Students in the Upper School are assigned to an advisor when they enter the school. Generally, advisors remain with their groups of about ten students as they move from freshman year through graduation. The advisor plays a dynamic role in guiding students to become independent learners, active participants, and developing leaders who enrich the school and wider community. Advisors meet regularly with the advisory, either for brief meetings to share important information, or longer meetings to discuss specific topics. They also touch base with their individual advisees informally throughout the school day, and formally through scheduled meetings as needed.
The advisor’s role is to listen actively, offer advice, bestow praise, facilitate communication between the home and school, and provide a more unbiased perspective on challenges as they occur. The advisor is often in a unique position to provide relevant information about an advisee’s circumstances to parents as well as classroom teachers, coaches or administrators in order to assist them in their work with the student.
The advisor has the “big picture” of a student’s progress, academic and otherwise, and serves as an advocate for the student, particularly when he or she is first adjusting to the Upper School, when it can be difficult for a student to initiate or conduct difficult conversations with teachers. The advisor is a sounding board for the student, offering advice on how to handle situations, and encouraging the student to be active in the daily life of the school community. He or she helps the student to set realistic and attainable goals and discusses with the student strategies for achieving those goals.