SPA will be closed Tuesday, January 23, due to the snow and hazardous driving conditions. Please note that school will be closed entirely on Tuesday, including all classes, athletics, and extracurricular activities. We do not make this decision lightly. Like you, we would much prefer our students to be in school, but today’s extreme weather makes travel unsafe for everyone.
Thank you for your understanding, and please stay safe.
Bryn S. Roberts
Head of School
The advisory system is a fundamental element of the Middle School experience. Advisory is treated like an academic class; it is essentially a class on social/emotional skills and community building. It is the building block upon which the rest of the Middle School curriculum is built: advisories help students feel connected, empowered, and safe to take academic risks, so they engage more with each other and the curriculum.
Advisories are groups of 10-12 students, all in the same grade and with a faculty advisor who is a member of that grade-level team. Advisories meet each morning for check-in and each afternoon for a work-study period. Advisory meetings follow a specific teaching and learning framework, in alignment with the Developmental Designs approach used across the Middle School curriculum: students circle up to greet each other respectfully, share what's happening in their lives, engage in activities that teach important skills in a lively way, and reflect on experiences. Advisories often include cultural conversations which build students' appreciation for diversity and respect for individual differences within the peer group.
A student's advisor is the primary contact for families, since they know the students best. Advisors serve as advocates for the student, facilitate student-teacher meetings as needed, explore how individual students learn best, and help them set goals.