The relationship between advisor and advisee is recognized as a key connection for new students particularly and one that can put them on the road to success at the school, academically and socially. Usually advisors are also linked to the House their advisees are in and they do a night of prep duty in the house where they can answer questions relating to all kinds of issues from academic program choices to the big “life” questions.
Knowing a student well and being able to appreciate their whole experience at Brentwood is something advisors strive for so that they can help students navigate the sometimes perilous waters of adolescence. Being a conduit of information between the school and the parents is another key role that advisors perform and this communication is often vital for parents at key times of the year when academic and other indicators are showing progress to be in the balance.
The Brentwood Advisor system is currently under review for next year thanks to the work of a committee that meets at least every second week to consider ways to improve how we, as faculty, connect with our advisees. So far, a considerable amount of research into “best practices” in other similar schools has been carried out and a survey of students and teachers has also provided useful data. Questions such as “How many advisees should be in the group?” “How often should meetings be held?” “When and for how long?” “Should students have the same advisor from year to year?” and of course “What should advisors be helping students accomplish?” are under discussion.
A curriculum review is part of this process and we hope to have several possible models of a revised system available for full staff discussion in the coming weeks. As always, we welcome input from parents and alumni who are invited to email me with their thoughts on the role of the advisor at Brentwood.
Mr. David McCarthy, Director of Academics