My guest this week is an educator, the founder of the Flex School, and a fellow mama of several differently wired kids that I’m proud to call a friend, Jacqui Byrne. If you haven’t heard of Flex School before, it’s a unique learning network for gifted and twice exceptional (2e) middle and high school students that embraces students for who and where they are, then supports them as they learn to thrive. Right now there are two campuses in the northeastern United States, in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey and another in New Haven, Connecticut. But as you’ll hear from our conversation, there are more campuses in development and their plan is to continue growing.
Jacqui is passionate about supporting this population of learners and is committed to supporting these students where ever they are. In addition to sharing her personal story of why she created Flex School, Jacqui pulls back the curtain to share the strategies and approaches that Flex School has found success with in working with differently wired, especially 2e, students, including ideas for accommodations that could work in any classroom. Jacqui has an optimistic vision for who our kids are, and her energy is infectious. I got off of our interview feeling inspired and hopeful and excited about the possibilities… I hope you feel the same after listening to this episode.
About Jacqui: Jacqui Byrne is the visionary behind FlexSchool, learning communities for gifted and 2e students. She loves all of the creative, quirky, asynchronous minds and figuring out how to reach each child is very satisfying to her. Jacqui has deep experience in education, teaching, counseling, and writing. She is the co-founder of the widely respected Ivy Ed college preparation and counseling firm. Jacqui developed her own verbal test prep curriculum and also wrote a test prep book for McGraw-Hill. She is an acknowledged expert in education: training school district guidance counselors, speaking at college parent nights throughout New Jersey and presenting at professional conferences.
Prior to founding Ivy Ed, she taught creative writing to gifted students at Milton Academy, completed an operations management training program on Wall Street, and started a boutique marketing company. Jacqui earned a B.A. from Yale and has children who are twice-exceptional and gifted.
THINGS YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Why Jacqui started Flex School
- How Flex School uniquely meets the needs of 2e / twice exceptional students
- What kinds of strategies and accommodations Jacqui has found are successful for 2e students
- The qualities that make teachers who are most successful with 2e kids
- Why Jacqui chose to develop Flex as a network of schools
- How parents can bring the Flex School to their community
- Dr. Devon MacEachron on Supporting 2e Learners (podcast episode)
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