Crossroads FLEX High School's vision is to “guide and graduate students whose individual pursuits empower them to emblazon change upon the world.”


At Crossroads FLEX High School, around seven percent of students identify as Latine, and approximately six percent identify as Black. A total of 1.4 percent of students at Crossroads FLEX are classified as diverse learners or receive special education services. Under one percent of students receive free or reduced-price lunch.

Experience Overview

Crossroads FLEX High School serves students in grades 9-12 whose outside interests and activities – called “pursuits” – require considerable time during typical school hours. The school has a flexible hybrid schedule that allows students to engage in their outside obligations while simultaneously meeting requirements for high school graduation and attending to college and career readiness.

Learning In Action

The typical Crossroads FLEX student is deeply involved in an external “pursuit” (e.g., professional sports training, performing arts), which requires a significant time and travel commitment, preventing them from being able to attend daily in-person classes. To address this, students attend school on a hybrid schedule that allows time for both their academic and professional journeys.

All students must meet a minimum number of in-person hours on campus (“seat time”) for state accountability. Most students are on campus for at least two days per week, usually on Mondays/Wednesdays or Tuesdays/Thursdays, although they can come more often if their schedule allows. Students in ninth grade need to be on campus for a minimum of 12 hours per week, but as students progress through grades, their minimum requirement decreases to nine hours per week for students in tenth and eleventh grades, and six hours per week for students in twelfth grade.

When students are on campus, they are able to decide what their schedule looks like; they can attend face-to-face classes, collaborate with other students in breakout rooms, work one-on-one with a teacher, or complete work asynchronously in the commons area with additional staff support. The virtual components of each course are posted on the school’s learning management system, Canvas, where students can asynchronously access their coursework during the days they are not on campus. Students can also take electives through North Carolina Virtual, a state-run online program that offers students opportunities to take virtual courses that align with their district’s program planning guide but are not offered at the school level.

In addition to academics, students can engage in extracurricular activities at Crossroads FLEX, helping to build a sense of community. Students can join clubs such as the National Honor Society and student council, as well as participate in on-campus events ranging from class meetings to a senior brunch. Students also support each other’s individual pursuits by attending classmates’ games and performances outside of school.

Teaching In Action

Each educator at Crossroads FLEX teaches grades 9-12 in one subject area, allowing for teacher-student relationships to continue throughout all four years of a student’s tenure. On a daily basis, teachers will conduct a few face-to-face classes, have a planning period, and supervise lunch or the commons area. The commons area serves as a vital component of the school’s hybrid environment where students can receive one-on-one support as needed, so staffing the commons is an important role for each teacher. Educators help students who may not necessarily be in their own class but in a course that relates to their discipline, and are able to answer questions, offer support for assignments, and help students complete asynchronous coursework.

Teachers design each of their courses with a mix of synchronous instruction that is delivered in-person and asynchronous instruction that students can access through Canvas. Since Crossroads FLEX is a public district high school, they follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) and adapt its components to their unique model. While building online lessons, teachers focus on “sticking to the essentials” to effectively deliver the content and keep students engaged.

In addition to curriculum, teachers also work on building a sense of community by making students’ time on campus meaningful. They empower students to take on leadership roles (e.g., giving campus tours to visitors), host informal events (e.g., senior brunch), and become active members of student clubs to build social connections. Many teachers serve as club leaders or advisors, so they often wear multiple hats in a small school environment.

Associated Resources

The strategies and artifacts below explore some of the best practices used by Crossroads FLEX, which can be replicated, adapted, and implemented across different school settings.

Conditions for Success

  • Community & Culture: Crossroads FLEX’s hybrid schedule helps to build a healthy community and school culture, supporting relationship-building and allowing for student engagement in clubs, after-school events, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, as a hybrid school, students are required to take at least one class with a face-to-face teacher each semester so that they stay connected to the community.

  • Physical Environment: The school has a central work space (called the “commons” area) where students can complete their coursework and receive one-on-one support from teachers as needed. The school also has two classroom spaces and a multipurpose room that can be used as an additional classroom or a more informal “cafe.”

  • Time: Students have some choice in when they come to school based on their "pursuit" schedules. Courses are most often offered once in the morning and once in the afternoon, two days per week. Most core content courses are taught in person, while electives are asynchronous.

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