One student’s opinion: Are our advisories too restrictive?

Viktor Milosavljević, Opinions Editor

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Students at Sandburg know advisory as “second hour”–a place where homework can be completed, tests and quizzes can be made up, and, most importantly, extra and often much needed help can be sought from teachers. While some just listen to music or attempt to nap during advisory, numerous students have taken advantage of the thirty five minutes between their first and third hours to study or work on projects collaboratively. On testing days, certain advisory classes are completely full of students looking to absorb all of the necessary information to receive an A.

Advisory is very important to a large number of students due to the academic opportunities it offers, which is why there are students including myself who wonder why certain advisory days are restricted. The current scheduling system in place has various limits on advisory opportunities that change as the year progresses. At the beginning of this semester there were no opportunities for “intervention days” where students could go to one of their teachers for help on material that needs extra instruction. Until recently, students were not even allowed to go for intervention on Fridays. This year, all restrictions on advisory will be lifted at the beginning of May. That means that our potential advisory time is being shortened every week for almost the entire year.

Aren’t academics of the most importance at Sandburg? While I understand that Mondays are reserved for our assigned advisory classes where we satisfy the social emotional education requirement mandated by the district and the state. To satisfy that requirement, we have a collective discussion of important topics from Sandburg events to planning for our futures. While our social and emotional well being is important, we have support from our councilors to our teachers if we need it in these regards. So I personally do not see any benefit for the students or the school that could be gained by denying students the ability to go to their teachers for extra help on Fridays, when tests usually take place, and when help is most needed. In addition, completely removing intervention days from the first half of January is harmful to many students such as myself who have AP classes, and still need extra instruction from teachers despite the fact that it is early in the semester.

Advisory scheduling and its regulation sometimes takes the usefulness out of the twenty five minute period. The system is so complicated that there are several advisory schedule calendars in the hallways telling students when they are allowed to visit other teachers’ advisories and when they are not allowed to. Not to mention, some students and teachers inconsistently follow the regulations put forward by the calendars in our hallways. I am myself guilty of accidentally violating the advisory calendar’s orders because of the several interventions I have gone to when neither my teacher nor myself was aware that I was supposed to report to my assigned advisory. Because there are times where students like myself need to complete work or study or talk to their teachers, the advisory schedule sometimes feels like a thorn in the student body’s side. I have no doubt that the advisory committee that creates and issues the advisory schedule thinks about the welfare of the students of Sandburg as a whole, but as a student in the maelstrom of junior year, I cannot see the point of some restrictions on intervention days when I sometimes desperately need sometimes to go to a teacher’s advisory to learn a few things that I didn’t understand during regular class instruction. Ultimately, the student body ought to be more advisory opportunities through looser restrictions because advisory is a very useful twenty five minutes, and students need to be encouraged to take advantage of its various opportunities to better what is most important: their academic progress.

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One student’s opinion: Are our advisories too restrictive?