Marian to Implement New Advisory Period for 2020-21 School Year
Beginning with the 2020-21 school year, Marian Central Catholic will be adjusting the daily bell schedule in order to provide a 25 minute advisory period each day. The advisory period was initially developed in order to eliminate the continuous interruptions to the day… to preserve instructional time. The advisory period will be utilized to absorb some typical high school events such as announcements, providing information on standardized testing like Pre-ACT, PSAT, and ACT, dissemination of club initiatives, student council elections, locker clean-outs, student cheer-outs, and the like. While this is certainly going to be a huge advantage to our academic program, providing more consistent and reliable time each period in which to teach our students, the advisory period offers us several other important opportunities.
One advantage to advisory periods is that they provide students with a home base for their four years at Marian. Every teacher will over see an advisory class of 18-20 students. These students would remain together for the duration of their Marian years, thus building a community that encourages a sense of belonging and respect. The teacher or “advisor” would be able to develop closer, more personal relationships with this smaller group of students over a longer range of time, thus providing each student with a consistent adult that they could go to in our building.
Platform for Development
Another great advantage to having advisory periods is that it provides time carved out each day for students to decompress from their daily schedule of classes and offers occasional opportunity for Marian Central to attend to some of the students social/emotional needs, which has become an increasing concern at our school. We assume that our teenage students automatically know how to behave or handle certain situations, but oftentimes they don’t have the proper tools to do so and advisory time will provide that. Whether that’s having discussions on how to deal with anxiety, adjusting to high school (freshmen), or cultural sensitivity, we can use this time to help our students manage/confront the many issues they face during their teen years.
A third advantage to an advisory period, and one of the most obvious ones, is that students can use this time to reorganize and refocus on their studies. Many of our students opt out of taking a study hall because they have certain academic goals and classes they want to take that don’t allow them to. Additionally, many of those same students take very challenging classes which require additional homework and expectations. The anxiety of these students to perform and maintain can be relaxed a little if they know that they have dedicated time in which to study, reorganize, or do homework. While this is not a study hall, there will still be many opportunities for students to catch up on their work or time to check their grades with a caring adult there to assist if needed.
Finally, but certainly no less important, we are hoping to incorporate some daily mass opportunities into the advisory time. Though the schedule has not yet been finalized, we feel that by providing some time during the actual school day to attend mass, more students will have the opportunity and desire to attend. As you know, we have tried to offer mass before school and after school, with low student attendance. We realize that it may be difficult for students to get here early or stay late, including all the club and sport obligations students may have, so we are hoping that by offering some mass opportunities during the school day, more students will find a way to spend time with our Lord.
We are very excited to implement this daily advisory period next year. We believe that the benefits, including connecting with peers and adults, having an advisor who is an advocate for each student, as well as personal, academic, and spiritual growth opportunities will help our students navigate their high school years and better prepare them for life beyond the walls of Marian Central.