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Academic Support

Advisory Program

To listen. To encourage. To appreciate. To mediate. To recommend. To laugh with. To light a spark under. To clarify.
To clarify again. To cheer. To care.

Welcome to Prep Picnic (27) 250
PE Teacher David Caldwell with Middle School Advisory

More than anything else, advising at Prep is a relationship—between one who is young and new to life and one who has lived and learned through the experience of years. The 7th – 12th-grade years are years of extraordinary change—intellectually, socially, emotionally, and physically. Facing the unique challenges of the Middle and Upper Schools can be wonderful and exhilarating but also, at times, bewildering and disheartening. Advisors are there to provide guidance, care, and, when necessary, a refuge from the storm—for students and parents.

Every student at Prep is assigned an advisor, who is the student’s advocate in all areas of school life and the parents’ first point of contact for questions and concerns about the student’s life at school. In the Middle School, boys and girls are in separate advisory groups; in the Upper School, advisories are usually mixed. Upper School students remain with the same advisor for all four years.

The advisory program is fundamental to Prep’s commitment to being present for our students and engaging them actively in their education. Indeed, many of the advisory relationships formed at Prep last long after the student has moved on to college.

Upper School Deans Liz Friary and Mark Bixby
Upper School Deans Liz Friary and Mark Bixby

Grade-Level Class Sponsors

In the Upper School, the grade-level class sponsors provide an extra layer of support for students as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of Prep. Whether it’s developing class-wide norms, helping with a class fundraiser, monitoring the flow of homework among departments, or developing class unity between faculty and students, class sponsors are an essential part of our student support structure.

Deans

The Upper School Deans play an integral role in student support and school culture. They oversee Clubs and Academic Workshops, work closely with the Upper School Head, School Counselor, and Learning Specialists to develop student support plans, and lead the school in such events as Advisory Fun Day. Whether helping to resolve a social issue or recognizing a triumph, big or small, the dean is an essential part of life at Prep.

Learning Services

Santa Fe Prep appreciates and supports diversity among our students. Learning Services assists students’ academic needs while supporting the school mission that all students meet their highest potential within our mission to provide a college preparatory education and help all students meet the highest standards.

Some students are admitted to Prep with diagnosed learning differences and receive services upon admission to Prep and others enter Learning Services through our referral process. Referrals to the school learning specialists may come from teachers, parents, or the student. Before making a referral for a complete diagnostic evaluation, the learning specialist may conduct a screening that can include classroom observations, evaluation of samples of written work, and conversations with teachers, parents, and the student. As part of the screening, we may suggest that teachers try accommodations on a trial basis before testing.

Accommodations are implemented when an approved psycho-educational evaluation report (completed within the last five years by a licensed diagnostician) is submitted to the school. The learning specialists provide a summary of the information from the educational diagnostic report to the student’s teachers, advisor, and division head. The expectation is that parents collaborate with the school to implement the recommended accommodations. Every accommodation on the part of the school carries with it the expectation that students are responsible for their learning.

Other Academic Support

All our faculty meet with students regularly throughout the day to provide extra instruction as needed. Juniors and seniors may be asked to tutor younger students at the recommendation of teachers, the learning specialist, or the school counselor. Families may also contract with outside tutors, who are invited to meet with their pupils on campus during the school day in our reserved tutoring rooms.