In order to build a stronger community within the different academies, a new advisory period has been added to the school week. One period of advisory will be reserved for academic advising, the other for SEL lessons.
“[The academy directors] felt like one advisory period wasn’t enough, we wanted to be able to present things to students about their interests and academy without taking away their choices when it comes to classes,” academy director Nicole Griffith said.
The main reason for an additional advisory class is to give upperclassmen a chance to stay with their academies and each other.
“The advisory system works really well at the ninth and tenth-grade level because everybody takes English 1, everybody takes English 2, everybody takes world geography, etc.,” Griffith said.
When a student enters junior year there are more options for core classes. Not only is there pre-AP and grade-level, there’s also dual credit, UT OnRamps, and AP classes students can take.
“It becomes hard to put students in academy classes in junior and senior year,” Griffith said. “So, we struck a balance here, where we have students in the academies freshman and sophomore year, and then when they get into junior year we want them to maintain a semblance of having an identity with their academy.”
SEL lessons will be focused on the 9th and 10th graders. Upperclassmen will still have SEL, but their advisory will become more academy driven, bringing in guest speakers, field trips, etc.
“Why wouldn’t we present kids with opportunities regarding their academies?” Griffith said.
However, gaining a new advisory period geared towards the academies, causes students to lose a period of tutoring.
“I think it’s unnecessary,” junior Gustavo Davilla said. “We really only need one day for advisory and I could really use the time to study for my classes in my FIT sessions.”
According to Griffith, AGS graduates have chosen majors pertaining to what they learned in their academy.
“They’ve made really great friendships and learned with a smaller community,” Griffith said.