Strengthening our Advisories

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Strengthening the Heart of LiHigh School

The following relates specifically to a change in our Social Entrepreneurial program, but some of it applies across the board.

As a school that gives students direct control over their time, one of the challenges we face is creating and maintaining a culture where learning is the order of the day. Students should be free to work on whatever interests them, but they should also remember to work. To reinforce this idea, we’ve made some changes this year to strengthen the heart of our school: the advisory.

Following our pick-me-up session in the morning, students will start their days meeting with their advisory, which includes only those students who share the same advisor. Each advisor has the latitude to direct their 60-minute advisory blocks as they see fit, but generally speaking, this will be a time to build and organize portfolios, critique peer and professional work, improve basic knowledge of vocabulary and math facts, develop general productivity skills, perform community service, explore different learning styles, discuss current events, investigate interesting problems, take short field trips, find and contact mentors, and more.

The advisory block will be followed by 75 minutes of guided work time, during which the students will remain with their advisory and receive guidance on their independent projects, complete homework for their seminars and workshops, and receive support for their internships.

While we remain a school in which students can choose what to do with their time, our push for stronger advisories reinforces the notion that the range of choices available to students remains within the context of learning. Because as it says in the preamble to the laws passed by the students and staff during School Congress last year, at LiHigh School, “learning is the order of the day.”

Author: Kyle Callahan

Hi, I'm Kyle. I'm an advisor at LiHigh School. I've been involved in progressive education since I was in high school. I was an original member (and student representative) of the Progressive Program at Green Mountain College, and for my Master's degree, I attended Goddard College, which started the trend toward progressive education in the 1960s. Along with teaching at LiHigh School, I teach courses in creative writing and communications at Green Mountain College. I live with my wife and daughter in Poultney.

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