by Annabell Werner
With a new school year, there are many changes to the ASW Upper School schedule. One of the most obvious is an increase in the amount of advisory time.
Many people will remember their advisory period being a 20-minute advisory every Wednesday before lunch, as a useful way to exchange information between faculty and students. This year, however, advisory occurs four days a week for grade 11 and 12, with Wednesday skipped due to it being a short day. 9th and 10th grade advisory is every other day, excepting Wednesdays.
According to Ms. Berntson, this year’s advisory is more a time for community and an additional opportunity to get support from one more teacher outside of class.
The support, however, is different between ninth and tenth grade, and eleventh and twelfth. Ms. Berntson stated that “The needs are a little bit different based on the student’s development.”
This is why the younger classes, especially 9th grade, need support related to joining High School, the older grades, are more independent and require more information on applying to colleges/universities, getting ready for life after graduation, going through their IB program successfully, as well as better time management.
One reason for devoting more time to advisory to avoid disruption in the academic life of the students. In previous years, assemblies needed to be scheduled between or over top of classes. Many teachers saw those assemblies as taking away precious class time. While many students may have seen that as something good, teachers had problems getting all the scheduled material done on time.
Mr. Josh, a ninth grade advisor, likes this year’s advisory schedule. He calls it a “good opportunity to connect with students that one might not normally connect with.” Furthermore, he enjoys having a lower stress level than in class, but also sees it as “A chance for collaborative and social learning”.
Students have differing opinions about the new advisory.
For Juniors and Seniors such as Sarah M. (12), advisory is much more frequent this year, and is no longer just a information period, but a time for community and an opportunity to fit assemblies in easier. “I find that last year’s advisory was not always productive, and this year feels like we are more efficient and more informed,” she said.
Freshmen and Sophomore advisory increased to 70 minutes this year. David B., a 10th Grader, saw last year’s 15-minute period as too short to accomplish much of importance. “Last year advisory was too short, we did not have time to do basically anything.” However, he also thinks that the 70 minutes this year are to long. “This year advisory is too long, we spend most of the time just sitting around.” On the whole, he prefers the way advisor was last year, especially because the new advisory shortens lunch.
Under the new system, students have the opportunity to talk to their advisory teacher if they want to hold or organize an event, such as an assembly or an event such as the Coffeehouse.
One such event was an assembly on Sept. 21st , organized by Sarah M., about International Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Day. “My friends and I have decided to use this opportunity to raise awareness at ASW about the illness.”