At its core the student advisor program is a meant to create a smaller family group where every student gets direct input and attention and has a caring adult, in addition to their homeroom teacher, as an advocate.
In addition to those named above, advisories use their time together to learn and grow and hold each other accountable. The advisory program at Veritas will promote a middle school culture that excites the MS students and creates a positive atmosphere where discipline problems are minimized and care and compassion are maximized.
Being a classical school, we will follow the traditional house system where each advisory has a house name color, shield, etc. This further creates a sense of belonging and will be useful for competitions and accountability. There will be eight middle school houses with each grade, 5th through 8th, split by gender. Advisors will be chosen from among the faculty and staff of Veritas and assigned an advisory group by the administration. Not all advisors need to be middle school teachers and not all middle school teachers will be advisors. If a homeroom teacher is an advisor, their house group will not be the same grade level as their homeroom. The Middle School Dean of Students will oversee the program and will communicate goals and activities to the advisors. In addition, the MS Dean will keep track of the house points and provide an update on Wednesday at chapel.
We will meet one morning a week from 7:45–8:15. This time might include an adult or student led devotion, a prayer time, and an advisory activity specified by the MS Dean. In addition, there will be a monthly house lunch. This may just be a bonding time or a time to work on specific projects, community service, or competitions. Houses will have an ongoing competition throughout the year with points added or subtracted based on the competitions, actions, etc.
Connection to Discipline
The advisory time will be used to review the rules and reinforce the desired behaviors. The yellow cards (infractions of agreed upon school rules) and red cards (a more serious infraction involving a moral issue) and their associated demerits will factor into the house points. In addition, we will implement a green card where a student can be 'caught' by an adult (not their advisor) exhibiting Christ-like behavior and the house will be rewarded. Also, the advisor will be included on any discipline notices to parents or meetings that occur for the advisees.
The advisory system is a great place to cultivate habits of the mind. It is a place to set and track goals (academic, spiritual, social, etc.). The houses will serve together and work on activities that put hands and feet to Jesus' words. There will also be friendly house competitions; relay races, intramural sports, art projects, theme days, etc. and all of these activities will contribute to the house point system.