Q&A with Brad Anderson- Assemblies during third hour


Why have assemblies, including the one this Friday, been moved to third hour?

“We found that, although we have this engaging, fun school spirit oriented activity that we put together called the Ranger Challenge, which is meant to be, you know, a break from the normal rigors of the everyday schedule, people would tend to use it as an opportunity to leave school. And we found that as the course of the year goes on, unfortunately, parents would call and sign their students out. There’s many staff members that see it as a worthwhile time spent building school spirit, building off of traditions, [and] creating a culture and a community here at the school where there’s some belonging, there’s some comradery, [and] there’s some friendly competition. Those are all the elements that go into building the community. We changed the time to maximize student participation.”

Whose idea was it to move it?

“It got tossed around last springtime after, I think, half the junior class left for last year’s assembly. And that one might’ve well not been well timed just with the week—it was beautiful out. Regardless, we designed the assemblies for the students to have some fun, again, take a break from the normal everyday schedule gives you something to look forward to. We’d love to have them at the end of the day; but quite frankly, [if] we have them at the end of the day, students take advantage of that and you know, so why even have them.

I went to school here in the 1990: we did not have assemblies. We did not have one-tenth of the school spirit that we have now. It was disconnected. Athletes didn’t get recognized at assemblies. There [wasn’t] the recognition of the band or Michigan merit scholars. It was a very ‘you came to school and you left.’ There wasn’t a huge connection to your school. Now, there’s a ton of school spirit and there’s a reason.”

Why is school spirit so important?

“Because your connection to the school and the way you feel about the place that you go to work [or] you’re going to learn, it’s going to help you feel a belonging. And I get it. High school is a crazy time of life for some students. But if you feel that even some slight connection to the place you go to school, you’re learning is going to be enhanced. Your friendships, the way you feel about yourself, and the way way you feel about others, it’s going to be an overall better experience if you like the place that you go or at least feel like you belong there. There’s many studies that show a feeling of connectedness and community greatly enhances a person’s life, health, and overall well-being and mental health.”

Do you support this idea?

“I would frankly rather have it sixth hour, but that’s if there can be an agreement with the students that they don’t take off. Because you know, having an assembly where half of say the junior class or half the senior class is there, it loses its steam. It’s not as fun; it loses its intended purpose. I’d love to have it sixth hour, but that’s up to the students. That’s in the students’ hands.”

How do you think it’s going to be recieved by students?
“It’s still a break from this normal schedule. You know, we’re still in the middle of the day, going to take a 45 minute break shortens the classes. That’s always fun, right, to have short in classes, albiet it’s only five or 10 minutes shorter, and have kind of a mid-day break. It’s something to look forward to it. It’ll be friendly competition and hopefully the second half of the day, there’ll be something to talk about and usher our way into the weekend. It would be—again—it would be nicer to have it sixth hour, but again, that’s contingent upon the on the participation of the students.”