Highlands Advisory program extends to all Middle School students and is a cross-grade program that gives students an opportunity to work with fellow students and an assigned faculty advisor on areas such as self-image, building on strengths, increasing confidence, risk-taking and other qualities central to Highlands’ whole-child philosophy. The program reinforces the concept of community throughout Highlands by giving students the opportunity to work with students across the Middle School student body, mentor students from lower grades, and identify opportunities for leadership and service learning within and outside of the Highlands campus.
Advisory is initiated with a parent/student/advisor conference in which goals and expectations for the year are set. Each advisory group includes students from all Middle School grades and meets three times per seven-day rotation. These three sessions each have a different theme and focus, adding meaningful variation to the program.
Advisory groups meet to discuss specific topics, from study skills to current events. Students can talk through challenges, ideas or observations with each other and with their advisor and receive positive coaching related the development of various skills.
Students are exposed to a variety of challenges requiring design thinking and problem solving skills. Students work through the process of ideation, prototyping and revision, learning to empathize with end users to solve problems and generate ideas from specific feedback.
Game days focus on collegial competition and team building. Highlands five advisory groups compete against one another in student/faculty designed obstacle courses and challenges, strengthening communication and collaboration in a high-energy, active environment.