June 14, 2024

Lake County’s First Flex School Offers Students a Way to Balance Work, Family & School

1.8 min read| Published On: June 14th, 2024|

By Gina Horan

Lake County’s First Flex School Offers Students a Way to Balance Work, Family & School

1.8 min read| Published On: June 14th, 2024|

Opening this fall in Clermont, the new Lincoln Park Education Center, Lake County’s first flex school, serves students who need to balance their education with part-time work, family responsibilities or other obligations that produce scheduling conflicts. Through this program, students can complete a high school diploma with an 18-credit option by attending classes on a flexible schedule. This initiative, approved by the state, allows students to earn a standard diploma while gaining valuable job skills and potentially earning post-secondary credits.

The new center is developed in partnership with Lake Technical College and Lake Sumter State College, offering on-site dual-enrollment options that eliminate the common barriers to accessing post-secondary education programs.

The center will allow high school students to choose a morning or afternoon/early evening class schedule to allow greater flexibility to work part-time while earning a high school diploma. Students may also select courses from Lake-Sumter State College and/or Lake Technical College, earning dual-enrollment credit as well as industry certifications. 

“As result of Covid,” Principal Jeffrey Williams says, “we saw many students missing school for various legitimate reasons and noticed that these students were trying to do it all while supporting the family structure.”

Williams admits that this was probably needed generations ago but the prevailing societal attitude, at the time was to “just deal with it,” but the pandemic shined a light on a solution that was long overdue.

Now, once construction is finished by the end of summer, students can deal with their off-campus obligations and still pursue their education. 

“The school will provide an array of endless possibilities for students to pursue their personal goals and objectives (career or educational),” he says. 

The program also benefits students who have been retained multiple times, students in need of a smaller class size and more intensive instructional support, students transferring from alternative or non-traditional educational settings who benefit from a smaller class size and students who want to accelerate with an 18-credit diploma option to enter the workforce quickly.

What an instructional day looks like:

  • Face to Face Instruction
  • One-on-one and small group interventions
  • 18-credit high school diploma program
  • Elective courses
  • Workforce training through dual enrollment
  • Mentoring and other support services

The instructional day will be flexible and will include:

  • 180-day enrollment from August through June
  • Students are on campus at least 5 hours per day, Monday-Thursday
  • Fridays will be set-aside for parent or student meeting with teachers.

The school will serve high schoolers in ninth through twelfth grades.

Classes are expected to open for the August 24/25 school year.

*Transportation is available for students at regional pick-up & drop-off hubs.



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About the Author: Gina Horan

Gina moved to central Florida in August of 2021 from the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and spent 10 years as a fashion editor, columnist and food writer for The Knight Ridder Newspaper group. She was also a photo stylist and covered concerts, fashion shows and festivals all over Northern California. In 2000, she joined KSAN radio as a morning show co-host and produced the news and sports content there for 4 years. She also covered travel, events and the restaurant scene for KRON-Bay TV. She is a veteran bartender and has worked in hospitality on and off since high school. Her passions include travel, road trips, history books, baseball, tasting menus and most of all, landing in a new city with no map or guidebook. Gina lives in Oxford with her mom, cats and baby hamster.

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