it is now. FLEX would make it harder for me to advance in my skill sets. I don’t want to mix my favourite subjects with my least favourite so they have less overlap.

Keeping in mind the opinions of students who have gone through grade ten, and those who have yet to go into it, what program will you go into? Everyone has a different opinion on to the integrated program and the traditional program but what’s yours? It all depends on how you learn and what you believe is best for yourself. Just remember: choose wisely.


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