The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

The Student News Site of Black River Falls High School

BRFHS Paw Print

Advising program to meet weekly in ’10-’11

Courtsey of Jason Cosper, Flickr

Change is coming to the BRFHS advising program 2010-2011 school year. Students will meet with their advisers during focus period every Monday.

“It’s been a work in progress since we started it [the advising program], and I think we’ve come a long ways,” said Spanish teacher Jennifer Rukavina. “And we’re still trying to tweak it to make it effective for everyone.”

The advising program is still in its beginning stages; there are still changes to be made every year, and one of the main goals behind this next year’s change is to make it more useful for students.

“There are some students who will want to touch base every week to make sure they are on track,” said Rukavina. “But we also want to work in more information and work a little more with the character piece beyond ‘have you done your homework this week?’ If so, ‘good job’ or if not, ‘work on that.’

The plan is to create different activities for the advising groups to participate in every week.

“Next year we are planning to create activities for the teachers to do with their advisees. There are so many awareness weeks in the year, and some of them are pretty fun–like, there’s National Joke Week,” said guidance counselor Sue Leadholm. “Students like advising when there are activities and things for them to do.”

Another issue throughout the years has been time; how much time is too much time, and how little is too little?

“The first year we had advising, we had it on late start Fridays, and that got to be too much time,” said Leadholm.

Advisers hope that meeting with their advising every week will help them do more with their students.

“[With a more consistent schedule, we will be] having more time and given more freedom to do different, fun things. We think it will change students perceptions of the program,” said Rukavina.

This year, the vibe on advising Mondays has been a negative one; students would rather it was a collaboration Monday.

“This past year we had it scheduled against collaboration, which made advising seem not as fun. Every other week students thinking ‘Oh, what a drag. I have to go to advising.”

So, teacher collaboration will be held after normal school hours next year.

“I think they [students] will get used to it [not having collaboration]. I think that after a few weeks students will forget that they ever got to leave every other week. Maybe some will still hold on to that,” said Rukavina. “You can’t change it, so don’t waste your time being mad. Just look at the positive side of it.”

The real wish is that this change in advising will bring students and their advising groups closer together. That with more consistency and more fun, it will become more like an advising family.

“Hopefully, all the things we’re putting together will make more of…a community or family atmosphere because what we’re doing is trying to make it easier for teachers to do a great job and find that kind of bond,” said Rukavina. “I know some teachers have done a stellar job, but I think they’ve almost made it another prep. They’ve prepared for it like another class, and that’s a lot of work. ”

Rukavina is part of the committee that is putting together the different weeks, such as “Teacher Appreciation Week,” and others. So every week, along with guiding students through their high school career, advisers will also be doing other activities to make advising more of a fun, learning environment. And they will be given help in that area.

“So over the summer we are working hard to put things together for people and include different choices so that teachers can say, ‘Okay, I have three choices today, I’m going to pick this one’ and no matter what they choose, it will be something fun and help make connections,” said Rukavina.

The advising program at BRFHS is very out of the ordinary.

“When I was in high school, we didn’t have anything like this,” said Rukavina. “I saw a guidance counselor once a year, and hardly anybody talked to me about what I wanted to do. I had ideas, and I had a family that supported me, but if I hadn’t had parents that said ‘Oh yeah, you should do that,’ or knew the steps to take when going to college and filling out all that paperwork, I would have been pretty lost.”

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Advising program to meet weekly in ’10-’11