Grade Advising Day has been going on for more than 20 years and is important for students of all grades. Ninth Grade Seminar teacher Cathie Connors, who has always been involved with the freshman group, says Grade Advising Day is important because “it is a time for them (students) to connect off campus.”
Each grade focuses on the different theme. Freshmen group-building activities revolved around the theme of “how to help a friend.” The sophomores spend the day fully focused on community service. The juniors spend their morning reviewing a test of their personality types and exploring that with other students that have the same personality type. They then spend the rest of their day learning about the college process. The seniors have always done activities around the themes of “health and wellness” and “how to take care of yourself” as they get ready for going off to college. They have done activities from yoga to healthy eating.
I participated in Grade Advising Day for the first time as a freshman. Activities change over the years, but Upper School Dean of Students Lydia Maier came up with the Scrabble game and the human ladder which the freshmen do every year. The human ladder is a trust-building exercise. Another activity that the freshmen always do during Grade Advising Day is role play around the theme of “how to help a friend.” All of these activities are meant as learning and bonding activities for students.
Waynflete plans to continue to hold Grade Advising Day in future years. “Even if it doesn’t always seem like it in the moment for kids, I think it’s something they look back and say ‘Yeah we did that together’,” says Cathie Connors about freshmen students especially. When I look back, I think what I will remember most about the day is bonding with my classmates and doing activities with them like the human ladder. I would’ve never been able to experience this opportunity otherwise.