A Change to the Age-old Advisory System?

Tina Czaplinska Acting Editor in ChiefTropic Thunder is the best movie of all time.” “Why do you teach African Civ. if you’re white?” “Can we play Word Party?” “Where’s the food?” This is my advisory, the Gilden Advisory.[gallery] A variety of people, originating from a variety of backgrounds, result in a variety of conversations. While I have always seen the medley of people and personalities present in advisory a good thing, the advisory curriculum is currently being re-evaluated. The decade old structure is going back to the drawing board and after a few new arrangements were considered, one stood out particularly: single grade advisories. Mr. Graf admits that change always leads to anxiety. While the main perk of our current advisory system is that students get to socialize with upper and lower classmen, Mr. Graf claims that, ” the faculty and I had a hard time thinking of another selling point.” An advisory change has been in the works for a while now. This year faculty like Ms Warren and Ms McCarthy created an advisory curriculum, in hopes of better caring for advises. This meant that once a month, during long advisory, one’s advisor was meant to discuss a specific topic, in hopes to offer some kind of guidance. Through this, there was an ultimate realization made that the advisory structure does not align with the advisory curriculum. “Each year in high school has unique opportunities and challenges,” Mr Graf explains, “A different advisory structure could do a better job supporting our students as their problems are relatable, they’re going through the same thing. You [as an advisor] won’t have to worry about neglecting your junior advisees when [for example] your sophomore advisees are stressing out about their service learning hours.” Of course there is not a unified response from the students. Current freshman Franny Kelher is baffled by the idea, admitting that she “wants to be in advisory with friends who aren’t in her grade.” Franny raises a valid point; while Latin emphasizes, “we are a community, a big family,” there are segregations sprinkled everywhere. With the junior-senior English electives replaced with the arrival of English 11 and now an advisory change, it seems as though Latin aims to only build strong relationships between students in the same grade. Gavin Hilder, a junior, is currently in an all-junior advisory. His freshman advisory, Ms. Bunger, became a 10-12 adviser his sophomore year so his entire advisory stayed together. Gavin loves his advisory, saying that, “We call can relate to what is going on in school, each person’s issues are relevant to everyone else’s even though we all have own opinion still.” While Gavin’s single grade advisory was accidental, he admits “if they did that on purpose, it’d be really cool because by senior year you’ve established really great relations with those peers.” Through this, single grade advisories aren’t so much segregations as they are unifications. It is important to remember that Latin also offers a wide variety of mixed grade activities including language classes, art and theatre electives, project week, student government, and clubs. So, maybe next time you’re in advisory, you’ll think more about its dynamics and if they suit you. Or maybe you’ll just continue wondering where the food is. That’s mostly where my mind wanders. If you wish to learn more about what is going on with the advisory curriculum, SAB welcomes students to their May 4 meeting at 7:30 AM in the Loggia. ]]>