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At West Side Collaborative we strongly believe in building a sense of community among our staff and our students.  One way that we develop a strong sense of community is by creating a safe space where students can truly express themselves and develop friendships across grades.  Our goals for our advisory program are for students to express their thoughts and emotions openly; for students to build positive relationships with peers across all grades; for students to learn more about other students in advisory; for teachers to act as mentors to students and for teachers to provide a space where students can take on leadership roles and help to build their own culture within the advisory program. 

This year our advisory program began with community building activities, our hope was for students to build their own sense of community within their advisories and within the larger school community.  We then moved the advisory themes to students developing a strong sense of self, and then to students learning how to use their awareness of their sense of self to share with the outside community.  Students worked on various community service projects.  These community service projects included working with toddlers in a day care in the Lower East Side, raising money for animals at the ASPCA, raising money for the homeless by participating in a school talent show, developing relationships with patients undergoing dialysis in a local hospital, recycling and other projects of a similar nature.  All of the community service projects were created and run by the students. 


In addition to the individual advisories, each advisory is part of a “family” which combines three to four advisories into one large family.  When there are school-wide events and when we hold Spirit Week families travel and participate in events together.  In addition, each advisory holds monthly breakfasts which are run by the students.  If an advisory chooses, they can have breakfast with their “family”.


At West Side Collaborative, advisory is a program that enables students to truly act as leaders and develop their sense of self.  We hope to continue to develop our advisory program and we believe that the knowledge and experiences of our students are what makes our program successful. 

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