Advisory Program

Purpose of the Olympia Schools Advisory Program, grades 6-12

Our advisory program is an educational support program designed to focus on students’ academic, social, emotional, physical and ethical behaviors and progress. This is a structured time, spanned across the entire school year. Students will be asked to identify their needs, create goals and create a plan that ends with success. Teacher advisors will facilitate appropriate activities and provide consistent, caring, and continuous adult guidance. They will monitor student progress and adjust the student’s plan accordingly. We believe at the Olympia Schools that all students deserve an opportunity to be successful. All students should be respected and well known. Adults should understand students’ particular strengths and weaknesses, worries and hopes, and accommodate accordingly.

Staff at TOS should create a culture of positive relationships with our students (all of them) and create a sense of trust and mutual respect. In return, we hope to foster a sense of student responsibility and return the same level of respect. The ultimate goal is that all students are successful during their four years in high school, and become college and career ready. Students will be expected to share among themselves in small group settings within our advisory classes. Advisors will set a system of protocol and promote principles of trust. Hopefully the bond will create a level of comfort that will turn into a higher level of success for all students.

5 Key Dimensions of Successful Advisory Programs

  1. a stated purpose
  2. thoughtful organization
  3. relevant advisory program content
  4. ongoing assessment
  5. strong leadership
Purpose
  1. Advise students on academic decisions and monitor achievement
  2. Provide developmental guidance
  3. Foster communication among teachers, students, support staff, and parents
  4. Encourage peer leadership & support and practice conflict resolution
  5. Promote awareness of diversity and tolerance
  6. Engage in community outreach & service
  7. Facilitate school governance and conversations
Organization
  1. Have a stated purpose
  2. Meet on a scheduled and regular basis
  3. Organized by grade level
  4. Encourage student ownership
Advisory Program Content
  1. Common activities to support academic and developmental progress
  2. Monitor student academic achievement
  3. Communicate appropriate information to parents, teachers, and administration

Assessment In order to have a successful advisory program, advisors monitor and assess the program to ensure that growth is occurring and participants are meeting expectations (academic and social). A checklist will be developed to monitor progress. We will assess: student attendance, academic progress, referrals, number of “acts of kindness”, course grades, assessment data, individual awards, and amount of school activities and after-school-involvement.

Leadership Advisors are expected to implement, oversee, support and assess activities and student progress. Advisors will create a bond with your class of students and become their school “problem solver” - a place they can turn when needed. The advisor program is only as strong as the leadership displayed in the classroom.

Why Should We Have Meaningful Relationships?

Research shows that students perform better when they are in schools where they have a personal relationship with a caring adult. Elements of meaningful relationships include the following. Excellent teachers and administrators
  • Effective teachers are critical to helping all students meet rigorous secondary and high school coursework and Excellent teachers have high-level skills and knowledge in the subjects they teach and are trained in helping low-performing students succeed.
  • Excellent principals provide important leadership in schools and are accountable for results in student achievement, attendance and truancy rates, student engagement, and school culture.
Continuous interaction between students and adults
  • A key metric in successful mentorship programs with secondary and high school students is the ability of students to form meaningful relationships with instructors who can help them meet high standards, both academically and Evidence shows that this personal connection with an adult helps ensure that students have an advocate who understands their interests, struggles and ambitions.
No anonymity for secondary and high school students
  • Research suggests that, when each student is well-known by at least one adult, they are more likely to Having smaller teaching loads allows teachers to focus on both the academic and social development of students and allows students to demonstrate their knowledge to adults in a personalized structure. When teachers and students are able to build relationships, both are motivated to make the school environment successful.