One longstanding element of our school’s philosophy is the importance of the classroom advisory. Our students attend advisory each day with a teacher and the advisories have lunch together at least once a week. This creates an indelible support system for students to get acclimated to a new school year, learn school policies and rules, and seek support from peers and from a caring adult who has a holistic view of that student’s school experience.
The advisory is also a special place for learning in a small, secure tight-knit group, where students will discuss moral issues and learn social skills. Advisories may watch educational movies, participate in special field trips, or collaborate on community service projects. Some advisories organize talent shows, work on group art projects, or meet at the school or offsite for special movie nights. Most Fridays feature advisory potlucks, in which students and teachers bring in items to share. This adds a homey celebratory tone to the last day of the week.
Students have been specially paired with advisors who will focus on their students’ needs. The advisor is the first point of contact if you have questions about your child’s academic success, social learning, and other skills, and it is worthwhile to take the time to get to know the advisor through emails, phone, calls, or parent conferences. An advisor can give you a “panoramic view” of a student’s day, including how they are faring in each of their classes and areas in which they may to need to grow.
We began the 2018-2019 school year with advisor-parent conferences – the first time we have done this. If you were unable to attend and have yet to meet your child’s advisor, we encourage you to arrange for a meeting at the school or a phone call sometime before the end of the month. Back to School Night will likely not afford you the opportunity for this kind of one-on-one interaction. And, as always, if you have feedback on how we can improve our advisory program (as with anything else at the school), please do not hesitate to reach out to me, Dr. Smith, Mr. Kelly, Ms. Chall, Ms. Brady or Ms. Roberts.
Working together as advisors, teachers, administrators, and parents, we hope to give each of our students what they need to leave our school with the knowledge, skills, dispositions, attitudes and habits of mind necessary to pursue their fuller humanity