Third Time’s the Charm: MHS Moves Back to FlexiSched

Lauren Lamson

Deciding the platform for All School Resource (ASR) sign-ups is a game of prioritization, often requiring sacrifices. After one semester of Infinite Campus Responsive Scheduling, unexpected hiccups with the Infinite Campus system, combined with a recent change to the FlexiSched software, the former ASR system, have given FlexiSched an edge. As a result, the Middleton High School (MHS) administration has decided to return ASR sign-up to FlexiSched for the second half of the 2022-2023 school year. 

Moving forward, MHS students must now sign up for ASR offerings through FlexiSched, a platform that had been in use at MHS since 2015 until last September. Students can sign up for the school-wide study hall period until 2:20 p.m. on the B day of ASR, three minutes into the ASR block. Students had a chance to try out the system for the first time on Jan. 17, the Tuesday of finals week. 

The FlexiSched sign-up page looks different from Responsive Scheduling. Students are scheduled for their advisory teacher by default. (Lauren Lamson)

Many students, especially upperclassmen, are glad to see FlexiSched return. As The Cardinal Chronicle reported last November, many students and staff were frustrated with Responsive Scheduling because it was inflexible and required more advanced planning. According to the administration, Responsive Scheduling was unrolled in September to make attendance more timely, and they hoped it would be simpler for teachers.

“We were looking for something that was more streamlined and could all be done within Infinite Campus,” said Carmen Klassy, the Associate Principal for Phoenix House. 

Klassy has been working with the technology department and a handful of teachers to find the best ASR sign-up format for MHS, and in May 2022 they decided Responsive Scheduling was the best format for the school’s needs.

Teachers complained in the past about FlexiSched and managing attendance on two systems: Infinite Campus for scheduled classes and FlexiSched for ASR. Responsive Scheduling would eliminate that toggling between two formats, and it also reduced attendance headaches for MHS’s administrative assistants.

“When we decided to make the switch, it wasn’t automatic from FlexiSched to put the attendance into Infinite Campus,” Klassy said. 

All attendance data had to be transferred over between systems, and any FlexiSched sign-ups that occurred late, after the block began, had to be manually input into Infinite Campus. This delayed attendance updates and calls home about absences. 

“We were just trying to make the procedures and systems around it a little bit easier for teachers, but once we got into Responsive Scheduling, there were limitations that we didn’t really see coming,” Klassy said. 

Once again, the limitations had to do with attendance. When parents call in to excuse their student for an upcoming block, MHS’s administrative assistants excuse their attendance on Infinite Campus for each missed block. But ASR could not be excused if the student did not sign up for a class in Responsive Scheduling, which they often did not do, knowing they would be gone.  

“The student would have to sign up first or a staff [member] would have to sign them up in order to take the attendance, which is maybe even more clunky than what we originally thought,” Klassy said. 

At the same time that this problem was arising, FlexiSched was unveiling a new update to their system: automatic transfer of attendance from FlexiSched to Infinite Campus. The scale tipped a little bit more strongly in FlexiSched’s favor, and now for second semester, MHS will be returning to the old system with a new feature. 

For students, that means more time to sign up, improved search tools on the sign-up page and more help getting registered each B day. All teachers are now able to edit student sign-ups, so students will no longer solely rely on their advisory teacher for last-minute changes. Seniors are still automatically assigned to senior release, and they should sign up for an offering if they are staying in the building for safety and so their teachers know who to expect. 

As MHS readjusts its ASR habits for the third time this year, Klassy is hoping students will take advantage of the block as a time “to connect with their teachers in a more intimate setting” and create their own valuable learning opportunities.