gateway middle school students with teacher

Building a Sense of Community

Existing somewhere between a study hall, social psychology class and a social club, Advisory is a concept so foundational to Gateway’s theory of educational excellence that it is mandatory for all students at both the middle and high school levels. At both schools, students meet in small groups of around fifteen students with the same faculty member each year they are enrolled at Gateway, building a close-knit community of academic and social support. Advisory is a vital component of the middle school concept and is designed to offer students a safe environment in which they can develop and strengthen their social-emotional skills and build a sense of community within our school. Advisory also provides students with an advisor who they can seek when needing academic and social advising.

Each advisory is made up of 15-18 students in the same grade level. The Advisory class meets four days a week and incorporates community building, social-emotional learning, and academic advising. One of the primary purposes of Advisory is to make time in the school day to focus explicitly on Social Emotional Learning (SEL), which refers to teaching and learning the tools we all use in social interactions and to manage our emotional responses to everyday challenges. Skills like social awareness, goal-setting, and taking responsibility for oneself are crucial in order to thrive in the classroom, in the workplace, and when navigating relationships.

GMS uses the Second Step curriculum in advisory throughout the year. More information on this program is available here.