Advisors and the Advisory Program
Advisory is an integral part of the Middle School program at LREI and is designed to address the intellectual, social and ethical development of the early adolescent. It also provides an opportunity for each student to get to know one teacher as an advocate, mentor and advisor who will provide critical support throughout the course of her/his Middle School experience.
Advisory groups meet in grade level groups during morning and afternoon homeroom periods. Each homeroom has three advisors and each student is assigned to one of the three advisors. Much of homeroom time is spent as a whole group, but there are times when the class will break into smaller groups so that students can have more focused discussions with their advisor. These homeroom periods are an important part of community life. It is during these times that classes take care of all of those “housekeeping” activities that are essential to the day. Examples include reviewing schedules and homework assignments, talking about how to study and organize, listening to announcements, organizing special projects, and working with Student Government representatives. Advisors help students to develop important organizational and other fundamental school and life skills. As students progress through the program and strengthen these important habits, they are given more independence and autonomy.
Each Thursday afternoon, students and their advisor meet in a group. The Thursday session is an open session for community-building and goal-setting activities, and for discussions relevant to school issues and for issues taking place outside of the school community. Advisors and advisees work together in a supportive environment to establish a forum for effective communication. This helps to support a school-wide climate conducive to learning and growth. In advisory, students are engaged in activities that promote the development of supportive and caring relationships among all members of the school community and in activities that help students to gain a more comprehensive insight into their individual development as learners. The advisory program creates a context for students to practice leadership and mentoring skills, and to receive support and assistance from their peers.
The Middle School advisory curriculum is designed specifically for early adolescents. The Fifth through Eighth Grades are the time when students develop the habits and skills essential to organized, thoughtful, independent learning. Skills learned in advisory are practiced throughout all Middle School classes. Advisors help students identify and solve problems, answer questions (or direct students to someone who can), and are in touch with all of the many parts of a student’s life in school. Advisors play an important role in supporting students. Families are encouraged to maintain an open line of communication with their child’s advisor. Advisors also assist students in preparing for twice-yearly family conferences.