CALIFON, NJ -- Under a blue sky with a cool breeze in Califon, NJ, FlexSchool awarded its first high school diplomas on June 12 to six graduates and several middle school certificates to students moving from 8th grade to high school. Graduating seniors will attend colleges such as Marist, Muhlenberg, and Seattle University.

About 60 onlookers of family, friends, and students were serenaded with music performed by FlexSchool students, as well a live folk duo. Faculty and staff were on hand, too, and received signed letters and gifts from the students. FlexSchool founders Jacqui Byrne and Nicole Oringer spoke and recognized that both the students and parents were pioneers by enrolling in a new alternative private school.

"To me, there is nothing more exciting than to be at the forefront of exploration. But to be able to have this opportunity took a certain leap of faith and trust amongst you all," Nicole Oringer, co-founder of FlexSchool, told the graduates. "Pioneers don't just happen. In order to investigate a new country, one has to have gone on a journey. Your journeys have all been filled with obstacles. Rather than letting these obstacles obstruct your views, you all opened yourselves up to creating new academic lives because the status quo was not working."

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Jacqui Byrne told the students: "We all love coming to school every day because you are amazing and creative and funny and smart. We love your thousands of questions. I loved the conversation about comparative religion that lasted for 2.5 states on the way back from Vermont, even though I pretend I wanted to be in the other car listening to music. We love how you help the English teachers with our technology problems. We love how accepting you are of every new student. Thank you for being you."

Interest in FlexSchool has grown so much over the last two years that Heidi Molbak, an expert in gifted and 2e education, is joining the team to open another FlexSchool in New Haven, CT in September 2016. 

FlexSchool, in Fanwood and New Haven, specializes in supporting the gifted and 2e (twice exceptional) student population in grades 6-12. Students take classes based on ability rather than age. A relatively new term, 2e refers to "twice-exceptional." The first exceptionality is high ability (giftedness), and the second is a barrier to learning and achieving that includes a wide range of challenges. FlexSchool supports students with high ability who struggle with learning disabilities, attention, executive functioning, slow processing speed and other difficulties, causing them to underachieve in their current school setting. 

At FlexSchool, students have meaningful conversations with their peers and the subject experts who teach courses. Among FlexSchool's course offerings are: American Literature, European Literature, Medieval & Renaissance Literature, and Creative Writing; American History, European History, World History, Philosophy and Economics; Algebra I & II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, and Computer Applications; Latin, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese and Mandarin; Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Organic Chemistry/Biochemistry, and Physics; Art Studio, Community Engagement Long-term Project, and Yoga.

FlexSchool provides a high-quality, flexible, individualized educational experience for divergent thinkers in middle school, high school and post graduate years. For more information, visit

Editor's Note: FlexSchool is an advertiser of TAPintoSPF. For information about advertising, email