Advisors, grad coaches work with counselors, teachers to ensure students on track and engaged in learning

Advisors, grad coaches work with counselors, teachers to ensure students on track and engaged in learning

In Gwinnett, each student has the support of a team that includes teachers, counselors, a graduation coach, and an advisor. While most understand the role of the teacher and counselor, you may not be familiar with how the graduation coach and advisor support learning.

Margaret Cheeley, standing center, graduation coach at Collins Hill High, works with Creekland Middle students in EAGLES (Educate and Give Learners Effective Skills), a mentoring and tutoring program.
“We have a formal advisement program in all middle and high schools,” says Dianne Thompson, director of the Office of Advisement and Counseling. “The purpose of the program is that every student will have an adult who they can go to for support and serve as an advocate for the student. It's a way to make our large schools feel smaller and more personal.”

The advisor guides, mentors, and builds a relationship to support student engagement in the learning process. In advisement sessions over a student's school career, advisors focus on building individual skills, supporting a successful school experience, and planning for the future.

At the middle school level, students and their advisors meet in small groups at least twice a month during the scheduled homeroom period. In high school, students meet with their advisors during the 7th period of the day.

Graduation coaches in every GCPS middle and high school work in tandem with teachers and school leadership teams to help students achieve so that they are on track for promotion, and, ultimately, graduation.

Ms. Thompson encourages parents to keep up with what their student is covering in advisement so they can reinforce those important life lessons at home. (The program follows a calendar for specific topics, available from the school.)

"That's another important way for parents to 'Be There,' and to extend those meaningful connections that students are experiencing with their advisors," says Ms. Thompson.

For more on GCPS' parent involvement campaign and ways to "Be There" for your student, click here.