A New Look at Advisory

Vivian Berens, Staff Writer

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The students of Erie High School have been buzzing recently following the administration’s implementation of Advisory and Tiger Time after exchanging them for SSR. 

The conversation began two years ago when the school was using time called Silent Sustained Reading (SSR), which was every day for 20 minutes. This class was attached to the beginning of the second block, allowing students to stay within this class for an additional 20 minutes rather than being a seperate class. However, the administration realized that this wasn’t the most effective way to give students additional time to work in the classroom due to the frequent postponing of assemblies as well as a lack of support from teachers. “[We found that] SSR was being used by some teachers but not all and it just wasn’t consistent enough,” Julie Pohlman added. 

In 2017, the school replaced SSR with advisory, which is also 20 minutes long, and takes place in your advisory teacher’s room exclusively on Thursdays. The intention was for advisory to be a primarily work based class where students could work with teachers and other students on plans for the future, college, helping the administration, talk to teachers and all around to be more focused and productive. Julie Pohlman added, “The biggest thing [for us] was that, advisory is a really great space during the day to start working on future plans. Getting stuff done and feeling connected to the school, learning about your test scores, and so it’s really a warehouse of places to put that information that doesn’t pull you out of classes. That was [our] goal.” 

Advisory was also designed to be more flexible in order to cater to each grade level and their different needs. For example, Seniors advisory class is all about life after high school, such as college, budgeting and finances. Whereas, just recently there was an assembly for juniors that was all about the kids getting their test scores back, reflecting, and learning from them. “[For seniors] The beginning of the year we really work on making sure they have good solid plans for next year and that they know what they’re gonna do and how they’re gonna do it and the best way to make it happen for them while they are here. The second part of the year they start focusing more on life skills,”  Mrs. Pohlman added.

 It is important to know that students will be graded on their productivity and participation in advisory, and will be required to pass the class for one fourth of a credit in order to graduate. 

Last year, the school implemented Tiger Time that is exclusively on Fridays. It takes place in the advisory teacher’s room in between first and second block for 30 minutes. It is time designated for students to study, work on assignments, read, check grades, talk to teachers, and more. It’s essentially an extension onto advisory, where students become a little more independent. 

The school has taken a great interest these past few years in setting aside time that allows students an opportunity to focus on their dreams, and the steps involved to get there.

Though, former students may not have had as many possibilities, the current and upcoming students have a chance to be more successful and consistent in their schoolwork and plans after high school. Advisory and Tiger Time are places dedicated to the students’ needs. The administration continues to evolve the advisory classroom setting to fit the students needs best.