Advisory at GSA
The GSA advisory program is one of many ways in which we provide guidance and support to students during their time here. Advisor groups, typically 10-12 students led by a faculty member or administrator, are formed freshman year and stay together till graduation. These weekly meetings over the course of four years create strong student-advisor relationships, provide exceptional support for students, and create a strong sense of belonging.
Though the program has always included help with course scheduling, academic planning, parent communication, adolescent development and mental health, discussions across the academy led to the decision to add two new elements to advisory starting in fall 2018: practical life skills and community values.
Some of the practical life skills to be covered include personal finance, credit, stress relief, cooking, healthy eating, fitness, getting a job, and basic car maintenance. Four or five of these skills will be taught at each grade level with the aim of introducing students to the entire curriculum by graduation.
Our community core values will be promoted both in advisory and other areas of our programming. These values, selected by a committee with input from the entire faculty and staff, are empathy, respect, and preparedness. The committee also developed a list of behaviors that promote and reflect those values. Community Core Values posters have been put up in classrooms and other places around campus to remind all members of the GSA community, not just students, to take positive approaches to conflicts that may arise on campus during the school day, but also in the larger community.
The advisory system is coordinated by Dean of Students Todd Eckenfelder.