LHS Admin Pauses Advisory to Revise Its Structure

Sahana Behera and Sophia Zhang

In an email sent out to the Lexington High School community on Dec. 3, Principal Andrew Stephens announced that the LHS administration would be pausing Advisory to make adjustments to its structure.

Having identified issues with the format, Stephens expressed the need for a new structure that would allow Advisory to fulfill its purpose.

“The original intent was to have a different set of adults that kids could have a connection with over four years, as opposed to a year-to-year basis with individual teachers,” Stephens said.

Stephens acknowledged that forming strong student-teacher relationships within short, sparse blocks is a difficult task. Feedback from students and staff supported this observation.

“I feel like they should’ve given us a Google Form like, ‘Here are all the teachers you’ve had. Pick one who you could talk to [about] outside of school stuff, or [that you] feel comfortable around, and we could make that your Advisory teacher,” Helena Reavely, a sophomore, said.

Many students and faculty echoed this sentiment. Hannah Weissman, a math teacher at LHS, expressed the importance of Advisory’s purpose to foster community.

“I think if the goal is to build community, which I think is an admirable goal, then I think there has to be consistency. So I think the first thing I’d be interested in them exploring is meeting once a week—maybe on the day where we just have five classes or something,” Weissman said.

This presents another conflict: scheduling. The LHS administration sought to provide ample time for Advisory while limiting cuts to the existing schedule—a task that proved difficult. The administration also had trouble allotting teachers enough time to plan the meetings.

“Because with all my other classes, I felt like we didn’t have a lot of time to plan. So it was good, but it was stressful. It was also hard because they weren’t students we saw a lot, so it was feeling like I didn’t know them super well,” Weissman said.

Despite initial difficulties in coordinating an Advisory schedule, the LHS administration still believes in the importance of having a space like Advisory for students. Aside from facilitating strong relationships within the LHS community, it provides a place where students and teachers could discuss school issues or current events. The alternative is having unstructured conversations during select blocks during the school day.

“How do we have something where we have a forum to be able to talk about [important events]?… What we are left to is ‘Please talk about it in your first couple of periods folks and address that. Here is some structure that you can utilize that is all over the place,’” Stephens said.

However, due to the rigidity in the schedule last year, this aspect of the Advisory has not been fully implemented.

Considering the limitations of Advisory and the challenges in its execution, many students and faculty have supported the temporary pause.

“I think it’s a good idea to pause it right now, as we try to decide as a staff what is the best way to move forward,” Weissman said.

In the future, Stephens said he hopes to create an Advisory that offers a more equitable experience for participants with different personal backgrounds and varying comfort levels. However, there is still no definitive solution to meet the requests of all students and teachers.

“It remains to be seen because if we can do it, I want to do it. If we can’t, then we’re really not looking to be able to do Advisory between now and the end of the year,” Stephens said.