St. Andrew's-Sewanee's Advisor System provides an added layer of family-style structure for students in a setting known for the strength of faculty-student relationships.
Middle School Advisory
The Middle School advisory program focuses on community building and character and leadership development. Each grade meets weekly with its three advisors. The advisors pay close attention to each student’s academic and intellectual, social, emotional, and behavioral development, providing structure and support as needed. Through games, activities, discussions, journaling, and other exercises, advisees to get to know themselves and their classmates better. Advisory themes are loosely based on themes in Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind. Since advisory groups in the middle school are grade level groups, middle school grade level themes are also interwoven with advisory themes.
6th Grade Advisory
Play and Story, Building Community
In sixth grade, advisory groups enjoy stories read aloud followed by discussion. Students write collaborative stories in small groups. Students play games geared towards establishing and building a new community each year and participate in community-building activities throughout the year. Students are given the space and encouraged to tell their own stories, and they learn to listen to the stories of their classmates. The year culminates with a three-day campout.
7th Grade Advisory
Empathy & Design, Strengthening Community
Seventh grade advisors have adapted the “Teaching Tolerance” curriculum to focus the themes of empathy, design, and strengthening community. Students consider the questions: What are communities? How do they form? What makes them healthy and effective? Communication ground rules focus on open-mindedness, respect, and tolerance. Students spend a day at Mountain T.O.P., participating in team-building activities and a service project. During the second semester they are engaged in a farming-based, community-building curriculum that connects their Adventure Education farm class with the advisory and grade level themes, using the Paul Flieschman's Seedfolks.
8th Grade Advisory
Symphony & Meaning, Exploring Leadership
Eighth grade advisors begin the year by focusing on how one person’s actions contribute to the success of the whole and the values by which each individual student guides their lives. They also encourage positive leadership by considering these questions: What does is mean to be a leader? What is good leadership? What type of leader do I want to be? Students participate in leadership exploration and goal-setting activities modeled after Tom Hoerr’s Celebrate Leadership: Lessons for Middle School Students. Throughout second semester, students develop and articulate the most important value by which they guide their lives in a formal This I Believe essay. The essays, prompted by personal memories, stories, events, and places, are delivered in front of the entire Middle School student body, faculty, and parents during the final week of the eighth grade school year.
Upper School Advisory
New Upper School students are assigned a faculty advisor. Returning students choose the teacher they want. Students sit with their advisor in Chapel and meet with them to discuss class work, schedule changes, or personal problems. The advisor monitors the student's academic and social progress via personal talks, formal meetings, and updates by other teachers. Students can count on their advisor for help in dealing with issues big and small. This faculty member also communicates regularly with parents to provide a vital partnership in student support.