Middle School is a special time at MSSA as students move into adolescence and take on more responsibilities and challenges in their personal and academic lives. Our Middle School Advisory Program is designed to aid our students during this developmental period and support and nurture them as they grow. Advisory groups in Middle School are a mix of seventh and eighth graders, and students meet formally for Advisory period once a week on Wednesdays. Additionally, when Middle School students arrive at school in the morning, they go to their Advisory teacher’s classroom where they can work on schoolwork, check-in with their Advisor, and use their planners to organize and check their assignments for the week. English teacher Shauna Cardenas is our point person in the Middle School for Advisory, and she has worked with the other Middle School teachers to create a curriculum for this year that is informative, nurturing, and responsive, with themes for each quarter that correspond to the arc of the school year.
For the first quarter, students began by connecting through games and get-to-know-you conversations and then focused on organization and goal setting. Monday mornings this first quarter included setting a weekly goal and Fridays were for reflection about how meeting that goal went. Students enjoyed a presentation from master organizer Francesca Creamer, who led a hands-on organizing activity and shared organizational tips. Quarter 2 will focus on social and emotional wellness and Quarter 3 will focus on personal health and nutrition. The theme for Quarter 4 is future focus and reflection. Connections formed in advisory between students and teachers create strong bonds that support our entire Middle School community.