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.
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, 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 advising relationships formed at Prep last long after the student has moved on to college.
In the Upper School, the grade-level deans provides an extra layer of support for students as they navigate the challenges and opportunities of Prep. Whether it’s helping with a class fundraiser, monitoring the flow of homework among departments, helping to resolve a social issue or recognizing a triumph, big or small, the dean is an essential part of life at Prep.
Santa Fe Preparatory School recognizes the variety of learning styles and the presence of learning differences among our students. We work to serve the needs of students with learning differences within the context of our mission to provide a college preparatory education and to help all students meet the highest standards.
Referrals to the school learning specialist may come from teachers, parents, or the student. Before a referral is made for a full 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 certain modifications on a trial basis before testing is done.
Accommodations ranging from extended time on tests and exams to use of mechanical aids for note taking, will be put into effect when a full-fledged evaluation, completed within the last three years by a licensed diagnostician, is approved by the School and is on file. A complete testing report must be made available to the School.
The learning specialist will provide a summary of the information from the testing to the student’s teachers, advisor, and the division head. The expectation is that parents will collaborate with the School in implementing the recommended accommodations. Every accommodation on the part of the School carries with it the expectation that students are responsible for their own learning.
Other Academic Support
All our faculty meet with students regularly, throughout the day, to provide extra instruction, as needed. The “Ask a Senior” math tutoring program offers individual tutoring on a walk-in basis during both lunch periods every day. 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.