Posted by: csdailyblog | December 3, 2012

Staff and Students Enjoy Advisory Get-togethers

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Each Conserve School student has an advisor: a teacher or administrator who meets with them one-on-one every week or two, eats lunch with them on Thursday, and hosts them for special activities two or three times a semester. Even though Conserve School is a very small community, and by and large students get to know adults on campus quite well, the advisory system ensures that every Conserve School student is touching base with a caring adult regularly and knows that one staff member is especially looking out for them. Depending on their roles, staff members have from four to eight advisees. We’re lucky at Conserve School to have a student:staff ratio that allows us to really get to know our students as individuals.

Special advisee meals held at staff apartments are common occurrences on campus. This Sunday, I hosted a brunch at my campus apartment for my own advisee students, along with the advisory groups of Phil DeLong, Director of Admissions/Residential Life, and Kathleen O’Connor, Spanish Teacher/Academic Dean. We enjoyed caramel and cinnamon roles, breakfast quiches, pumpkin bars, fruit smoothies, and a Spanish-style potato breakfast casserole (courtesy of the Spanish teacher, of course – as a non-Spanish speaker, all I can tell you is that the name of the dish included the word patatas – I think).

Students seem to really enjoy cooking, so along with all of the brunch goodies, we had some cookie dough, cookie cutters, a couple of mixers, and baking ingredients on hand for students who felt like getting creative in the kitchen. Several students collaborated on baking and frosting gingerbread men (and a variety of other free-form shapes) and mixing up M&M cookies. They also took a big batch of cookie dough back to Elaine House to bake later in the communal student kitchen.

I always enjoy listening to the student conversations during these events. Social justice was a particularly popular conversational topic during yesterday’s brunch, with students debating at length to what degree it is appropriate to impose one’s cultural beliefs on others — a pretty impressive choice of topic, I thought, for a group of high school students, relaxing on the couch on a Sunday morning. What a treat it is to work with such delightful students!

-Mary Anna Thornton, Assistant Head of School

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