n Middle School, connections between students, faculty, and parents are reinforced through the Advisory Program. Students and their parents work with an assigned faculty advisor throughout the course of each year. The Middle School Advisory Program operates under the following tenets:
- Each student's intellectual, social, and emotional growth will be supported by a faculty advocate.
- Advisors are responsible for monitoring their welfare and growth throughout the course of the year in all areas.
- Advisors act as the primary contact at Tuxedo Park School for the parents of their advisees.
- Advisors will communicate with parents regarding their child's/children's progress at regular intervals during the school year, including a September phone call, fall conference, winter check-in, and spring conference.
Students meet with their advisors for 15 minutes each morning in the Middle School. These meetings allow student to be greeted by that same familiar, consistent face, and allows for advisors to "check-in" with their charges to see how ready they are to meet the challenges of the day. At the end of each day, students return to the advisory "touchstone" by reconnecting with their advisor, reflecting briefly on the day, and shaking hands. In addition to these daily exercises, the advisory groups meet weekly during a 45 minute period. While the meetings can often be fun and informal, advisories follow a curriculum designed to begin goal setting in the early stages of the year, address the innumerable and diverse challenges of adolescence throughout the course of the year, and draw closure at the end of the year with reflection.
Students in Grades 4 and 5 have an advisor who is also one of their classroom teachers. This enables faculty to monitor the students socially, emotionally, and academically. There is a slight shift in the advisory program in Grade 6; students are in smaller groups so they can receive the support they need, as they transition into getting effort and academic grades.
Throughout the year, students work with their homeroom or advisory and across grade levels on projects related to character education and life skills. We use the school motto of “Be Kind Be Fair Be Responsible” as a framework for our character education program. Activities and discussions cover goal setting, peer relationships, negotiating conflict, discovery of the self and learning styles, and being able to work positively and effectively within a group. Middle School students serve as role models with their buddy classes in the Primary School where they often work on community service projects which explore and act upon global issues. The curriculum is fluid and allows for changes at a moment’s notice to react and address students’ needs both individually and as a group.