D87 votes to extend program that’s helping strengthen teacher-student relationships

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Students at Bloomington High will have another year of the new Advisory Period. On Wednesday, District 87 leaders voted to extend the pilot program into the 2020-2021 because of its success. 

The Advisory Period, is like homeroom where high schoolers at Bloomington High are grouped, based on grade, for 23 minutes two days out of the week.

The goal is to give the students time to focus on things like schoolwork, professional development and building relationships with each other as well as their teachers.

“Things like how do you study for finals, or how do you email a teacher and be professional and appropriate, even though you are upset your grade,” said Jennifer Weaver, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Coach. “Or even, how do you ask for an extension and, what that looks like.”

The program started last spring, because staff were trying to figure out a way to reach students on a more personal level.

“There’s no secret about being in a school and the power of relationships,” said BHS Principal, Tim Moore. “If there is a relationship learning will occur.”

Weaver says there has always been a barrier between the students and teachers, because most often the relationship was boiled down to grades and classwork. ​​​​​​​She says, this program breaks down those walls and allows teachers that time to connect with students, all while preparing them for life after high school.

“All the trauma that kids are experiencing at home and stuff and the things that we see,” said Weaver. “To be able to build those relationships, and know that you can be a trusted adult, is amazing.”

Also at school board, leaders swore in 7 new administrators, including 4 new principals. All 7 will begin serving next school year.

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