There is a formal, on-going program(s) or process(es) through which each student has an adult in the school, in addition to the school counselor, who knows the student well and assists the student in achieving the school’s 21st century learning expectations.
What to Look for:
- to foster personalization and reduce the sense of anonymity felt by many high school students, the school has a formal program which provides regular contact to connect each student with an adult member of the school community in addition to the school counselor
- each student is assigned an advisor/advocate/mentor (in addition to the school counselor) who is charged with supporting every aspect of the student’s educational experience (e.g., advocates meet regularly with their students, generally in groups of ten or so, throughout the year and often will be assigned to work with the same students for all four years; advocates routinely call parents to keep them informed about the progress of their students in meeting all learning expectations; advocates serve as the prime facilitator of a personal learning plan for each student; and advocates develop a rapport with students so that students feel comfortable in seeking their assistance
- advocates are generally teachers and other professional members of the staff (e.g., the principal, guidance counselors, nurse, curriculum leaders), but secretaries, custodians, and other staff members can act as advocates (i.e., to enhance their roles as members of the school community who are concerned about students and to reduce the ratio of students to adult advocates)
- the school provides additional opportunities for adult members of the school comm8nity to get to know students well (e.g., adults collaborate with students on school-related projects; adults serve as mentors for senior projects; teams of teachers work with the same group of students)