PRO/CON: Advisory Changes For Better or Worse?


Junior Hossein Bakhshandeh stands behind his booth on freshmen MAZE day. (Photo: Christine Bach)



Rotational advisory is beneficial rather than bothersome


By Vivian Chu | Staff Writer

The bell rings for advisory and students file out noisily as a muffled announcement clarifies advisory class periods. Students groan and shuffle through the sea of bodies, trying to squeeze their way into their ever-changing advisory classes. As a result of difficulties with scheduling, this rotational advisory is a temporary fix while advisories are being arranged and sorted out. However, the new system seems to bring chaos instead of order. Many students I encounter during the hallway rush hour complain about the inconveniences and confusion that come with the rotational advisory. The general consensus is that the rotational system is a real pain. Contrary to these complaints, there are hidden advantages to this rotational advisory that outweigh the benefits of the original advisory system.

Rotational advisory increases student-teacher interactions, as it allows students time during school to have private discussions and to clarify information. As a result, students and teachers will not have to spend time afterschool to schedule conferences. With the old system and other priorities outside of school, both the student and teacher would have to set aside conference time that could have been spent on other equally important activities. This also eliminates the need to wait until block day to receive clearer explanation of subject material and extra help from teachers.

Additionally, rotational advisory provides an opportune moment to finish lesson plans if teachers run short on time during the class period and to assist struggling students. With less of a time constraint, teachers will be able to further the exchange of knowledge and include more in-depth curriculum to help students better understand and apply subject matter.

If this system is maintained throughout the school year, it could also improve the current scheduling situation. The substantial number of students entering Irvington has caused difficulties in arranging advisories. Due to the large amount of freshmen, upperclassmen are being moved out of their advisories to avoid having a freshmen-only advisory.

“We have so many freshmen and new teachers this year. They don’t want to have advisories full of just freshmen,” says English teacher Ms. O’Connor. “So they’re pulling seniors, sophomores and juniors out of their existing advisories.”

Advisory sizes are also increasing and adding to the already hectic scheduling process. However, rotational advisories will simplify scheduling, since advisories will essentially assign themselves. According to a student’s schedule, he or she will go to a specific class during advisory for every day of the week. This way, we avoid overcrowded advisories and hundreds of new students do not have to individually be assigned, saving time and increasing the efficiency of schedule changes.

Despite these prospective benefits, one aspect of the original advisory system seems irreplaceable: bonding with fellow advisories students. Over the years, advisory has become a place where students of different grades can socially interact and form relationships. I know that I’ve met great people who I wouldn’t have become friends with if we didn’t share an advisory. However, take into account that these bonds were formed through time spent together. Even with rotational advisory, it is always possible to meet new people and begin new relationships. In other words, your environment should not dictate the people you meet. So go ahead and befriend that stranger who sits across from you in Chemistry, you might create a long-lasting friendship.

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Unadvisable change to the proven advisory system


By Vibhu Singhal | Staff Writer

Talks of changing the longstanding, classic system of advisory have been on the rise. For as long as most current staff have been at Irvington, advisory has been a separate, independent class, with an entirely different teacher, and students of all grade levels and abilities. The proposed change will involve having a rotating system of advisory, like that which was implemented in the first two weeks of school. This means that on one day you will have your first period teacher for advisory with the same students from your first period class, and the next day, you will go to your second period class, once again with all of the same classmates as your regular second period class. Eliminating traditional advisory and implementing such a system is completely unnecessary, and in fact harmful as it further adds to the monotony of school life.

Having an independent advisory class allows for students to see all-new people with whom they can build a personal relationship rather than an academic one. Meeting with thirty other people of different grade levels does not happen often for students. Classes have a chance to mix, and bonds form in this relationship-incubator environment that would not form otherwise. Also, advisory is a semi-break period, and thus, it is not fair for academic teachers to have grade jurisdiction and control over advisory students during this “free” time. Advisory is characterized by its freshness, and having rotational classes would simply add to the monotony of school. Seeing the same teachers and peers in a solely academic environment, even more often would lead to greater boredom and defeat the point of advisory.

The main reasoning behind the switch is that having a rotational advisory would allow teachers to get more help time and hands-on time with their students. However, the proposed system is overkill for a problem that has already been solved. As is currently in place, having movement days on block days with extended advisory periods allows students to get extra help and additional advice as needed. Irvington doesn’t need a change to the proven advisory system, especially a change that would only further complicate student lives. Such change would simply be unadvisable.