ANP is important and valued


Tiger Paw Yearbook

Madi Strohm (12) flips through her notes in Mrs. Quesenberry’s ANP as she works on her homework on Feb. 14.

ANP is going to change.

This is what faculty, students, and parents have been hearing over the past couple of months. Soon, we will find out what the future of ANP (Academic Networking Period) will hold. What will happen to ANP? Will we, both students and teachers, lose time that is extremely valuable to us? Will we still have time to travel?

Because of block scheduling and ANP, the school district requires more teachers, and thus this type of scheduling is more expensive than a traditional schedule. The school district set up a committee to review block scheduling and alternate schedule options, and ultimately decided that block scheduling was the best option for students. With more money going into the schedule, the district wants to make sure we are getting the best use out of ANP.

“ANP can be very beneficial if and when it is being used properly, but it has been lacking in resources to our students,” said school board president Samantha Stormer.

Now, OHS is working on restructuring ANP to prove that it is beneficial to all students and teachers.

For students, one of the most valued elements of ANP is travel time. This gives students time to work on homework, make up quizzes or tests, work on group projects, and study. This also allows them to go visit their teachers to ask questions and get clarification for a confusing concept during a lesson.

ANP is extremely handy to have whenever a student has been absent. Whether they were sick for a couple days or were on a trip with a club, it is important that students have time to visit teachers when they come back to school.

Often, ANP is the only time students have to get help from their teachers. Visiting with teachers before school rarely works, and finding time after school is even harder with all the clubs, sports, and jobs students have to juggle.

Some classes have more value for ANP than others. Journalism students utilize ANP time to work on yearbook spreads, meet with editors, conduct interviews, edit videos, and revise stories.

“There’s so much that we can’t get done in class that ANP allows us to do,” said broadcast student Adam Zapf (10). “We need that time.” Zapf is also a member of band, another group that utilizes ANP time.

For band students like me, we sometimes only get one ANP per week to travel, while the other is used for rehearsal time. These rehearsals are critical to our success during marching and concert season. We also use extra ANP time to prepare for the annual Solo and Ensemble festival in the spring.

The same goes for choir students as well; not all of the choirs meet during a class period, so they have to rehearse either during ANP or after school. You can always hear choir members’ voices echoing in the hallways as they prepare for concerts and contests.

However, not every student uses ANP how it should be used. Some students view it as “chill time.” Instead of using it for academics, many students spend their ANP playing games on their phones or computers, listening to music, or sleeping. These types of behaviors led the school to decide to restructure ANP.

Recently, a committee of teachers has been meeting to come up with a new plan for how ANP should be used. The committee has listened to what students, teachers and parents have said about ANP and coming up with potential solutions to problems.

“I’ve been trying to bring ideas from the performing arts perspective to the committee just to help us be able to be involved with what the entire school is doing as well as be able to have enrichment time with our students as well,” said choir director and ANP committee member Mr. Michael Wegener. “So I’m trying to find the best possible combination of what they’re trying to do and what we can do in our classroom, for both (choir) and band.”

Mrs. Christy Mathews, OHS English teacher and committee member, said that the committee is trying to combine the best of both worlds by including travel time, interest-based seminars, and time for content-based groups, like band and choir, to meet. She also mentioned the committee thinks students and parents will be relieved, pleased, and excited for the new opportunities that will come with the change. The committee’s plan will be announced later this week and put into effect during the 2018-2019 school year.

With any idea to change ANP, there needs to be some sort of flexibility, even though ANP will become more structured. After all, since the goal is to benefit all students, there should be options on how students can use their time. If they need to travel, they should have the option to do that. And if they do not have any work to get done, a possible class or seminar could be beneficial. Students would then have an extra chance to learn about something that they are interested in.

It seems that not every student has the discipline to use ANP properly. So, all ANP classes should include some way to educate students on how this time could be used. Giving lessons over staying organized, effective study strategies, and how they can be productive could benefit them both inside and outside of school, and even in the future.

ANP may need to change, but we need to keep some of the aspects we have now that are vital to student success.