At Inspire School of Arts & Sciences, we talk about Advisory quite a bit, because we see it as a key component to student success and campus culture.
But, what is Advisory, anyway?
Simply put, Advisory is a regular course at Inspire that creates space for students and teachers to check in about school progress, discuss important topics, and build connections with classmates and campus. At the beginning of their four-year high school education, grade-level cohorts of Inspire students are assigned to a faculty Advisor in a class which meets four times per week for thirty minutes a day. These students spend their entire high school career with the same peers and teacher/Advisor.
What makes Advisory such an integral part of the Inspire experience?
Advisory supports student progress so they stay engaged.
We all need a little bit of encouragement sometimes. During the Advisory period, students get time with a teacher who will support them as they are moving through each school year. Their teacher, or Advisor, will review their grades with them, ask about any struggles they may be having with academics, share information and updates about the school, and make tailored plans alongside students to help them achieve success in their courses. Because this time is built into students’ course schedules, feedback and check-ins are part of their weekly routine — which leads to more accountability and a stronger support system when the going gets tough.
Advisory allows students to create lasting social connections with their peers.
Studies show that when students feel well-connected to their peers, they have better mental health and better success in school. Being with the same group of peers for four years creates trust and connection that regular courses simply cannot cultivate. Students are randomly assigned to Advisory during their first year at Inspire, which means they are interacting with a diverse group of peers who may have differing interests, areas of study, and social groups. Advisory breaks barriers and gives dedicated time for students to socialize with each other and their Advisor, have fun, and build community.
Advisory is a place to celebrate campus culture.
We mean it when we describe Inspire as a family. We work hard to celebrate campus through Spirit Days, campus-wide events, all-school productions, and more. When it’s time to honor campus culture, Advisory is where it all begins. Students practice collaboration and communication skills to plan events, engage in healthy competition with other Advisory classes, and celebrate their Inspire spirit throughout the year. It is also where teachers can share news with students about campus events and productions, as well as opportunities to get more deeply involved and connected to the school.
Advisory is a safe space for courageous conversations.
When current events warrant difficult conversations, Advisory period is where we have those discussions. Building upon the foundations already created among cohort members, teachers facilitate small-group discussions about issues that are impacting our communities, our country, and our world. This space allows for thoughtful discourse and even disagreement among classmates, teaching them how to think critically and communicate respectfully when big things happen. Whether a local crisis or an issue of national concern, we encourage students to discuss hard topics, so they are better prepared to engage productively–even with people who may disagree with them–and to be civically active during and after high school.
Advisory is just one way that Inspire keeps students actively involved in their learning and development, and just one reason why our school has one of the highest attendance and graduation rates in the region — even during COVID-19.
Want to learn more?
Enrollment for Inspire School of Arts & Sciences is open from December 1 to January 31st. Apply today, learn more, and schedule a socially-distanced tour by visiting our enrollment page. To learn about upcoming enrollment events, webinars, and productions, click here.