Academic Assistance Center

Extra help from teachers in the library

Ms. Glover works with a student on physics in the Academic Assistance Center in the library.

Mrs. Treadwell

Ms. Glover works with a student on physics in the Academic Assistance Center in the library.

Where do you go if you need some extra help in a subject? You could go to the Literacy or Numeracy center. You could even meet with your teacher during a free period. Have you thought of seeing the teachers in the library?

What I am talking about is a new program started this year called the Academic Assistance Center (AAC). The way the program works is if you need some extra help in a subject, stop by the library during one of your free periods.

Interviewing my chemistry teacher, Mrs. Brechbiel, who works in the AAC has given me an inside scoop on the program. “Teachers and staff members were first introduced to the program during our start of year meetings. Some teachers were assigned to the Academic Assistance Center as part of their schedule but were offered the flexibility to set up the schedule when a majority of their students were available.”

On the bulletin board outside the restrooms near the library is a list of what teachers are in the library during which period and what day of the week plus the subjects they teach. There is also a flipbook with the schedule available in the library.

How does a student find out when to get help if they never read the bulletin board outside the library? Mrs. Brechbiel posts a schedule of science teachers who have AAC time outside her classroom and frequently invites her students to come get help. The daily announcements also featured the schedule at the beginning of the semester.

With teachers more available for help, are they are seeing students responding? Mrs. Brechbiel: “Yes, some students come for help with assignments and when studying for tests. There are even students from other classes that will ask questions, which is nice because then I get the chance to know and help more students.”  AP Psychology teacher Mr. Wadlington says he sees about five students consistently for help and more right before tests.

Teachers are willing to make time to help students, but also wish they could do more. Mrs. Brechbiel stated, “Overall, I like the way the program is set up. However, some students prefer commons over the library. I wish I could assign students to AAC like the Numeracy Center and Lit Center. I really like the flexibility that we were offered to be available to our students when they are available as well.”

Still, a lot of students’ free periods and when the teachers are in the AAC don’t always match. Mrs. Dunker, AP European History teacher works in the AAC 3rd hour. Her AP students come see her before a big test but she believes the AAC is “definitely an untapped resource” since her AP students don’t have many free periods in their schedules and regular U.S. History students aren’t generally seeking her out for help.

So, the question is this: is the Academic Assistance Center really helping students? Sophomore Neal Klepitsch told me that when he went to the library to get some extra help in chemistry, he felt that it really helped him. If you meet with teacher in the library and put just a little bit more effort into your studies, it will only help you in the long run. On the other hand, sophomore Peter Rykowski prefers to look up information on the library’s Chromebooks.

Without being specifically assigned there, there are probably a lot of students who aren’t choosing to use the extra help. Mrs. Bland, the librarian, said “There are conversations starting now to analyze the effectiveness of the AAC in its current form and explore possible changes to make it better.”

As the semester is winding up, I would highly encourage you to go seek out help from the AAC teachers and if you have success with it, tell your friends about the Academic Assistance Center.