Student opinions vary on Advisory


Layla Bryant, Reporter

Advisory is a relatively new addition to Fayette County high schools. Its main purpose is to provide a focused time for Social and Emotional Learning, a curriculum designed to help students learn to manage emotions to help students be successful inside and outside the classroom. 

“Research has shown how important it is that kids learn how to manage their emotions,” HC’s Mental Health Specialist Shevan Threats said. 

The time serves as a period for emotional enrichment as well as a break from studies. It can provide students and teachers with a safe space to learn more about themselves and take a break from academics. A progress monitoring survey has shown that SEL seems to be creating progress for students’ emotional well-being, as well as for teachers.

The period itself has varying opinions throughout the school. Aside from SEL, it is a time when teachers and students can take breaks to do things they enjoy. Many students enjoy this aspect of the period because it allows them a break during their day to do work, play games, or just relax.

“It’s like a homeroom class,” HC Senior Void McKinney said, “but we actually know the teacher we have, and it gives us a period of time in the day where we don’t have to do anything.”

But both aspects of Advisory have their criticisms, some see the period as a waste of their time, specifically those with the 4th lunch period.

“I only get a 15 minute lunch period so I feel like it’s my day wasted,” HC sophomore Hadleigh Klaiber said.

There are also criticisms of the SEL curriculum itself. Many students across the building agree that the program is not intended for a high school audience. Students also feel like it is too broad and too repetitive to be useful for most people.

“We’ve already been told about the studying and homework strategies,” McKinney said. “They don’t offer alternatives if a plan or strategy doesn’t help.”

 Many students share this sentiment, seeing it as a missed opportunity for a more beneficial program. Although, while students don’t seem to find the program especially helpful, it is not all bad. Some lessons can be the start of a conversation that some classes have together to elaborate on the lessons. 

“I’ve had some teachers that will have the SEL lesson and then the next day they’ll expand on it,” Threats said.

Teachers use activities like playing Kahoots to follow up on the lessons and allow students an opportunity to ask questions and communicate their understanding of the lessons. It also gives students the vocabulary to communicate emotions and people to communicate these emotions with. Overall, student opinions on advisory are mixed, but students and teachers seem to be making the most of the time and curriculum.