Athletes, performers and other Wake County teenagers who don’t want a traditional high school schedule have found a home this school year at the new Crossroads Flex High School.
Crossroads Flex, which opened in August, allows students to take a mix of online and in-person courses in the morning, afternoon or evening. This first-of-its kind Wake school system program has attracted students whose outside pursuits conflict with the standard 7:25 a.m. to 2:18 p.m. high school schedule.
“These students love school,” said Keith Richardson, principal of Crossroads. “They love all components of completing their education in order to prepare for post-secondary education. They just needed a different pathway.”
Crossroads Flex’s 78 students include hockey players, soccer players, a professional figure skater, dancers, recording artists, actors and students who have daytime jobs. Richardson said many students came from private schools, home-schools and charter schools.
“You meet so many new people every day,” said Sam Klaus, 16, a junior from Cary. “It’s really cool because you’ve got actors, singers and athletes.”
Klaus transferred from Green Hope High School in Cary because Crossroads Flex gives him more free time as he plays travel ice hockey with the Carolina Eagles. Klaus is focused on getting accepted into the University of Vermont to play ice hockey.
It’s more like college. You’re more independent. It can help you go to the next level.
Sam Klaus, 16, a junior
The online courses are offered by the N.C. Virtual Public School. Students can take those courses at home or on campus, which is at 5651 Dillard Drive in Cary.
“It’s more like college,” Klaus said. “You’re more independent. It can help you go to the next level.”
Students have to be at the school at least 10 hours a week, but Richardson said that requirement can be waived if teens are out of town for activities.
Freshmen like Kevan Kahoussi, 14, of Apex are required to spend 15 hours a week on campus to help them get adjusted to high school. But Kahoussi, who is in the Capital Area RailHawks Development Academy, said Crossroads’ time requirements make it easier to fit in soccer practice each day.
“I want to do more with soccer than just play at CASL (Capital Area Soccer League) or anything like that,” Kahoussi said. “I came here so I can practice more and get more done.”
More than 40 students show up on campus each day to meet with teachers for tutoring and small-group classes. Keith Lindsay, an English teacher and academic coach for the school’s freshmen and seniors, helps make sure the students are on track in their courses.
“The students are motivated,” Lindsay said. “The students come to this location wanting something specific for their educational future.”
Crossroads Flex can hold 125 students, so it’s still accepting more students for this school year. Richardson said the lack of set class times means prospective students need to be disciplined for the rigorous program.
“They have to be self-motivated,” Richardson said. “They have to be self-dependent. They just have to have a desire to learn and a desire for a non-traditional pathway to school.”
Learn more about Crossroads Flex
Crossroads Flex High School is still accepting students for the 2016-17 school year. Registration for the 2017-18 school year will begin Oct. 7 for current Wake County Public School System students and is open from Nov. 5 to Dec. 16 for other students. For more information, go to www.wcpss.net/crossroadsflexhs or call 919-694-8515.