1 of 20

Slide Notes

Good evening and thank you.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my work on core values and advisory with you tonight.

I believe that every high school should have an advisory program.

I believe that a high school education should be more than just skill and knowledge acquisition.

I spent this past year doing my best to spread these ideas.
DownloadGo Live

Advisory and Core Values

Published on Nov 20, 2015

No Description


Core Values & Advisory

John Painter, South Burlington High School
Good evening and thank you.

I appreciate the opportunity to share my work on core values and advisory with you tonight.

I believe that every high school should have an advisory program.

I believe that a high school education should be more than just skill and knowledge acquisition.

I spent this past year doing my best to spread these ideas.

Ryan Hawks

As a Rowland fellow I have shared South Burlington's core values project with other schools in Vermont.

In sharing this project, I talked a lot about Ryan Hawks, a world class free skier and former student of mine who passed away in his early 20s from injuries sustained in a skiing accident.

Before he died, Ryan had written his own core values, which serve as the basis for our core values project.

Untitled Slide

While Ryan was a pretty spectacular young man, I'd like to take a moment tonight to talk about Peter, Ryan's dad, and my partner in spreading the core values project.

After Ryan passed away, Peter founded the Flyin Ryan Foundation: an organization to carry on Ryan's legacy.

The Foundation seeks to provide scholarships to adventure athletes who are, in Peter's words, "Olympians of Spirit".

Core Values Matter

Flyin Ryan and the Decisions Program
More importantly, however, through the Foundation, Peter hopes to inspire people to write their own core values by sharing Ryan's story.

As Peter says about Ryan: "We lost his body that day, but we didn't lose his spirit."

It has been an honor to work with Peter during this past year to formalize the discussion of core values in schools around Vermont.

Make A Difference Day

Before sharing the core values project, however, we took a detour in Make A Difference Day, a national community service day sponsored, in our area, by the Burlington Free Press.

Our Make A Difference Day project included almost every school in Chittenden County. Participating schools engaged in a core values day at their own schools, followed by a day of community service projects around the county.

Decisions Program Schools

Make A Difference Day gave us a foot in the door at participating schools with our core values project.

We are currently in varying states of participation with a number of schools in the Chittenden County area, including Milton, Burlington, Essex, CVU, and the NW Technical Center.

Here are a few highlights from our core values tour.

Intelligence plus
character -
that is the goal
of true education.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On MLK Day, I had the opportunity to lead professional development around our core values project at Montpelier High School.

During my time in Montpelier, we connected core values to the seven character strengths identified by Character Lab, an organization co-founded by Angela Duckworth.

Shelburne Community School

At Shelburne Community School, I supported a friend of mine as he introduced the core values project to his 5th grade student leadership council.

As a result, Peter and I were invited to work with all Shelburne Community School 6th graders to kick off a new core values unit that will be connected to their PLPs.

Next week, we are looking forward to repeating the process with all their 8th graders.

What do you want to learn?

What do you want to do?
In a partnership with VSAC, I recently presented to all sophomores from Lamoille Union High School.

During the presentation, we talked about how the process of identifying core values can help guide students as they begin the process of personalizing their learning and thinking about their post-secondary plans.

"...nothing you hand a kid to
will be as important as
and if you let them
start from there, they will learn more than you could have ever taught them."

Our core values project puts the student at the center - which is their rightful place.

I believe this quote from Dennis Littky sums it up nicely:

Nothing you hand a kid to learn will be as important as what's already inside them, and if you let them start from there, they will learn more than you could have ever taught them.

Advisory at SBHS

The second component of my fellowship has been leading the research and design of a 9th through 12th grade advisory program at South Burlington High School.

We currently have programs for our freshmen and sophomores, but have nothing to offer our upperclassmen.

Our goal has always been advisory for all students, and it's exciting to be involved in the process of realizing that goal.

Exploration and Decision Making

A Shared Vision for Advisory at SBHS
Together, with my steering committee and a Professional Learning Community I facilitate, we have

considered other advisory programs

evaluated our current advisory

and hosted neighborhood learning conversations to engage our community in the process.

This work has helped us design the framework for our new program, whose full implementation is set for the 2018 school year.

Days Per Week VT High Schools Have Advisory

I am in the process of analyzing data I have collected through a statewide high school advisory survey.

One thing for sure is that advisory is different things to different schools.

And while advisory is not a one size fits all program, my biggest concern is that there are plenty of programs out there identified as advisories that aren't really advisory.

Advisory is a place where every South Burlington High School student is known well.

We need to make sure that advisory is a place that cultivates authentic relationships - both advisor to student and student to student.

We need to have content that is both meaningful and engaging.

We need to be willing to learn about each other as human beings.

What I am finding is that most schools are planning to manage PLPs in advisory.

Together, students and advisors engage in shared experiences inspiring personal and academic reflection, planning, and growth.

Advisory, therefore, should be the hub of our students' experience, not an add-on.

To ensure the quality of the experience for both students and advisors, we need to provide quality and regular training to our teachers.

I hope to organize a statewide advisory conference that will provide resources, training, and an opportunity to share to all participants...stay tuned on that one!

Designing Advisory at SBHS

Much like my passion of backcountry skiing, the advisory component of my fellowship has had the work of skinning to the top of the mountain, and the thrill of the ride down through untracked powder.

A single day in the backcountry includes multiple trips up and down the mountain, and is always made better with good company.

I am grateful to be working with seasoned thinkers who have been chest-deep in advisory for years.

Advisory at SBHS: Currently on the Skin Up

In order to fully enjoy the backcountry, however, you have to embrace the skin up, despite the effort it takes.

In our advisory design, we are currently on the skin up, but it isn't our first run of the day.

I have come to enjoy this trip up, as it has opened my eyes to some new and different lines available to us on the ride down...and it's gonna be a great ride.

Family First

Before I wrap things up, I want to encourage all of you to write your own core values.

I did so several years ago, and it was more difficult than I thought it would be.

At the top of my core values list is Family First, and on behalf of my family, I would like to thank you for the opportunity you have given me this year.

The SBHS Math Apartment

As I return to South Burlington High School, I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed chair of the math department (or math apartment as we call it).

I couldn't be happier with my new role, as my math colleagues are some of the best people to work (and to ski) with.

As there is still much to be done, however, I am happy to report that part of my job will be the continued facilitation of 9 - 12 advisory design and implementation.

Thank You!

Finally, I would like to say thank you.

Thank you to my cohort - I truly value our colleagueship and friendship.

Thank you Jean and Mike for facilitating our meetings with understanding.

Thank you Chuck for your tireless efforts to support and guide us as fellows.

Thank you to the board of the Rowland Foundation for your faith in my project.

And thank you Barry and Wendy for your vision and generosity.

This past year has truly been a gift, and I am grateful to be part of the Rowland Foundation family.