The Trouble With Advisory

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The Trouble With Advisory

Advisory cutbacks this school year have caused many inconveniences. A student studies via Creative Commons.

Advisory cutbacks this school year have caused many inconveniences. A student studies via Creative Commons.

Advisory cutbacks this school year have caused many inconveniences. A student studies via Creative Commons.

Advisory cutbacks this school year have caused many inconveniences. A student studies via Creative Commons.

Miller Dunbar, Editorials Editor

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Having dedicated time within school hours to meet with teachers, make up work, and study is a very valuable asset for a high school student. Whether you missed a class and need to take a quiz or you just want more help understanding the material, advisory should be a super helpful time for every Boulder High student. So, why isn’t it?

To understand the root of our newfound advisory challenges, let’s have a quick review of this year’s class schedule.

Classes end Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 3:45 PM. There is an early release on Wednesdays at 3:10 PM, but this time is dedicated to PLC and cannot be used by students to make up work or check in with teachers. On Thursday, classes end at 3:00 PM, but Freshman Seminar goes until 3:45 PM (during first semester). Buses don’t leave school until 4:05 PM, so there is “advisory” every day until 4:00 PM.

This means that there are 15 minutes of advisory three days a week, as well as an advisory on Thursday. This time could be as much as an hour, but for some students, it is just 15 minutes yet again.

Who are these students? They are freshmen and Panther Pride leaders.

To review: the majority of the student body has an hour and forty-five minutes of advisor per week, forty-five of which are broken up into three fifteen-minute periods. The freshmen, who are faced with the difficult transition to high school, and the Panther Pride leaders, who volunteer to help those kids have a smoother transition, have only an hour of advisory per week, all broken up into four fifteen- minute periods.

Now, how is this a change from last year?

The previous eight-period schedule had 3:30 PM release on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. Classes ended at 2:05 PM on Thursdays, leaving an hour and 20 minutes of advisory time. Panther Pride ended at 2:55 PM, leaving participating juniors and seniors and their freshmen with 35 minutes.

So, if we are comparing the total of minutes of advisory, last year had 80 minutes and this year has 105 minutes. Why does it feel like we barely have advisory anymore? Many athletes are unable to use the fifteen-minute advisory period after class.

Students, primarily Panther Pride leaders and student athletes, have felt the effects of the Advisory change most strongly. Student sleeping via Creative Commons.

Sure, practice has been moved to start at 4:10 PM, but preparations take time. Fifteen minutes after class just isn’t useable, meaning a large part of the student body has only an hour of advisory each week, assuming they aren’t freshmen or Panther Pride leaders. If athletes happen to be participating in Panther Pride, suddenly they have zero advisory time. Zero!

The issue here isn’t that we don’t have time set aside for advisory, it’s that the time we have isn’t actually usable. Why is this the case?

In his email welcoming students back to school this fall, Dr. Hill made it clear that while students may have extracurriculars or work after school, no schedule accommodations could be made. This means that very few athletes have a schedule that prevents them from missing work when they have away games. Some students have an off period in which they could potentially make up work, but others are faced with using their lunch period to catch up in class.

Doesn’t the school encourage participation in athletics? As my stomach is growling in seventh period after making up a timed essay during lunch, it doesn’t really feel like it.

I am aware that a schedule change at this point in the school year is unrealistic, but I would hope that the school strongly considers these flaws in our schedule for next year. The disjointed format of advisory periods this year makes the time much less functional, and it’s hurting our students. If we are going to make the choice to give the student body time to make up work and get help from teachers, let’s do it right.