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.