The new school year is always exciting: filled with new schedules, new classes, and old friends. But this year, something even newer is afoot in the Upper School schedule: a brand new advisor period.
Previously, the advisor time was not a block in the schedule, but rather a 20 minute break every A, C, D and F day. Though it benefited many students to have a short break to talk to other teachers, finish any last-minute studying, socialize, and eat a quick snack, MFS faculty felt that something was missing. They decided to alter the program, replacing four 20-minute advisories a rotation with one forty-minute advisory once a rotation. The new advisor period is scheduled every D-Day from 12:14 – 12:57. Despite the fact that we have only been able to experience this new advisor period a few times this year, the new addition seems to have students voicing a myriad of reactions and opinions.
Ms. MacKenzie had high expectations for this new program. “Most important to me, is for advisors and advisees to spend more meaningful time with each other,” MacKenzie said. She wanted students and their advisors to be able to connect and bond with each other, and strongly believed that the added 20 minutes will allow for that. While the longer period means less meeting times, it also welcomed “First Period Prep.” “We see each other less frequently, but it’s more meaningful time together. And the First Period Prep block allows students to get extra help, make up quizzes and tests, and talk with other teachers,” MacKenzie told WordsWorth.
Though many advisors are pleased with the possibilities and benefits that this program can bring, student responses have been more mixed. Junior Ally Maier was quick to point out her doubts about the block. “It may solve one issue, but it creates more issues,” she said. “We’re kept out of the loop because not meeting your advisor more than once can cause you not to get informed about important things.” Janasia Copling, a senior this year, agreed with Ally, saying, “I liked the consistency of seeing your advisor and advisees more that once a rotation.” Senior Spencer Dennis added in agreement, “I don’t like the 40 minute block because I can’t get to know and spend more time with the advisees.”
However, many students also recognized the period’s benefits; namely, more time to study, complete homework, make up assessments, talk with teachers, and work with classmates on projects. Junior Han Nguyen expressed her liking toward the longer period, saying, “I prefer the 40-minute block because I need time to do work and see teachers.” Maier seconded that opinion; “We can definitely get more done in this block.”
Overall, the new program has produced mixed opinions from students as to whether the revised program is beneficial or not.