Student Advisory Groups: Collaborating As Peers

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When you are considering a private day school to support your child’s learning needs, chances are you are looking for a school that teaches your child to be a whole person. Any school can teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, but one of the benefits of choosing a private school is the inclusion of art and languages despite federal budget cuts. To find an ideal school, look for additional programs such as community outreach, extracurricular programs, and student advisory boards; as they show that the school is completely invested in its students. At Mizzentop Day School, we teach according to the Living Values; which is a holistic approach that teaches children more than academics, but instills life values into everyday curriculum. A couple of the living values that guides values education is cooperation and responsibility. One of the ways to help students develop these valuable life skills is by engaging in a student advisory group.

Student Advisory Group

A student advisory group is a collection of students from various grades, who work together to better the school and help serve the local community. At Mizzentop Day School, our students are able to serve on small advisory groups in grades five through eight. With the guidance of a designated staff member, students in the advisory groups buddy with younger students and create community service projects. The purpose of the advisory groups and the projects they complete is to collaborate to make our community better. The community projects instill a sense of responsibility and community pride. Including younger students creates a natural internal mentoring program that encourages the younger students to serve in an advisory group when they are old enough and pass on mentorship lessons to new younger students.

Collaboration

The main goal of student advisory groups is to complete projects as a team. Allowing students to develop their own project ideas, helps to encourage them to think outside the box and include the opinions of everyone in the group. Working toward one common goal is the very core of collaboration. When children learn the value of collaboration at a young age, it will set them up for success as a member of any team throughout their lives. Collaboration within the team helps strengthen the sense of connectedness, which strengthens the school community.

Responsibility

Completing community service projects instills a great sense of responsibility in any child. The students are allowed to realize the impact they have on the world beyond the school doors and how they affect their environments. Developing their own projects allows them to follow through on a plan and take responsibility for the end product. When older students serve as role models for younger students, it helps the older students realize the responsibility of being the leaders and how their actions affect those who look up to them.

Bully Prevention

When older students select a younger buddy to pair up with, there is natural bonding relationship that takes place. The faculty members who are involved in the advisory group offer guidance and support to the students in the group, who pass the support onto the younger children. Including students of varying grades helps make the school seem a little smaller and the school community a little tighter. Offering a supportive group of people helps to reduce the distinction between different social groups and offers a place for students to reach out to in times of crisis. Being a part of a group helps children to be more than just a face in the crowd and offers a network for students who may otherwise feel alone. Being a member of a group creates a sense of belonging and inclusion, which helps reduce bullying, overall.

As students get older, school has a tendency to be a place where they feel more isolated. Student advisory programs off the inclusion and support to meet students’ developmental needs and gives them the social tools to perform better in all aspects of life. Nationwide, student advisory groups have proven to improve academic performance and community connectedness to help develop the “whole” student. At Mizzentop Day School, we are committed to supporting our students and making every child feel important, included and valued. Contact us at Mizzentop Day School for more information about our programs.