Many sixth and seventh grade students have mixed opinions about Pilgrim School’s new program, advisory. To gather information, I spoke to teachers and made a student survey.
There were a few recurring suggestions for advisory. Most students believe that we should play more games and have food more often. Other suggestions were to make advisory shorter or to make it at a different time. Some students think that Thursdays at flex block is a good time to have advisory, others do not. Flex block is the ideal time to have advisory, but it could be shortened to give students more break time.
Advisory consists of small groups of sixth and seventh grade students, and the goal is to have advisory be a safe environment for students. Ariana P. said “Sometimes I feel like we don’t know each other well enough to make a safe environment.”
I think that students would look forward to advisory more if we talked about events coming up at Pilgrim. Monica M. said “I think we could do more activities during advisory.” Students also enjoy playing games with their peers, similar to what each grade does during trips week.
Ms. Logue said that advisory could be improved if every week there was an academic check-in, where students would be told if they had any missing assignments.
Mrs. Chaskes said that advisory groups could be smaller. With a smaller group it would be easier to make a community.
Advisory began this year with sixth and seventh grade, and it is planned to eventually include grades all the way through high school.
At the beginning of this year, a new tradition started at Pilgrim School, and it is called advisory. The program consists of groups of students in one grade level meeting once a week in a classroom with one or more faculty members. During this time, they talk about different social and academic issues, and they do activities. Advisory is there primarily to provide a social and emotional bond among students and between the faculty members and the students.
One memorable activity from advisory so far was creating Thanksgiving food boxes to give to needy families at Alexandria House, a local food shelter. Sixth graders have also visited pre-school classes to read and play in buddy pairs. Seventh graders ended 2015 with secret gift and note giving in their advisories.
There are many great things about advisory, including snacks once a month. Most students believe that they should keep going steady with serving food. for example, Olivia B. in seventh grade said, “They should keep serving food because most kids don’t get a good breakfast in the morning.”
However, most teachers believe that the true perk of advisory is the fact that it provides a connection and bond with the students and teachers in a different setting. Mr. Oishi said, “Not only do students grow academically but in a social and in an emotional way.”
Advisory is great because it allows students to get academic and social ideas out in a group of students and teachers. And that creates a good feeling at school. It is also really handy that we have the opportunity to talk about current events that are happening both in and out of our community. It is also a great, safe and confidential environment, where we can share ideas without being judged for our thoughts.