What is Advisory Period?
According to Ellen, D’Amore, “The affective domain must be attended to before we turn attention to the cognitive domain. By providing an effective advisory program, schools can help improve interpersonal relationships and promote cooperation in achieving student and school goals”.
Advisory period is an opportunity for all LMS students to feel connected to the school, their peers, and at least one adult advocate. Students will learn important communication, decision making, and goal setting skills.
The beginning of each new school year always brings a degree of excitement, but many students also feel uncertain about teacher expectations, complex schedules, and a new social scene. By implementing an advisory period we can help to minimize student stress levels and confusion. We can guide students as they make connections with their peers, develop a sense of belonging, build self-esteem, learn more about themselves and their classmates, understand the importance of teamwork and community, and develop personal management skills.
Goals for the Mane Mission
1. Students will grow academically, emotionally, and socially and learn to exemplify character, responsibility, and integrity.
2. Students will develop a personal relationship with an adult advocate and become part of a small peer group.
3. Students will have an increased sense of belonging and connectedness to their school, their peer group, and their advocate.
Cura Personalis – care for the whole person
|Major Advisory Period Themes
(Building relationships, Becoming a Family, Organization, Strength of Character, Goal Setting, Communication, Ways to Grow, Responsibility, Study & Test Taking Skills)
(Integrity, Respect, Work Ethic, Accountability, Bullying, Peer Pressure, Appreciation for Diversity, Student Ownership in Learning, Social Media Issues)
(Student Voice, Serving Others, Supporting Community, Giving Back)
What is an Advocate?
The dictionary defines advocacy as “active support for a cause or position”…the key word being ACTIVE. In theory, we are all advocates. We would not have chosen to become educators if we did not have an interest in the development of young people. Most teachers aim to be an advocate for all of their students, but the reality is that there will be days when some students are missed…oftentimes; the lesson objectives overshadow the people in the desks. Each student needs at least one adult at school whom they know believes the best, knows the best, and wants the best for them. This is especially true for middle school students. Loundsbury (2003) wrote an article entitled “Understanding and Appreciating the Wonder Years” in which he states,
No other age level is of more importance to the future of individuals, and, literally, to that of society; because these are the years when youngsters crystallize their beliefs about themselves and firm up their self-concepts, their philosophies of life and their values---the things that are ultimate determinants of their behaviors.
One hallmark of an effective middle school is an inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive environment for all, and the implementation of specific programs to support that essential characteristic.
Advocacy is a pervasive attitude of caring that means adults are responsive to the needs of all adolescents in the school. On an individual level, a student needs one adult to support him or her academically and personally. The adult is a model of good character who knows about young adolescent development, enjoys working with young adolescents, and comes to know students on an individual level. An adult advocate listens and guides youth. This doesn’t mean we should assume a role of counselor, but rather, serve our students as the primary liaison between school and family with frequent contact, on-going encouragement of appropriate skills development, and consistently watching for behavioral changes.
Effective implementation of an advisory period program means the relationships between teachers and students becomes paramount. Through group discussions, student conferences, and activities, the teacher gets to know the student on a more personal level.
In addition to the student/advocate relationship, the advisory period aims to build a sense of community. Activities and discussions will periodically focus on team-building among students, school pride, community building, and the creation of a caring environment here at Liberty. Ultimately, our collective vision should be for students to have a strong sense of belonging and connectedness, learn to support each other academically and socially, feel confident about getting involved in our school and find their “place” here at school.
LMS Advisory Period Meeting Dates 2015-2016
Unless noted, all advisory periods will be for 30 min. sessions and will take place between 1st and 2nd block (before break) and we will follow the special schedule outlined at the bottom of this document.
08/24 (Mon) – 30 min.
(Theme A Begins)
09/04 (Fri) – ½ Day
09/23 (Wed) – 30 min.
10/14 (Wed) – 30 min.
(Theme B Begins)
10/28 (Wed) – 30 min.
10/30 (Fri) – ½ Day (Celebration)
11/18 (Wed) – 30 min.
12/02 (Wed) – 30 min.
01/06 (Wed) – 30 min.
(Theme C Begins)
01/20 (Wed) – 30 min.
02/03 (Wed) – 30 min.
02/12 (Fri) – ½ Day
03/02 (Wed) – 30 min.
03/23 (Wed) – 30 min.
(Theme D Begins)
04/06 (Wed) – 30 min.
04/15 (Fri) – ½ day
04/20 (Wed) – 30 min.
05/04 (Wed) – 30 min.
05/18 (Wed) – 30 min.
(Final Evaluations, Feedback, and Group Parties)
| Methods of Program Evaluation
· Each time your advisory period meets, you should choose one student to come to your desk, scan the QR code in the Advocate Binderfor that day, Answer the few short questions, and then sign their name in the space provided next to the QR code. PLEASE be mindful and choose a different student each time…this way, by the end of the year we will have gathered information from the majority (possibly all) students in each advisory group.
· Students will complete a pre-program survey during the first ½ day advisory celebration day.
· Students will complete a post-program survey during the final meeting of the school year.
· Adult Advocates will complete a post-program survey following the final advisory meeting of the school year.
Advisory is not…
Advisory Period is not a time for teachers to “be friends” with students.
o Making a real personal connection with students does not mean that professional boundaries should be crossed…it is sometimes easy to get ‘comfortable’, but teachers should refrain from social media interactions with students outside of the school day and avoid discussions that should be referred to school administrators or the school counselor.
Advisory Period is not Homeroom.
o This is not a time for school wide announcements, housekeeping and administrative tasks, passing out schedules, progress reports, or report cards.
· Advisory Period is not a time to meet with club or team members.
· Advisory Period is not an extra planning time for teachers and should never be used to grade papers, plan for classes, file, etc…
· Advisory Period is not study hall or time for students to catch up on academic assignments. Students should not be working on homework or projects during this time.
· Advisory Period is not a place for teachers to take on the role of the counselor.
· Advisory Period is not a time for teachers to add to student stress by pointing out mistakes made by students…this should be somewhere students feel safe and free to discover the answers to questions…to realize where they are and where they hope to go…it is a time for teachers to become encouragers of ideal behaviors and character.
· Advisory Period is not “free time” for students or teachers.
Advisory Period Special Schedule (Days with 30 minute Advisory Sessions)
8:05 – 9:05 1st Block
9:10 – 9:40
9:40 – 9:50
9:50 --10:45 2nd Block10:50
***After 2ndBlock, classes will resume regular schedule until the end of the day***