At Rowland Hall, each Middle School student is part of a grade-level advisory, a small group that meets regularly and becomes a tight-knit community within our larger Middle School community.
We support students in all areas of their adolescent development, knowing that the most impactful learning happens when students feel known, cared about, safe, and advocated for. Each advisor’s main focus to build a strong connection with each child and foster positive relationships among the advisory group. Advisors encourage, support, and motivate student growth, serving as guides and main touchpoints throughout the school year for academic, social, and emotional support.
Advisory further serves as a platform for students to develop their individual and collective skills, as well as the resiliency required to navigate all aspects of adolescent life, and to build a toolkit of metacognitive, social, emotional, and civic skills. Through advisory, students engage in lessons and activities focused on social-emotional learning, academic advising, positive identity development and cultural competency, and community engagement—four key areas of the work we do throughout the Middle School:
- Social-emotional learning—Also known as SEL, social-emotional learning includes five core themes: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship management, and responsible decision making. There is a strong correlation between academic success and social-emotional learning.
- Academic advising—It is important that all students see themselves as effective learners, and that they can accurately assess and develop skills to achieve that goal. Executive functioning skills can be learned, but they have to be taught and require practice.
- Positive identity development and cultural competency—This work can be summarized as: Who am I? Who are you? Who are we? Why are we better together? To help create a positive sense of self-identity, students explore identity markers and investigate tropes, biases, stereotypes, power, privilege, and culture. This includes developing a greater understanding and appreciation of our culture and the cultures of others, and exploring how the principles of inclusion and equity help communities function positively and healthfully.
- Community engagement—Helping students find a place in our community and society is an important function of schools, inspiring students who make a positive difference in the world. Through community engagement and service learning, students learn to see themselves as positive agents of change in their communities.