Frequently Asked Questions regarding WHS’ Advisory Program

1. When will the advisory program officially start?

The program is scheduled to begin at the start of the 2012-2013 school year.

2. What is the purpose of the program?

The purpose of the program is to build student-teacher relationships in an effort to ensure that all students at Wellesley High School have an adult in the building, other than their guidance counselor, who knows them well.

3. Will advisors be required to follow each lesson?

The advisory coordinator will be responsible for developing and distributing a monthly newsletter for all advisors. Each month will be associated with a theme, and lessons will be provided that address each theme. There will be the expectation that all advisors are addressing the monthly theme, though whether or not they do so using the provided lessons is their choice.

4. Will this be part of the faculty evaluation process?

Not during the pilot program. This is something that would have to be negotiated if the advisory program becomes a permanent fixture in the WHS culture, community, and schedule.

5. Will time be provided to discuss the progress of the program during faculty meetings, half-days, etc.?

Yes, scheduled professional development meeting time will be dedicated to discussing the advisory program and evaluating the progress of the program.

6. Will everyone be required to do the program?

Yes, it is the expectation that all faculty members will serve as advisors. An exception would include part-time faculty, based on their availability.

7. Can I team my advisory group with another advisory group?

It would be fine for an advisory group to pair up with another advisory group, on occasion. Also, in the event of a crisis that might be addressed in advisory, the pairing of advisory groups would be welcome and recommended, especially if an advisor felt uncomfortable addressing the issue alone.

8. Will my roll as an advisor replace the roll of the guidance counselor?

No. The expectation is that the counselor would continue to serve the students, just as they are currently serving our students.

9. If one of my students discloses sensitive information what should I do?

Just as you would do now, as a classroom teacher, refer the student to their guidance counselor or contact the student's counselor with your concerns.

10. How will the students know the expectations of the advisory relationships?

It should be clearly stated to the students that any sensitive information a student shares may be passed onto their guidance counselor.

11. Who will cover an advisory when the teacher is absent?

During daily advisory time (8 minute block), teachers have been asked to find an advisory buddy. Teachers should communicate with their students that if they are absent, their advisees should report to the room of their advisory buddy for that day.

On half-days, there will be coverage for advisories when advisors are absent. Advisors may ask their advisory buddy to cover for that day, arrange coverage from a substitute, or ask the advisory coordinator to cover the advisory for the day. In the event that more than one advisor is absent, we may ask those groups of students to gather in the cafeteria and the advisory coordinator and student supervisors will supervise that space for the advisory time.

We also encourage teachers to pair up with staff/non-faculty members, and if a teacher is absent the staff member may cover the advisory.

12. How will the program be evaluated?

An independent evaluation committee has been formed to evaluate this program. The members of that committee are Kyle Getz, Rita Bourne, Lindsey Yamaguchi, and Caroline Prinn. Please see any of these four individuals with any questions, concerns, or recommendations regarding the evaluation process.