...the student/teacher relationship transcends the classroom walls.
WMA students navigate the triumphs and challenges of adolescence with their advisors by their side. Students need academic advisors, advocates, confidantes, and a balancing force in their life. More often than not, they also just need someone who will listen to them. The advisors act as the keystone in each student’s educational experience at the Academy. They are members of the faculty, staff, and administration who devote their time, passion, and energy to ensuring growth in every student. New students are assigned an advisor as part of the registration process. Assignments are initially based on connections in their daily schedule, such as teacher, coach, club advisor, dorm parent, or specific interest. While daily connections are crucial to fostering a sense of trust and understanding, students also meet individually with their advisor once a week. Advisor groups are intentionally kept small to ensure the quality and frequency of the advisee and advisor interactions.
The advisor program is successful because the student/teacher relationship transcends the classroom walls. Advisors are able view the student’s whole experience (academics, athletics, extracurricular, social), rather than just a snapshot of the classroom. They work with students to develop academic plans, interpret WMA requirements, policies, regulations, and procedures, develop decision making skills, understand the implications of their choices, and take advantage of special opportunities like Global Scholars/Leaders, international travel, alumni connections, weekend activities, summer programs, etc. As trust builds, advisors become the student’s go-to person for anything from how to schedule study time to which outfit they should wear to prom to how to solve a conflict with friends. At anytime, students can choose to switch advisors. However, most students choose to stay with their advisor throughout their tenure at WMA, creating life-long friendships.
Due to the central nature of the advisor in each student’s experience at WMA, the advisor acts as a link between the Academy and their advisee’s family. When family members have a question, comment, or concern, they are encouraged to contact the advisor. The advisor will either help them or direct them to the appropriate department for further information. Advisors will contact their advisee’s family throughout the school year and have an opportunity to meet with them during Family Weekend in October. Families are always welcome to request meetings with their child’s advisor. Open and frequent communication between the student, their family, and the advisor allows for a student experience that is built upon transparency, support, and intention.