PACE’s advisory program consists of small, student centered, classes that are dedicated to establishing interpersonal connections with other students and enhancing students’ abilities to progress through high school and into secondary education and employment.
All students enrolled at PACE High School are placed into PACE’s Advisory Program, which lasts for students’ entire tenure at PACE. Students are assigned advisories, or small classes that meet three times per week, at the beginning of their student life at PACE. Advisories consist of the same students for all four years of high school, and students go from grade to grade with each other.
In Advisory, students are given a safe space to express themselves candidly about their high school experiences with like-minded students who form a bond with each other. Students also complete wide-ranging projects, work towards establishing and accomplishing academic goals, and discuss, learn about, and complete acts of social justice.
Students meet with their advisor regularly to discuss their academic progress and create goals for themselves that are sustainable, measurable, achievable, recognizable and timely. Advisors also meet with each student and parent twice per year during Student Led Conferences, in which students show their report card or progress report to their parent and advisor and describe their academic achievement. During this time, parents are encouraged to ask advisors any questions they may have regarding their student’s progress.
In the 11th and 12th grades, a primary focus of Advisory, along with preparing students for the demands of the college application process, is the PACE Social Action Project. This student led, multi-faceted outreach activity allows students to create a way to reach the New York City community about a Social Justice topic of their choosing. Previous outreach activities have tackled pressing issues such as homelessness, poverty, and sickness as well as topics as diverse as the campaign to free Tibet and providing clean water for all communities. Students are asked to find a group outside of PACE to work with to create social change, and also are given time in 12th grade to work with younger students to raise awareness for their issue. The project culminates with an advisory-led presentation about their topic and actions to a panel of teachers. The winning advisory is given the opportunity to present their cause and action to all of PACE High School at a school-wide assembly at the culmination of 12th grade.