Principal addresses effects of new advisory block

Mr. Roberts commented on the new advisory block at the January press conference.

Photographer: Gabriela D.

Mr. Roberts commented on the new advisory block at the January press conference.

Ella P., Reporter

In response to input and requests from parents, students and teachers, ASD HS administrators implemented a new advisory block for all high school students on a nearly weekly basis this school year. Responses and reactions have varied from people loving it to some more pessimistic views.  

Regular classes have been lengthened this year from 85 minutes to 90. On three out of four Wednesdays, however, students meet up with assigned advisory teachers in classrooms.  “Teachers believe this will allow students to do things that are not academic, to sit and chat and talk about life skill opportunities,” Mr. Roberts stated at the January press conference.

Asked his thoughts on how the advisory block was faring so far, he said,”We have put a survey out, and it will be interesting to see the gathered results. We have also surveyed the teachers.”

“To me, I appreciate advisory because it is a time for me to think about academic difficulties that I have encountered throughout the week,” said G. Dos Ramos Hernandez (‘21). Other students similarly enjoy the conversations and even games that their groups sometimes play.

Positive responses are not unanimous, though. Upperclassman E. Pyne (‘19) said bluntly, “I do not like advisory because it takes time away from my academic career, and there is nothing in advisory that I couldn’t do at home.” Some simply find their groups more dull than their other school activities.

Whilst in advisory, the students sit and talk with their teacher about problems they might be experiencing at school, academic or not, and other topics that may come up. If there is, for instance, an attendance or tardiness problem, the advisory time allows teachers to get to know students better, to make the space comfortable for a helpful discussion of solutions. Although some students and teachers do appreciate the unstructured time and the break from academic routines that it provides, others continue to see it as unproductive and hope it will be scaled back in future years.

Clearly, advisory is not perfect yet, as there are a few tweaks needing to be made. If it is going to remain a permanent change to the ASD High School schedule, then everyone seems to hope it will be able to cater to everyone involved in it. 

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