An Insight on Advisory

An Insight on Advisory
Sophomore students at work during TCB

As the first semester comes to a close, the question whether Ashland High School’s Advisory program has truly been worthwhile arises in many students and faculty members. It’s the first year Ashland High has done anything like this, and the opinions regarding the program vary widely.

As I have observed, it truly depends on your grade, teacher, class and overall attitude of Advisory that determines your outlook on the forty minute class. Some may say Advisory classes, particularly red days, are a complete waste of our day, and that we, the student body of Ashland High School have better things to do in that short period of time. Others have a better take on Advisory and see that it is truly helping them with their skills at being the best students, and people, they can be.

“I think the journal writings are pretty outrageous and stupid,” junior Ian Alpenia said. “But it’s good to be able to get homework done on white days.” This seems to be the opinion of a lot of students: Advisory is a good time to get work done in a focused environment, but the purpose of red day journal time can be somewhat overlooked. “I like TCB time a lot,” junior Emma Cobb said. According to a few Advisors at AHS, students are really using their time well to take care of business.

Freshmen, on the other hand, are known to appreciate Advisory the most. While talking to a few Advisors of freshmen classes, I got the impression that the class of 2015 truly enjoys their time in Advisory, at least according to the teachers. “I love getting to know a group of students I’m going to have for four years,” Allison French said.  Advisors at AHS have never had relationships with students like they do today in their Advisory classes.

It seems the majority opinion of sophomores at Ashland High School revolves around the fact that they have better things to do.“I feel like it would be more effective to have longer classes rather than having Advisory in the middle of the day,” sophomore Hannah Borgerson said. But in the long run, the staff behind Advisory believes there is a benefit for everybody. “There is a sense of community in our classroom,” Mark Schoenleber, art teacher and sophomore Advisor states.

A stack of the journals that students write to advisory prompts in.

“There’s a lot more focus for the juniors and seniors,” Jeanne Curty, another sophomore Advisor said. As a sophomore, I have observed Advisory does not have as much purpose as it does for the other grades. When you’re a junior or senior, your days are filled with college applications, study sessions, scholarship opportunities, and real bonding. Seniors are a little more hesitant about advisory; it’s completely new to them. But the faculty behind Advisory knows that it is benefitting them incredibly. “Seniors were six weeks ahead of requesting to apply for colleges,” AHS principal Zundel said. “They were looking at transcripts the first day of school!”

Despite the complaints from students with a lower look on Advisory, Zundel feels that Advisory is one of the most efficient systems Ashland High School has seen. “It is a systematic, academic, college advising, social support for every student,” she said. Some enjoy Advisory, some don’t. The staff knows that.

“You can’t paint with a broad brush about advisory,” Zundel said. This means that Advisory can’t apply to everyone, however, her opinion as one of the directors of the Advisory program is that it has been a success and will be a success for years to come. Zundel’s main point is that it really is the grade level of a student that determines how helpful Advisory is to them.

“We want 1,040 students to be able to make sense of their high school education,” says Zundel. Advisory is a work in progress, and whether you’re a sophomore in a class that does nothing or a senior in a class that does too much, think about the bigger picture and hope that the directors of Advisory are right and whether we enjoy our eighth period or not, it will ultimately benefit us in the end.