Independent schools’ “Best Educational Practices” include a weekly advisory period with time set aside to allow students in the Middle and Upper Schools to meet with a faculty advisor.
Faculty advisors are teachers or administrators who serve as positive adult mentors, encouraging our students to take that next step in academia, sports, or whatever the specific student’s passions may be. They also provide a sympathetic ear or emotional support to students who may need it. It is with the advisor that a student can talk about the stresses of academics or worries about college in a safe, supportive space whenever needed.
Each faculty advisor leads five to ten student “advisees” of the same grade level. Together, the students form a cohort called an “Advisory Team.” Each Advisory Team works together as a group to maximize the Epiphany experience, explore different topics, perform community service projects, celebrate one another’s achievements, and support one another through setbacks.
Advisory Teams compete in a fun and positive way to win Advisory Championship Challenge (ACC) points. ACC points are awarded to students for achieving good grades, logging community service hours, participating in cocurriculars, bringing in Box Tops for Education, and selling tickets to the fund-raising gala and auction. The team with the most ACC points wins the championship prize, which is announced on the schoolwide field trip to Camp Seafarer . The winning advisory team also receives a special activity at camp and championship T-shirts, and has their photograph hung on the wall at the school. ACC teams can always review and find ways to improve their standing, reinforcing a robust sense of school spirit.