Individualization, at Flint, means that each student is assessed and taught at their specific level in each subject. They progress at their own personal rate of mastery, with teachers constantly assessing and observing to find the right balance that will encourage academic growth and simultaneously foster love of learning. At the same time, the students are kept in class groups with their social peers. This is, for the most part, also the class with their chronological peers, but is subject to a case by case evaluation. Keeping students with their social peer group serves a variety of purposes. Children who are academically advanced benefit from maintaining interactions and friendships with others who are in the same stage of development. Children who are below grade level in any academic areas are encouraged by their continued inclusion with their chronological peers. The teaching staff at Flint is vigilant in their mission of creating classroom cultures that uplift each child. No child is permitted to shame another for their level of work, and the students adapt quickly to the idea that each member of the class works at their own pace and yet are a supportive, cohesive unit. The concept of individualization is key to the educational philosophy of our school. It is unique because it requires a great deal of skill and effort on the part of each classroom teacher, as well as very small class sizes.
Advanced Student Policies
Academically advanced students do not typically “skip” grades at Flint. This is unnecessary due to the individualization policy, mandating that each student is taught at their own unique level in each subject. Additionally, skipping grade levels is often socially and emotionally difficult for students. Even the most academically gifted child needs an adequate length of time to grow and mature. Upper school students who are excelling at their daily coursework are encouraged to take the honor credit option that each class offers. This is a pre-established independent study that complements the required classwork. Successful completion results in an honors credit for the subject on the final transcript. Juniors and seniors may take additional courses for dual credit at Tarrant County College if desired, but these courses must be scheduled either before school, after school, or online, and may not interfere with classes at Flint. Regardless of transcript credits, upper school students are required to take a full course load during their time at Flint.
Class Combination and Teacher Looping
It is our goal for each elementary student to remain with each teacher for two full school years, a modified Waldorf school model known as looping. This facilitates a strong teacher-student bond, which makes deeper learning and growth possible. Additionally, it is common at Flint to have combination classes – pre-school and kindergarten, for example, or fourth and fifth grade. Because each student is taught at their own individual pace, and because the topics in history and science are on a rotating sequence for the entire grammar school, looping and combining create very little repetition over the course of two years.