Local News

Cary high school serves students who dedicate time to outside interests, activities

Posted September 12, 2016 6:47 p.m. EDT

— A public high school designed to fit the needs of students who have outside interests has opened in Wake County.

Cary's Crossroads Flex, on Dillard Drive, is the first of its kind for public schools in Wake County. The school blends online learning with face-to-face instruction for students who have outside interests, including performing or athletics.

Budding recording artist Brooke Hatala said she spends a lot of time on the road, and that a traditional classroom setting would not work with her schedule.

"I can balance what I love to do and schoolwork while I'm on the road," she said. "School is important to me for sure."

Sam Klaus transferred to Crossroads Flex from Green Hope High School. He said the new school allows for more flexibility with his hockey schedule.

"I play ice hockey for the Carolina Eagles," he said. "It really creates more time and space for practices and workouts and everything."

The curriculum at the school is as rigorous as any other Wake County public high school, and graduation requirements are the same.

While each student may have different outside interests, they are all disciplined and focused while at school.

"They have to be self-advocates," said Dr. Keith Richardson, principal at Crossroads Flex. "They have to be able to look at their schedules and when they are going to dedicate their time to their school work and adjust their schedules based on that."

Keith Lindsay said as a teacher, the biggest challenge for students is collaboration.

"When you bring students into a location like this, they are very likely to disengage from each other because the interface they are using is electronic," Lindsay said.

Lindsay said the team of teachers makes sure that students are interacting with each other as much as possible.

Klaus said while he loves the environment, he does miss a few things about traditional school.

"Yeah, like Friday night football games and stuff," he said.

Richardson said that the school will have a prom, and with 17 seniors they will also have a graduation.

The school, which currently has 73 students and hopes to increase enrollment to 100, is taking applications for new students.