New advisory intended to provide support

Kali Ray, Reporter & photo mentor

A new district-wide initiative, called advisory, has been a hot topic among students. Many wonder why the school has implemented the program now, or why it’s necessary.

Advisory, also referred to as homeroom in some schools, is not only a learning space, but is also meant to be a form of support for students.

“Advisory offers support in two forms,” Jean Busey, counselor, said.

”[Advisory] supplies built-in peer groups for all students in a high school, including new students. Second, it gives students an adult who knows them well and who can offer advocacy and support,” she said.

Advisors are also meant to become a contact point for parents regarding their student’s achievement.

“Establishing meaningful relationships between students and advisors is the goal,” Busey said.

Busey’s daughter, age 24, is still in contact with her own high school advisor and the students from the group.

Busey insists that it’s more than a district requirement. Advisory is meant to help students have a constant peer group and a place to discuss issues they face in their daily lives.

Busey encourages those skeptical about the program to give it a shot.

“Advisory programs have been around for a long time and have been very successful,” Busey explained. “[Advisory] improves school climate by enhancing both student-to-student connectedness and student-to-teacher connectedness.”

The program is planned to cover many topics, such as study skills, mental health, test prep, community building, community resources, respect for diversity and individuality, and more.

While some teachers have shown skepticism, most have welcomed the new program.

“The vast majority of teachers have supported advisory, citing that they realize that this is an opportunity to connect with students and make them feel to be a meaningful member of this school community,” Busey said.

The advisory program is not perfect, Busey admitted, but it is slowly getting better.

“It takes time to develop an effective advisory program, so hopefully everyone can be patient,” Busey said.

They are also working to tailor lessons from a nationally renowned high school advisory program to fit to this school’s needs. Several Olathe high schools have already had an advisory program for many years.

Considering how new the program still is, perhaps everyone should hold back their complaints and see how it goes.

Who knows, it could be the best 25 minutes of the day for students by the end of the year