Advisory Period Brings Mixed Feelings


Mrs. Lauren Tocci

This advisory class is proud of their work for the door decorating contest.

Stress relief. Favorite ice cream flavors. Door decorating.

The conversations and activities that take place during the new advisory period may seem random, but they are all part of a schoolwide initiative to bring students together. Once every six days during the 42-minute Spartan period, an enrichment block in the middle of the school day, teachers lead students in a variety of activities to build a sense of community within the school, such as door decorating contests and roundtable discussions.

Based upon a school-wide survey conducted last year, the administration noted that a majority of students lacked a teacher they felt comfortable enough to talk to outside of academics.They decided that the best way to connect students to teachers as well as their peers was to establish a new advisory period once every six days during Spartan block.

“After we did some research, we felt that students would greatly benefit from having a ‘home base’ and having a group of students they would get to know,” high school principal Mrs. Beth Guarriello said.

  The new program replaced Freshman Academy, which was offered to ninth graders during their first semester. In the new advisory period, four students from each grade are assigned to a teacher who will be their mentor for their entire high school career.

“I’m liking [having different grades in spartan advisory] more than I thought I would. You get so many different opinions and pieces of advice that honestly have helped a lot.” freshman Julia Kashner said. ”“I figured it was gonna be such a transition and a change but everyone is so much nicer than people make them to be.”

According to Mrs. Guarriello, the new advisory period is also aims to reduce confusion during emergency and fire drills, since students will always know who to go to in any drill or emergency.

“So far I think [advisory] period is alright, but sometimes awkward since sometimes no one wants to answer any questions,” sophomore Gabby Lawler said, “but it’s better than freshman academy.”

So far, the advisory period has resulted in a mixture of opinions from students. While some agree that the advisory period is beneficial, many others are struggling to get used to the change.

“It’s a good opportunity for freshmen to get involved with others in the school,”  junior Max Wetterau said. “Other than that it sucks.”

While students like the mixture of the grades, others agree that the meetings feel awkward and are too short and infrequent to accomplish what the administration wants.

In response to the feedback from students, the administration says they are still in the process of modifying the structure of the period to best fit the student body.

“We as an administration had planned to do more lessons but decided instead to make it more of a place for students to talk and build community,” Mrs. Guarriello said.

The principals hope students will come to them with suggestions for how to make advisory period better for them.