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A3: Got Advisory? How to Use Small Group Advisory Programs to Deliver Your College Counseling Program Bob Bardwell, Monson Innovation High School, MA Sara.

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Presentation on theme: "A3: Got Advisory? How to Use Small Group Advisory Programs to Deliver Your College Counseling Program Bob Bardwell, Monson Innovation High School, MA Sara."— Presentation transcript:

1 A3: Got Advisory? How to Use Small Group Advisory Programs to Deliver Your College Counseling Program Bob Bardwell, Monson Innovation High School, MA Sara Kratzok, City on a Hill Charter School, MA Jayne Fonash, Academy of Science, VA Karen Rowe, The Meadows School, NV

2 What is Advisory? Small group advisory is an opportunity for all students to connect with an adult school staff member in small groups (10-12) on a regular basis. Students may participate in team building and interclass activities as well as participate in discussions about important school- related topics (i.e.: bullying, cheating, appreciation of differences, goal setting, future planning). Advisory can also act as a time for teachers to "check-in" with students in one-on-one meetings while other students complete school work. Advisory creates opportunity to foster ongoing relationships in hopes of improving the climate and sense of connectedness within the school. Advisory is not to be solely implemented by the counseling staff. It is an entire staff initiative.

3 The research shows….. One caring adult in a childs life can make a lasting impact on his or her developmental trajectory (Rutter, 1990) Being known and having a sense of connectedness has positive effects on academic achievement and keeps students coming to school (Blum & Libbey, 2004) Advisory connects students and staff in ways that can decrease the pervasive anonymity in large high schools that has been correlated with dropout (Youth Transitions Task Force, 2006) When schools provide access to extracurricular opportunities for development, students are more likely to succeed and even more important for students from under-served families and neighborhoods (Croninger & Lee, 2001)

4 Research continued In schools where school counselors are overburdened and personalized attention is not always the norm, advisors play a critical role in answering questions, writing recommendation letters, and ensuring that students are on track to graduate (Malone, 2009) Advisors help to effectively engage students and weave career skills into the curriculum (DeMartino & Wolk, 2010) Students in small schools report a greater sense of belonging, leading to more positive social behaviors, have improved academic performance, higher graduation rates, and lower dropout rates (Center for Collaborative Education, 2003) Teachers are not provided with enough resources and professional development to adequately deal with issues of social and emotional development (Darling-Hammond, 1997, 2002).

5 Advantages of Advisory Provides another adult in addition to the school counselor in the school to get to know each student Makes a large school feel smaller Can help to deliver the guidance curriculum and other skills not taught elsewhere in the curriculum Increases morale & improves school climate Provides opportunity for class spirit and friendly competition Provides team building opportunities Provides opportunity for school wide dissemination of information quickly and in a small group environment Delivers a college counseling program

6 Advisory Delivery Models Daily Once per week Every couple of weeks or as needed Homeroom Alphabetical By interest area (i.e.: knitting, basketball) Clubs/activities (i.e.: Student Council, NHS, Rocket Club) By teacher/shop Random/mixed grades Can provide class meeting or activity time

7 Challenges with Advisory Strike a balance between curriculum and fun activities Unengaged advisors Staff who do not participate Staff who do not conform to the expectations Advisors who do not follow directions Seniors may get tired Students who do not get along in the same group Creating student and staff buy in What happens when discipline problems arise Finding topics relevant to all students

8 Monson High School 350 students, grades 9-12, Public 2 school counselors 4 X 4 extended block schedule Limited opportunity for classroom guidance 85-90% attend college yearly, about 50% to 4 year & 40% to 2 year 95% white 95% attendance rate 1.4% drop out rate 21% low income 10% special education

9 Advisory at Monson High School Started in 2003 with freshmen only In 2008 began adding sophomores, then juniors, then seniors Started with volunteers from the staff; now all participate voluntarily Created a separate bell schedule taking 7 minutes from each block Meets once per week on Fridays in between 1 st & 2 nd periods Can meet more often if needed 27 minutes; 45 minute schedule also is available Adults stay with students all four years Curriculum is organized by volunteer committee –Work to achieve a balance between formal curriculum and fun activities Year end survey data consistently indicates student & staff benefit from our Advisory program

10 College Prep Advisory Curriculum at MIHS All grades –Door decoration contest Grade 9 –Major focus is on transition –Alumni Day 1 st year grads come back to speak with freshmen Grade 10 –PLAN –Understanding your GPA –Building your college resume – activities, grades, attitude –Recommendations

11 College Prep Advisory Curriculum at MHS (cont) Grade 11 –PSAT –Field Trip to local community college for Accuplacer –College planning calendar –SAT/ACT –Letters of recommendation Grade 12 –Essay writing –Common Application demonstration –Vision Boards & goal setting –Transition to college

12 City on a Hill Charter Public School Located in Roxbury, MA Founded in 1995 Charter public school, enrolls students through lottery system 290 students in grades 9-12 100% college acceptance rate 70% low-income 85% African American, 14% Hispanic/Latino 20% speak a language other than English at home 18% receive Special Education service 2 college counselors

13 Advisory at City on a Hill Each grade is divided into advisories of 12-20 students and one advisor Advisors serve as the communication link between the school and families Advisors teach a daily 25-minute lesson from an established curriculum Students remain in the same advisory throughout high school

14 Junior Seminar Created in the 2010-2011 school year Original college preparation curriculum delivered by College Counselor Taught in each junior advisory once a week Pass/Fail course with regular class work, homework, and quizzes Divided into six units: 1.Why Should I Go to College? 2.What Do I Want in a College? 3.How Do Colleges See Me as a Future Applicant? 4.How Can I Connect with Colleges? 5.Admissions and Financial Aid Application Process 6.Preparing for Senior Year

15 Academy of Science Loudoun County Public Schools, VA Opened Fall 2005 The mission of AOS is to provide an academic environment where students are encouraged to develop creative scientific endeavors of their own design, while having the opportunity to pursue a rich, well-rounded high school experience. Students attend the AOS for the science/math/research core while attending their home high schools on alternating days. This schedule enables students to maintain involvement in academic and extra-curricular activities at their home school while participating in a rigorous, research-based math and science program. 262 students in grades nine through twelve 100% college bound, with 99% of students attending four-year institutions Class sizes range from 16 to 20; 11 faculty & 2 administrators

16 Academy of Science Loudoun County Public Schools, VA Students are offered admission to the Academy of Science through a competitive process during the eighth grade year. Students are selected on the basis of a holistic review of their application, standardized test scores, middle school transcript, teacher recommendations, and personal essays. A student at the Academy of Science will acquire skills to: Ask sophisticated scientific questions and conduct research and experimentation Read, write and communicate at a level that is required of university students Integrate personal scientific and academic background into a broad (holistic) view of the world

17 Academy of Science Nurturing, Inquiry, Integration Because of our commitment to nurture as well as instruct, each teacher is assigned an Advisory Group Advisory teachers start with students when they enter the academy and stay with them until graduation Advisory teacher often teaches students as well. Faculty advisors will visit each family during the summer before the students first year at the academy. Advisory teachers join the guidance director as the communication link between the school and families.

18 Academy of Science Nurturing, Inquiry, Integration Advisory Period begins every day at the AOS, allowing for frequent contact with advisors and opportunity for formal/informal conversations. Advisory meetings approximately once per month including the following topics: Transition to high school Time management/planning Goal setting Academic collaboration Building a meaningful resume Ethics Essay writing Building relationships/letters of recommendation Aspects of the college planning process each year, with emphasis on the Junior year.

19 Academy of Science Nurturing, Inquiry, Integration Benefits of the Advisory Period at the AOS: Faculty advisors join the AOS Guidance Director in providing a wide range of information and guidance concerning the college admission process. AOS faculty have developed a significant level of involvement in student essay writing. AOS faculty develop rich relationships with students through multiple roles as advisor, teacher and mentor; as a result they are able to write detailed, meaningful letters of recommendation Students and parents value these multiple relationships (with teachers and college counselor) in the college advisement process.

20 The Meadows School Independent, co-ed, college prep PK-12 school in Las Vegas, NV 100% college acceptance 274 students in grades 9-12 2 college counselors Advisory every Monday 8:00 a.m.- 8:25 a.m., grades 9-12 Advisory lottery for teachers Fall: seniors meet with college counselors Spring: juniors meet with college counselors / no senior advisory

21 TMS College Prep Advisory Lessons New topics every Monday related to seniors/juniors and college preparation Conversations not lectures Topics for seniors: timeline, college essays, scholarships, financial aid, admissions jargon, college visit tips, mock interviews, advice from a college representative, decision time, college vs. high school Topics for juniors: PSAT interpretation, Family Connection, researching colleges, rankings, GPA admissions game, Common Application, college articles, Colleges That Change Lives, Hidden Gems, Who Went Where Every Lesson: index cards, college visitors, announcements

22 Wakefield High School Suburban, public high school located in Raleigh, NC Approximately 2,800 students grades 9-12 Approximately 86% attend a 4 year college 6 grade level/alpha counselors plus a Dean of Students Advisory team developed lesson plans carried out by teachers Teachers assigned students by alphabet, stay with them each year Met every 2 weeks, extended 2nd period by 10 minutes No attendance or grades before lunch Lost focus

23 Suggestions For A Large High School Advisory Get students, teachers, administrators and counselors working together Allow advisors to have choices Pass/Fail Attendance At least 20 minutes Counselors should also have advisory Train and recruit teachers, e.g., workshop before school starts Hands on activities Incorporate topics school wide, e.g., scavenger hunts, where did you go to college?

24 For More Information Bob Bardwell,, 413.267.4589 Sara Kratzok,, 617.445-1515 Jayne Fonash,, Karen Rowe,, 702-254-1610

25 References Blum, R. & Libbey, H. (2004). School Connectedness – Strengthening Health and Education Outcomes for Teenagers. Journal of School Health, 74(4). Retrieved from Croninger, R.G. & Lee, V.E. (2001). Social capital and dropping out of high schools: Benefits to at-risk students of teachers support and guidance. Teachers College Record, 103(4), 548- 581. DiMartino, J. & Wolk, D. (2010). The Personalized High School: Making Learning Count for Adolescents. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA. Malone, H. J. (2009, Fall). Build a bridge from high school to college: Transition programs are essential for many disadvantaged students. Phi Kappa Phi Forum. Retrieved from Rutter, M. (1990). Psychosocial resilience and protective mechanisms. In J. Rolf, A.S. Masten, D. Cicchetti, K.H. Nuechterlein, & S. Weintraub (Eds.), Risk and protective factors in the development of psychopathology (pp. 181-214). New York: Cambridge University Press.

26 References continued Youth Transitions Task Force Report. (2006). Too Big To Be Seen: The Invisible Dropout Crisis in Boston and America. Boston, MA: Boston Private Industry Council. Schanfield, M. (2010). Practical approaches to advising: High school programs create support systems for students transitioning from high school to college. Retrieved from the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources Web site: school-advisory.htm Darling-Hammond, L. (2002). Redesigning Schools: What Matters Most and What Works School Redesign Network. Center for Collaborative Education. (2003). How are Boston Pilot Schools Students Faring?

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