In September 2018, the Middle School faculty at ACDS launched a new advisory program based on the Developmental Designs platform. This approach helps students feel connected, empowered, and engaged in our school community.
Each morning, Middle School students circle up with their advisor and seven to nine of their classmates to greet each other, share what's happening in their lives, engage in activities that teach important skills, and reflect on experiences. In addition to their daily morning sessions, Advisory groups also sit together at lunch once a week, and they also come together for special projects, service learning, and sometimes just for fun!
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grade advisors meet each week to plan lessons and activities, which include conversation, journal writing, videos, articles, games, and fellowship. Using our school's core values of respect, responsibility, community, character, and perseverance, advisors craft activities and lessons that promote student reflection and sharing. In addition, many advisory plans revolve around the school's monthly themes (for example, September: inclusivity; October: cooperation; and November: gratitude).
In October, we invited Txell Pedragosa from Response to teach students about healthy relationships, including information about friendships, conflict vs. bullying, and peer pressure. In the coming months, we look forward to welcoming additional members of the community who specialize in various topics of interest to our students.
In addition, Sixth Graders have been talking about healthy eating habits; Seventh Graders planned and orchestrated the all-school assembly in early October; and Eighth Graders have focused on communication skills, including the power of their voices and speaking their truth.
Students and advisors alike enjoy beginning each day with this opportunity to connect, check in, and set a positive tone for the day ahead.