Middle School Advisory Programs

Middle School Advisory Program
Lindsay Boris and Daniela Maffeo
Arrupe Division
Boston College High School
What is Advisory?
• Advisory programs play a
critical role in a middle
school’s overall academic and
student support services plan
• Create a meaningful
relationship with one adult in
the school and a small peer
• Connection to school
• Cura Personalis – care for the
whole person
Characteristics of Effective Advisory
Address issues of community
Promote open communication
Directly improves academic performance
Functions as a community of learners
These suggestions have been adapted from “Creating a Culture of Connectedness Through
Middle School Advisory Programs” (2009) by Sarah Brody Shulkind and Jack Foote.
Strong Advisors:
• Know and care about
their advisees
• Closely supervise their
advisees’ academic
• Problem solvers and
advice givers
Arrupe Advisory Goals
• Students will grow and develop academically, emotionally,
morally, and socially.
• Develop a personal relationship with an adult figure and
become a member of a small peer group.
• Increase the sense of belonging and connectedness to the
Arrupe Division.
• Discuss their own self-development as they strive to meet the
standards of the Graduate at Graduation.
• Learn how to become active and responsible members of the
BC High community.
• Promote coordination and communication between home
and school.
Advisors vs. Guidance Counselors
• Advisors handle day-to-day issues for advisees
– Monitor the students’ academic progress
– “Front line” of communication with parents
– Facilitate meetings with Advisory group
• Guidance Counselors work with all students on
– Meet individually with students/develop individual
accommodation plans for students
– Handle more difficult situations
– Run Guidance Groups
– Oversee 7th and 8th grade Guidance Curriculum
What does Advisory look like in the
Arrupe Division?
• All full time faculty
members are Advisors
• 12:1 teacher to student
• Meet during Advisory
period bi-weekly
• Parent communication
• Community service
Advisory Topics
Goal Setting
Expectations and “Nuts and Bolts”
Team building & Ice breakers
Academic Integrity
Respect for others/Bullying awareness
Stress relief
Academic motivation
Organizational skills
Fun games and activities!
Tips for running an Advisory meeting:
• Common classroom rules should apply to the
Advisory sessions
– A commitment to the program
– Clarification of expected behaviors, and
– Involving the students themselves in discussions
critiquing the program
• Each Advisory group will develop independently,
and groups should not be compared with others
• Developing trust and connectedness cannot be
forced—it takes time
Parent Communication
• Advisors are the
primary contact for the
parents of advisees.
– September phone calls
– October conferences
– Additional
throughout the year as
How has Advisory impacted the
students and the Advisors?
Advisor surveys
Academic support
Parent communication
Individual experiences
Does Advisory work in high schools?
• Goals, topics, and themes
need to be adjusted
appropriately for
developmental level
• Montserrat Mentorship
Program for 9th and 10th
grade students will be
introduced at BC High next
Where to go from here?
• Assess your needs
– What are your school’s needs?
– What do your students need?
– Understanding strengths and
• Get faculty on-board
• Communicating with parents
to get their support
Report Card
Thank you for your interest in Advisory
Please contact us if you have any questions:
• Lindsay Boris
• lboris@bchigh.edu
• Daniela Maffeo
• dmaffeo@bchigh.edu

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