Advisory is one of the many things that makes Bronx Lab unique. Advisory is distinct time and place where relationships are nurtured to support learning, establish personal goals, and provide social and emotional support for students.
An advisor has meaningful relationships with her or his advisees, knows them well, understands the school environment, and can best assist advisees with problems and concerns. Over the course of four years, an advisor serves as a constant mentor in the high school career of each advisee.
Advisory at BLS is part of our small school mentality. Experience tells us that our most successful students have meaningful relationships with adults who know them well and when these adults act as a first line of defense for our students, an extra safety net is cast to ensure students’ academic and social success.
Social and academic success begins by joining a student’s academic life with her or his social life. This happens in advisory through the formation of deep student to student and student to advisor relationships. In a sense, your advisory is your BLS family.
How do we accomplish the goals of Advisory?
Effective advisories are safe places where students can talk about issues they are having both in and out of school. They are a judge free atmosphere that allow for open discussion and shares about common, everyday struggles and sensitive issues that may pose unique challenges to student life.
Advisory is designed to serve the following purposes at Bronx Lab:
- To provide Academic Advisement to our students.
- To promote College Awareness in our students’ daily lives.
- To create a safe environment that promotes Social Skill Building.
- To develop our students as Readers and Writers.
What can students expect from Advisors?
The basic role of an advisor is to support each advisee’s growth as a learner in all aspects of his or her school life. The advisor is the central person at the school who is responsible for maintaining an overview of the student’s academic work and, often, the student’s social/emotional development. The advisor gets to know the “whole child” and acts as a mentor, an advocate, a coach, and a guide to each of his or her advisees.
Being an advisor shifts the traditional role of the teacher from instructor to collaborator. In general, advisors have three main areas for which they are responsible:
Meeting with their Advisory at scheduled times:
- Creating a safe environment in which advisees can communicate, collaborate, and trust each other
- Implementing an advisory curriculum
- Connecting the advisory to the school and the outside community
Mentoring each advisee and being his or her advocate. This can include:
- Supporting each advisee’s academic progress
- Academic planning: goal-setting, course selections, transcript analysis, academic contracts and problem solving conferences
- Monitoring and supporting academic work
- Supporting each advisee’s social/emotional growth
Being the advisee’s advocate on behavior and discipline matters
- Holding advisees to high behavioral standards
- Modeling accountable talk, positive behavior, and respectful relationships
- Ensuring equity by making sure that each advisee has equal opportunities and the support that he or she needs
- Gathering and tracking information on advisees in the areas of academic standing, attendance, and behavior
Being the primary contact between school and home
- Communicating advisee’s growth and/or challenges through Problem Solving
- Conferences, phone calls, letters home and Report Card Conferences