Our student advisory program is one of the essential structures built into a smaller learning community to ensure that each student is known well by at least one adult and that no student becomes anonymous.

In the advisory program, each student is assigned to an advisory that meets one period every school day. The student's advisor helps students get to know each other and form a healthy, supportive social network. In addition, students meet individually with their advisors. The advisor receives all important information about the student, keeps in touch with his or her family, and offers advocacy and support in difficult social and academic situations.

What does advisory do?

We have designed our advisories to respond to students’ academic and social needs. These needs may include:

  • Learning important skills necessary for academic success such as organizing assignments, taking notes effectively, managing time well, listening, and learning strategies for taking tests
  • Developing realistic goals and plans for life after high school
  • Learning how to fill out job and college applications, how to make effective presentations, and how to behave during a job or college interview
  • Discussing academic or behavior problems
  • Discussing issues they face in their day-to-day lives
  • Building a supportive community of peers to discuss social issues
  • Designing and implementing community service projects
  • Contributing to the school community by participating in decision-making or designing events for fellow students and their families

What are the benefits of advisory?

Students in advisory are less likely to drop out of school and have a lower incidence of substance abuse. Advisories provide students with a supportive network of peers and access to an adult advocate at school. According to a study of 12,000 adolescents by the American Medical Association, the most important factor in protecting teenagers from unhealthy behaviors was a strong emotional attachment to parents and to teachers.

Parents and guardians benefit from an advisory program by having a more in-depth relationship with their child's advisor. The advisor becomes the primary contact person for parents, and families get information about their child's academic successes and needs regularly. It gives families a way to become more involved with their child's schooling.

Other benefits include:

  • Identifies students at risk
  • Promotes connections and school spirit
  • Makes the student feel safe
  • Creates a two-way trust relationship
  • Better communication with parents
  • The school becomes more proactive in addressing the students’ needs

Goals of an Advisor
  • Be an adult peer
  • Provide guidance for academic or personal issues
  • Be an advocate for the students
  • Be a source of nurturing and positive reinforcement
  • Be a liaison between the school and families
  • Be a liaison between students and their teachers
  • Make the school a safe and comfortable place for students