Senior Advisory Program

Ashley Behm ‘24

This year the high school welcomed over one hundred freshmen, the biggest incoming class in over a decade. With such a large number of freshmen, the administration decided it was important to set up the senior advisory program, in addition to the regular faculty run advisory program. Hoping to ensure a seamless transition into high school for the freshmen, the administration has paired each Freshman with a senior advisor to help guide them through the transition. 

Last June, a form was sent out to the current seniors asking if they were interested in being a senior advisor in the fall. The form included a few questions, including, “why do you want to do this?” Nearly all seniors who applied were accepted, and over the summer they received an email outlining what being a senior advisor would entail, including the specific dates they would need to be in school. On September 1st, a week before freshman orientation, the seniors headed to school for their senior portraits. That day there was also a meeting for the senior advisors where the administration specified what they would have to do during freshman orientation. It was then up to the seniors to contact the members of their advisory to introduce themselves either through call or text. The senior advisors were responsible for ensuring that the freshmen were properly welcomed into school and to answer any questions they may have had. 

Freshman Sami Rose Fishman was happy to get a senior advisor she already knew and said, “I felt more comfortable going into orientation knowing I had a senior I could go to with any questions and concerns.” Although she could not get in touch with her senior advisor over the summer, her senior advisor did reach out.

The seniors and freshmen were finally able to meet each other in person during freshman orientation. Each advisory group spent time together and there was time for the freshmen to bring up any questions and concerns they had to their senior advisor. Many of the incoming freshmen had only been to the high school briefly, and needed to be shown around the school. This was accomplished through a scavenger hunt planned by the administration. It was the job of the senior advisors to lead the freshmen through the scavenger hunt which brought them to various places throughout  the building.

Current senior Rebecca Kalimi knew she wanted to be a senior advisor, since she remembered how helpful the seniors were when she was a freshman. “It is so good to know I could be there for the freshmen, when I was a freshman I really looked up to the seniors for advice since they knew so much more.” Rebecca still says hi to the freshmen in her advisory and keeps herself available to them. “Even now if I see freshmen, I say hi, even if they weren’t my advisees, since we spent the whole day together. I just ask them how their classes are and if they need anything.” 

While the senior advisory program had been in effect for many school years prior to this one, it was extremely important that it was operating this year. The extra support for such a large group of incoming students was necessary for orientation to run smoothly and for the freshmen to acclimate into the Ramaz high school environment.