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Advisory or long-lunch Wednesdays?

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The Mirror reporter

Every Wednesday, we now have a small section of our day called Advisory. Advisory is essentially a homeroom period. Students are put into groups and assigned a room and teacher. They stay with this group and teacher for the rest of their high school career.

The purpose of Advisory is to teach students about post-secondary planning, planning for classes during high school, social/emotional learning and personal learning. It is meant to ensure that students can get the common curriculum in these areas and prepare them for life after high school.

SPASH is not the only school that added Advisory to the agenda. In fact, every high school in the state is required to do this. It’s a directive by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction to all high schools as part of the state’s Academic and Career Planning program (ACP). The frequency of Advisory differs depending on the school. Curriculum for the course is decided by the state and then the schools’ adapt the lessons to meet the needs at a particular time. An example of this is when the ACT was near and the juniors did Method Test Prep during their Advisory.

I asked a couple students what they think about Advisory and if it is worth the time. The majority of them said something along the line of not liking it. Senior Faith Kluck and junior Vinny Garth had very similar views. They both don’t like it because they feel they are not getting anything out of it, and it’s a waste of time. Kluck said “it’s pointless” for seniors and the stuff doesn’t pertain to them since they will be gone next year. Garth said he could just ask his counselor about the stuff Advisory covers. Sophomore Yuling Sun does not care for it either, but she can see theoretically the idea of it and how it should help us.

The view is different from teachers. Jen Bowling, one of the math teachers, initially thought negatively of Advisory. She thought it would be another thing teachers had to worry about. However, her views changed as the school year continued.

“What I found over the last few weeks is that I’ve enjoyed getting to know the students,” Bowling said. “I think the biggest advantage for them is we can cover things as a whole junior class that we can’t cover otherwise or sophomore or senior level class. Plus I think it just gives those students one adult that they know that they can go to with questions.”

Counselor Jenessa Reid also thinks positively of Advisory. From her experience of subbing for some Advisories, she can see how it’s great for a group of students and a teacher to form a bond. She also loves how everyone is getting the same information at the same time so there is no confusion or miscommunication.

“It’s a huge step up from where we’ve been where students were getting kind of different information about the different subject areas,” Reid said.

Jordan Kropp introduces material to her advisory group.

After talking to some students and teachers, my initial opinion of Advisory stays the same. I don’t really like how it has taken up time in our school day. I feel like most of the stuff we do can be handled at your junior conference or just an ordinary meeting with your counselor. However, I guess it is convenient that it’s the same time for everyone so nobody is missing any school. Plus, the longer lunch is a bonus. My perspective is similar to Yuling’s. I can see how theoretically it’s supposed to help us, but I just don’t feel I’m getting much out of it. In the 30 minutes of my junior conference, I felt I got more help about what I want to do in the future and planning my classes than I did in all of Advisory we’ve had so far.

I know one thing for sure: Advisory is here to stay. Series of surveys and other student feedback have been put into effect for next year and the years to come. Future lessons will change based on feedback from students. Advisory will always adapt to the needs of the students and the current condition of the school.

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11 Responses to “Advisory or long-lunch Wednesdays?”

  1. Kacey Koch on March 8th, 2018 12:33 PM

    I definitely agree that advisory isn’t really necessary, but for sophomores and juniors it definitely could be useful for prep for the ACT. This piece was very well done and had good information.

  2. Hannah Siegel on March 8th, 2018 12:36 PM

    I loved this article and it was well written. I feel the same way as you do about advisory and its cool to read an article about it and how others feel.

  3. Logan Lovett on March 8th, 2018 2:53 PM

    Advisory is honestly just a waste of the sudents’ time in my opinion. The amount of time dedicated to the class isn’t as much as the teachers need to give the students a good lesson. I don’t know if this is true or not, but what I’ve been hearing from students in the halls is that some teachers haven’t even been following the agenda that they’re supposed to be following. Furthermore, I understand that the class is supposed to help students with jobs, but the idea of meeting once a week to talk about a specific group of jobs is boring to me. Surely I’m not the only one it bores, either. I can understand that someone may not feel that way if the job cluster we’re talking about on that day relates to them, but after that the class is just dull and is better used as a study hall.

    TL;DR: I feel as if Advisory was a poorly executed idea that just messes up everyone’s schedules.

  4. Tony Ludwig on March 9th, 2018 12:50 PM

    I am not a fan of advisory, so I whole-heartedly believe that lunch periods should be longer.

  5. Dylan Trigg on March 12th, 2018 12:38 PM

    I also really do not like advisories. I just don’t really feel like you gain anything from it. There is also quite a few people who just don’t go.

  6. Kara on March 12th, 2018 12:44 PM

    Great explanation on this topic, Alyssa. I love how you got so many different perspectives from others on Advisory.

  7. Hannah Gibbons on March 13th, 2018 12:45 PM

    I thought this article was written well on an important topic. As a senior, I agree Advisory is pointless; however, I don’t mind the longer lunches. I thought it was interesting to hear different opinions based on what grade the students were in.

  8. Nathaniel on March 14th, 2018 2:24 PM

    I really liked this article! I agree that for seniors advisory is kind of pointless, however I see how it can be useful for juniors and sophomores.

  9. Evan Hartjes on March 14th, 2018 2:29 PM

    Great article. I agree with you how advisory is useless for seniors, but I can see how it can be useful for juniors and sophomores.

  10. Tim on March 14th, 2018 2:30 PM

    The advisory period isn’t necessary for many seniors because they’ve already gotten their post-secondary school affairs in order by now. I joined the Navy and now much of the planning feels somewhat irrelevant. We’ve been pushed to decide and get these in order since Jr. High and had help with this every year. The advisory period could be useful but I feel like the focus on “career-clusters”, college and such is not very helpful to all people. The scheduling is somewhat odd placing it in the middle of the morning in the middle of the week, and it’s also a very short time. It may work better at the end of the day on the last day of the week, and being a full hour long. Show actual dedication to a helpful class period for the students instead of cramming it into the schedule randomly because the state mandated it and the students might actually appreciate it.

  11. Katie Hauer on March 14th, 2018 2:31 PM

    I have an issue with the diverseness of the instruction various teachers are giving us. In my advisory, I didn’t get to know the teacher or students, and all he does is read the powerpoint. There are definitely teachers that do it better. I would say stick with the program because I definitely believe it will get better in the next few years and be a great resource for kids. It’s just having a rough first year.
    That being said, I hope administrators take students’ critiques into account and try to work out some of the kinks. Better training to tell teachers what to do could be helpful.

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Advisory or long-lunch Wednesdays?