New Security Enhancements at Flex Academies ONE

As you are aware, safety is priority ONE at Flex Academies ONE. We are always looking for ways to make the online enrichment experience the best it can be for our kids and our staff. This week, Zoom, the platform we use to host our online enrichment, announced an upgrade to its security. On May 30th, Zoom will enable enhanced encryption that will provide another layer of security for its users. Among the other features of Zoom 5.0 will be a requirement for longer passwords (6 or more characters) and a new way for hosts to report someone who is misusing the platform. You can read more about the updates on Zoom’s blog. Along with the Flex Academies online coordinator, who is present at every session to supervise and to address technical issues, the new Zoom technology will offer yet another layer of safety for kids as they enjoy learning online. After May 30th, families will receive a forced update from Zoom that will need to be completed before joining new sessions, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for that. We’re confident this upgrade will make your child’s fun, online learning experience the safest it can be.

Five Tips for Parents Looking for Online Enrichment for Their Kids

There are plenty of ways to keep your kids occupied online, but if you’re looking for active, not passive, engagement, consider enrolling your child in online enrichment. How do you know that you’re choosing the right online enrichment? When you’re looking for online enrichment, here are some tips to guide you. Your child’s online enrichment should be: 1. Safe You want to know who your kids are online with, and that no one gets access to an online session who shouldn’t. Flex Academies ONE background-checks and prescreens all its online instructors. In addition to the instructor, there is an online coordinator in each session to make sure that only authorized individuals, those with the proper access codes, are allowed to enter. Your child’s safety is the first priority at Flex Academies ONE. 2. Social With schools closed and quarantine measures in place, kids miss their friends and interaction with others. Flex Academies ONE online enrichment is social. Your child can see others, including friends and family in other cities, laughing and learning right along with her. The experience provides a social connection at a time when kids need it most. 3. Scheduled When you sign your child up for a session at Flex Academies ONE, you know exactly what day and time that session will take place. It’s a live learning experience. With all our schedules upended due to the pandemic, a scheduled enrichment session provides a sense of normalcy in a less-than-normal world. Your child will look forward to his session on that day and time. 4. Fun Some online activity providers offer a few areas of interest, but Flex Academies ONE currently offers more than 40 different subjects to explore! With subjects like cooking, yoga, zoology, Spanish, piano and many more, there’s bound to be an area of interest for your child. And the learning is active, not passive. Kids participate in their sessions: They dance, move, cook, act, sing and contribute to the experience. It’s designed to be fun and engaging! 5. An Experience that Instills a Love of Learning Make sure that your online instructor is an expert in that field, and just as importantly, is passionate about it. At Flex Academies ONE, our enrichment instructors know their subjects very well and aim to instill a love in learning for it in the children they work with. They’re excited about teaching and learning, and that enthusiasm shows in their sessions. Your child may develop a new-found interest in dance, science or another field she hadn’t explored until now. Who knows, you may be the parent of a rising star!

Flex Academies ONE spotlighted on Washington D.C.’s NBC News 4

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joshua Chernikoff May 5, 2020 (202) 891-8288 Flex Academies ONE was the subject of a recent on-air report by Melissa Mollet on NBC News 4 in Washington, D.C., this week. The report focused on the online enrichment that Flex Academies ONE offers. Mollet talked about the fact that Flex Academies typically offers before- and afterschool enrichment and childcare to over 100,000 school children, but that the enrichment has now moved to online. Mollet mentioned that these enrichment classes are for students from PreK-6th grade and that there are currently over 40 classes to choose from, including cooking, magic, gymnastics, piano, and zoology, to name a few. Flex Academies Founder and CEO Joshua Chernikoff appeared in the report, explaining that the classes are scheduled and safe. He explained that an online coordinator is present in each session, along with the instructor, to make sure that the only individuals with access are those who are supposed to be there. “And it’s social,” said Chernikoff. “So we do have kids and families that are on opposite sides of the country joining in on enrichment.” Mollet indicated that classes start at $6.80 per session, and that Flex Academies ONE is offering scholarships to children of first responders and medical professionals. The report showed video of children having fun as they took part in online learning. Because the learning is scheduled and supervised, Mollet called Flex Academies ONE “a break for parents after online learning is done for the day.” To learn more about Flex Academies ONE enrichment programs, visit their website. About Flex Academies and Flex Academies ONE Flex Academies is a rapidly growing, first-in-kind, premier enrichment, before and after-school care and vacation camp provider. The company aggregates, manages, and provides enrichment programming, afterschool care, and camps for elementary and middle school students, easing the burden on PTAs and preventing “volunteer burnout,” all while making safety its Number One Priority. Flex Academies currently serves more than 80 schools in six states. Since its founding in 2011, more than 250,000 students’ lives have been enriched by Flex Academies. The company’s strong brand was the foundation for the newly launched Flex Academies ONE, where the “ONE” stands for Online Enrichment. As schools have closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Flex Academies ONE brings the same safe, social, high-quality enrichment that families have come to know and trust into their homes, courtesy of the internet. To learn more about Flex Academies ONE, visit their website at https://www.flexone.live.

Flex Academies ONE Highlighted on Fox 5 Television and “Oh My Goff” Podcast

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Joshua Chernikoff April 30, 2020 (202) 891-8288 This week, Flex Academies CEO and Founder Joshua Chernikoff appeared on Fox 5’s Good Day DC show, as well as Angie Goff’s “Oh My Goff” podcast. In each appearance, he spoke with host Angie Goff about Flex Academies ONE. Chernikoff, who founded Flex Academies nine years ago, talked about the transition from on site, after-school enrichment to online programs. Goff asked him how the transition has been. “It was back-breaking,” Chernikoff said. He explained that the pandemic and resulting school closings forced a drastic shift in his business model – including furloughing employees he hopes to bring back. Then he got the idea to bring Flex Academies’ signature brand of safe, fun, enrichment to kids everywhere, online, and Flex Academies ONE was born. The “ONE” stands for Online Enrichment, says Chernikoff. Chernikoff emphasized the safety of the online sessions, noting that students must enter a code to get into the session, and that in addition to the instructor, there is an online coordinator present for every session. He explained that students can take a variety of enrichment courses, including improv, dance, yoga, cooking and Spanish. Goff told her audience that the cost is under $7 per session for a package. Prices vary among plans and scheduled courses. Goff showed her own kids enjoying the yoga and improv sessions presented by Flex Academies ONE as she talked about the program. Chernikoff said that in addition, Flex Academies ONE is giving away 100 hours per week to the families of doctors, nurses and first responders on the front lines fighting to keep us all healthy from COVID-19. To learn more about this initiative or Flex ONE’s safe, fun enrichment, go to the Flex Academies ONE website at https://www.flexone.live/ About Flex Academies and Flex Academies ONE Flex Academies is a rapidly growing, first-in-kind, premier enrichment, before and after-school care and vacation camp provider. The company aggregates, manages, and provides enrichment programming, afterschool care, and camps for elementary and middle school students, easing the burden on PTAs and preventing “volunteer burnout,” all while making safety its Number One Priority. Flex Academies currently serves more than 80 schools in six states. Since its founding in 2011, more than 250,000 students’ lives have been enriched by Flex Academies. The company’s strong brand was the foundation for the newly launched Flex Academies ONE, where the “ONE” stands for Online Enrichment. As schools have closed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Flex Academies ONE brings the same safe, social, high-quality enrichment that families have come to know and trust into their homes, courtesy of the internet. To learn more about Flex Academies ONE, visit their website at https://www.flexone.live.

Why Online Socialization is So Important for Kids During the COVID-19 Quarantine

One of the major concerns parents have is that with their children being out of school due to the COVID-19 pandemic they'll lack both the structured educational and social outlets they normally have built into their everyday lives. The good news is thanks to advances made in digital technology, young students are still able to get both the educational and social outlets they need to continue their growth and to stay mentally and emotionally healthy while schools are closed. With Flex Academies ONE, we are able to give students the opportunity to take enrichment classes together, just like they’re used to. It may not be the same as being there in person with their friends, but it’s certainly better than getting no structured enrichment time at all. Flex Academies ONE: offering remote educational and social opportunities Numerous scientific studies have shown just how important it is for children to have plentiful opportunities for socialization. A lack of socialization can result in negative impacts on brain development. Younger children in particular get a better grasp on language, teamwork, sharing and respect when provided with regular opportunities for socialization. The biggest benefit of ONE is that kids have this opportunity to socialize in a structured, supervised environment, while also still taking part in productive activities. They’re not just hanging out on a video conference together--they’re still working together on professionally designed activities under the supervision of an experienced, qualified instructor. Depending on the program, children might learn a new skill, explore a particular interest or improve their understanding of a specific school subject area, and they still get to do so with their friends and peers, even with school being closed and them being required to stay at home. This is why we launched Flex Academies ONE. With kids being at home for the foreseeable future, they’re going to be missing out on a lot of opportunities to interact with others. While parents can still help their children set up virtual video hangouts with their friends, or allow them to have unstructured time to play online games together, it’s also important to still have supervised and structured learning and activity time in a social environment, which is what our program offers. Children thrive on structure, and having scheduled time for both socialization and learning through our online enrichment activities will help them maintain the social skills they’ve developed at school during this extended period of time away from the classroom. For more information about the Flex Academies ONE program and how it benefits students, contact us today.

Safety is Key for Online Learning, and Flex Academies Makes It a Priority

The spread of COVID-19 has forced school closures across the United States, resulting in many districts making a sudden and complete transition to online schooling that they may or may not have been fully prepared to make. While some schools have already had online offerings for their students for some years now, for others this is an entirely new prospect, and for almost all of them they have never given online instruction on anywhere near this scale. With millions of children suddenly relying on online platforms for school, the FBI has issued warnings to families and educators about the possibilities of online exploitation by sexual predators. Here’s what you should know. FBI urges educators, parents to practice internet safety The biggest recommendation coming from the Bureau is that parents and educators should teach their children and students about the risks that exist online and the signs of potential predatory behavior, right from the start of using the internet for online schooling. It is important for children to know how they can stay safe and the boundaries they should maintain, while still being encouraged to use the technology that’s available to have open communication with trusted adults. The FBI says predators often try to make casual contact with minors online and slowly work to gain their trust before introducing sexual elements to the conversation. They might use online platforms then to coerce the children into sharing explicit photo or video. Parents and adults should have clear discussions of internet safety with their children, and should always review any apps or games children will use before they download them. Parents should also maintain strict privacy settings on phones, tablets and devices, and should monitor their children’s internet use as much as possible. One tool schools have been using to great success is securely.com, an app that can be downloaded to give parents and educators information about students’ activity online. It will detect everything from inappropriate content to cyberbullying, sexual messaging and self-harm. The White Hatter organization also offers some excellent resources for parents and educators about some of the most common safety issues that occur while children are browsing the internet and using internet-connected apps. How Flex Academies ensures the online safety of its students For Flex Academies, the key to your child’s online safety is the Online Coordinators we have overseeing all of our digital activities. Anyone who attempts to log into an activity or course must authenticate with the Online Coordinator. The OLC checks to make sure the person’s name is on the roster and that they have provided the correct entry code. All participants must also show their face before they are allowed to enter, otherwise they will be denied. This is an actual person who is tasked with maintaining security of all these programs, much like the On-Site Coordinator in our standard Flex Academies offerings at schools. This means you don’t have to worry about a potential predator tricking a system or exploiting digital vulnerabilities to gain access to an online activity. For more information about how we maintain strong online safety practices with our Flex Academies ONE programming, contact us today.