The most personal and personalized component of South Valley Academy's educational program is Advisory. Students are placed with an adult at the school who serves as their advocate, mentor, and confidante. Advisors serve as the primary connection between home and school – they meet with parents/legal guardians, conduct the quarterly parent-student-teacher conferences, guide students in the creation and maintenance of personal learning plans, and monitor the overall academic progress of their advisees.
Within advisory students complete Next Step Plans, a document which helps students lay out the courses a student anticipate taking in fulfillment of graduation requirements. The Next Step Plan is approved by the student, his/her family, and advisor. In addition, advisors are the first point of contact for disciplinary action. Advisories are composed of students in all grades.
Both students and parents have identified the Advisory program as being very beneficial in helping students be successful at school, in personalizing the school experience, and in keeping parents informed about student progress. Teachers report that getting to know students and their families through the Advisory makes what they do at South Valley Academy more meaningful.
We polled all of SVA's advisees, asking "What is Advisory at SVA?" and "What are Advisors and what do they do?" These are some of their responses:
"An Advisor is a person that is right on track of your stuff; someone that keeps you on track and tells you what to do. Mainly, someone that looks over you and helps you."
"An advisor is a person who can help you. She or he can help you with work but also keep you on track at school to help you do better in your classes."
"My advisor is my in-school Mom who inspires and helps me with anything. Also, she gives me good advice about things in and out of school."
"An advisor is your parent at school; one that helps you whenever you need help. Someone that looks out for you and knows you more than just as a student."
"Advisory is a time to get together with other students and help each other out. Advisors help students achieve their goals while maintaining their responsibilities."
"Advisory at SVA is our family - where people from different grade levels help each other."
"Advisors are like a second parent, telling you what's going on and making sure you turn things in. As teens, I believe we need a second connection with another adult that is not your parent. We need more support just like our Advisor gives us."