After Two Months of the Advisory Program is it Meeting Expectations

The Penn Advisory program has been in motion for the past two months.  A founder of the program, Associate Principal Randy Williams states the purpose of Advisory is “to speak directly to kids about some of the softer skills, some of the things we need to take care of to make our school a better place to be.”

A student taking notes in class.

But after two months and ten lessons, how is the program shaping to up expectations from the administration, teachers, and students.  Advisory has covered topics from goal setting, to online safety, and even teen stress.  The program aims to solve issues that face teens today by speaking with students in low stakes and comfortable scenes.

While some students are positive about the program, other students see Advisory as a waste of time, a program that is not being performed in an effective way.  Rae Miller, class of 2022, tells us that she did not feel the need to participate in the program because “It was a little bit irrelevant to most of the things I was into.”  Some students feel that the program and lessons will not help them.  And other students feel that the lessons are in a secular light and will not be effective.

Another student, class of 2019, Jacob Brewer, has a more positive opinion of the program. “I’d say that I enjoy the activities, it helps me get to know everybody in the class a little better.”  Jacob also explains that “we talk about some stuff that I normally wouldn’t talk to anybody about.” This is one of the goals of the program, that students would open up to classmates and receive help, in a way that the school could not help students.

Sukhi Singh | PNN

Brewer as well explains that students may subconsciously grasp the lesson concepts.  “They are more in that mindset than they were before.”  In the perspective of some students, the program seems to be working, and proving effective.

“Advisory is something we have been thinking about for some time.” Mr. Williams, a Penn Associate Principal, explains. “We defiantly want to considered producing students that are ready of the workforce.  Goals are to meet weekly with students and to encourage them to be better people, to take care of them self better.”  Williams tells us that he believes the program indirectly helps with academics because when students feel safer at school, that are more conformable to get work done.

Maggie Stripp, a freshman in the class of 2022, also spoke with PNN. “I think most students are engaged in the advisory activities, but some of them don’t care.”  While Maggie feels the lessons are helpful to her, she admits that many students don’t see the program as helpful.  To solve this issue, she explains that the lessons should be more student evaluated and students should be held accountable.  But overall, Maggie says, “The kids who take it seriously are the kids that are going to get somewhere with the advisory program.”

The way to reach students who do not see the program was valuable may not be in one strategy since many students see the ineffectiveness of the lessons for many reasons.  Some students are not open to the ideas of changing their lifestyle choices the way Advisory suggests.  Some students see the lessons are a waste of academic time and misused recourse.  And other students see the program as secular, and not powerful enough to help students.

Mr Galliher recording his announcement for Penn Advisory.

Since Principal Sean Galiher introduced the program in September, Advisory has been moving past its opposition by many students, Penn Advisory will be continuing on every Monday in the third block.  The lessons goals will be adopted by those students who appreciate them.  Penn High School will be continuing to teach metal and personal wellness alongside academics, to try and help the students at Penn who don’t feel reached or who feel alone.  However student opposition plays out in the Advisory program, the lessons will be continuing every Monday in Block 3.