Sage’s Middle School Advisory Program develops each student’s well-being and character, and challenges our students to think about how they can contribute to the world around them. All advisors are classroom teachers and interact with their advisees regularly in the academic setting, providing the advisor with critical insight into the life of the student at school. Advisors work in an important partnership with parents and Sage staff, including administrators, the school counselor, and other teachers. The Middle School teaching team meets once a week to discuss individual student concerns, and the team also meets together before conferences to discuss every single student in the Middle School.
Advisors confer with students during homeroom period at the beginning and end of each day to focus on practical and organizational issues. Advisors and parents have two formal conferences during the academic year, one in the fall and one in the spring. Finally, every Wednesday afternoon, and often on Friday afternoons, homerooms meet in an extended advising period to discuss issues that are typical for Middle Schoolers. These weekly sessions provide an important opportunity to check in with each student and to discuss, reflect, and journal on typical adolescent concerns.
The issues that are discussed in advisory sessions are tailored to the developmental needs of each grade and to the overall concerns of early adolescents. During the first half of sixth grade, the Advisory Program focuses on transitioning each student into the Middle School Division, including time management and organization; and the second half focuses on friendships and relationships. Seventh grade continues the exploration of personal organization and also focuses on decision making. In eighth grade, students focus on developing leadership skills, managing their secondary school application process, and continue to discuss relationships and responsibilities, such as how to manage a budget. Middle Schoolers also use advising sessions to plan for and discuss field trips, debrief the many social events for Middle Schoolers sponsored by the Sage Parent Association, and talk about afterschool activities and the students’ experiences.
The Middle School also often gets together to hear speakers regarding careers or academic topics of interest to all, share planning for special events, or engage in community service activities, all of which contribute to the strong community feeling in our program.
Often, Advisory feels like the cozy living room of a friend, and it is an important place simply to have fun together: Playing a game, discussing current events, or sharing loved books.