Middle School » Advisory


Our FSW middle school offers Mixed-Age Advisories. Why?

*Because we want to build connections across grades in the middle school
At Friends School we know that our academic successes are only as big as the trusting relationships among our students. In middle school, sixth grade students need to know seventh graders, and eighth grade students need to mentor sixth graders. During an hour block on Wednesdays, we eliminate cliques and build community in mixed-age advisories through games, current events discussions, collaborative projects, sharing interests and taking time for individual reflection. A sense of belonging and camaraderie can be unusual in a middle school. At FSW, it is essential and a mixed age advisory makes it possible for all students.

*Because we want a real home-base for each middle school student
With 56 students in our middle school this year, we are nearly at our current capacity of 60. When five lead middle school teachers take responsibility for an advisory group made up of 11 or 12 students, we create the opportunity for a student to be deeply known and supported by the student's advisor and peers. Advisory groups naturally work on practical, organizational skills together, setting the tone and reviewing expectations for behavior and academic work at the beginning and conclusion of each day.

*Because we believe the whole is greater than the sum of its parts
There is nothing more powerful than being elevated by the power of an enthusiastic, trusting group of individuals. A mixed-age advisory offers the opportunity for each student to gain a greater sense of personal capacity as the group builds trust and rises to meet challenges together. Our advisory model incorporates Developmental Designs* "4 basic needs of adolescence" (autonomy, relationship, competency, and fun) and gives students and teachers an avenue that leads to affirmation and success.