Q&A: Next step for advisory By: christine kim

Sophomore Madara Linde

Q: What are your thoughts on last year's advisory lessons?

A: In general, whenever I was in advisory, I got the sense I wasn’t being educated on stuff. It was somebody telling me, 'Don't be mean to people, that's bad. Bullying is bad', without giving context. There's also some things that they got wrong. So the wrong, for me, overshadowed the good. Like, there was a time where [the advisory] said, 'Don't call someone autistic, say they're a person with autism’ or ‘don't call a disabled person disabled, call [them] a person with disabilities’ and stuff like that. And I feel like that's making autism a bad word. I kind of wish that they went over the histories of these stereotypes.

Photo courtesy of Madara Linde

Sophomore Nilofer Yu

Q: Did advisory educate you on topics thoroughly?

A: I feel like they did provide information, but it would have been more effective if students were encouraged to participate more, because a lot of the time we just watched a video and like it was all pretty passive. It provided a summary of different issues, and it laid out the stuff that I already knew, and put it together. But not really anything new. I think I'd like to know … to learn more about different struggles minorities face and I would like to hear more about different people's experiences.

Photo courtesy of Nilofer Yu

Principal Greg Giglio

Q: How would you potentially address concerns some students have about advisories being surface-level?

A: I mean, there are classes that are taught year-long on some single subjects, and they're so deep and complex that we really are [just] getting the surface. So we're introducing some of it so that people can have a baseline and start to go a little bit deeper. You can't go deep into calculus before you've had algebra, right. You've got to learn some of those basics and we can't throw everything at everybody at all time. And there's so many topics that we had to pick and choose. So yes, starting at one level, and then you know, hopefully we kind of keep moving forward at some point.

Photo by Miya Liu

Superintendent Polly Bove

Q: Will advisory classes be continuing in the same format as last school year for the 2021 2022 school year, and how do schools plan to educate about social injustices and world problems in the future?

A: We're excited about the fact that we're going to continue to have 10 advisories in this coming year. We're working with our teacher unions to increase that number, but five are going to be done around many of the social justice issues. There's training happening at Homestead for all staff that's going to help us with thinking about how do we actually improve the way we bring these issues forward to students and help them understand what's going on. And [we will] also listen to you, because we heard this summer [from] a lot of students in the board meetings about this very issue. So from my perspective, it's a work in progress, and it should be, because this is about us learning together about how we can move forward around the social justice information and issues out there.

Photo and title photo by Joss Broward