The foundation for school culture within The Étude Group is built in the Advisory program. Each advisory group consists of 12-16 students and one advisor, ensuring that every student has at least that one adult advocate on staff. Advisory meets for 30 minutes each day, working together to provide academic support, plan for the future, and build community.
The advisory routine includes time for both academic reflection and progress. Every week, students check feedback from teachers, including grade reports, and set goals for self-improvement. These goals are discussed not only with the advisor, but with peers as well, so that students can be accountable for each other. The weekly “guided work time” in advisory functions as more than a study hall. Students begin and end each session with a journal of their work habits, helping them identify how to independently maintain focus and productivity.
The future-planning portion of Advisory is differentiated for different age groups. Sixth grade advisories are focused on the transition from elementary to middle school. Seventh and eighth grade advisories plan for the habits and skills needed to succeed when they reach high school.
Equally as important is the time spent in advisory building positive social connections. Every week begins with gatherings, or structured discussions, about who the advisory members are as individuals and as a group. Throughout the week, students continue to talk, collaborate, and have fun with each other. As students become more comfortable within their advisory, they are ready to be more comfortable within the school as a whole.