Ashland advisory program prompts student concerns

Many Ashland High School students fear a new advisory program and scheduling changes next year could harm their ability to get an after-school job, hamper participation in extracurricular activities and cramp their social lives, student Yeruti Estigarribia told the School Board during a recent meeting.

"I think that a lack of information has gotten a lot of students worried," said Estigarribia, student representative on the board. "They haven't been informed about how the advisory program is going to help them."

Principal Michelle Zundel said she plans to send a student and administrative representative to each English class in January to discuss the new program and answer students' questions.

Under the redesign, students will be randomly assigned one adviser for the duration of their time in high school and will attend 40-minute advisory classes Mondays through Thursdays, according to the tentative schedule. In addition to their regular workload, all full-time teachers will serve as advisers to about 20 students, Zundel said.

The advisory classes are designed to provide students with academic and emotional support, as well as information on career and college opportunities.

Advisory classes likely will include time for journal writing, small-group discussions and exploration of college or career opportunities, she said.

The details of the new program are still being decided by the high school's Advisory Committee, which consists of about two dozen teachers, administrators and students. The committee met Thursday and discussed students' concerns about the program, said Estigarribia, 18, a senior who is on the committee.

Students are concerned they will get out of school 10 minutes later each day, Estigarribia said.

Zundel said she doubts 10 minutes of extra class time each day will make a difference in whether students are able to find after-school jobs and do extracurricular activities.

— Hannah Guzik

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