Advisory now worth a credit

Kyla Barnett, Features Editor

This semester, Manhattan High School began a pilot of a pass or fail grading system in Advisory. This means that Advisory is now graded on participation and attendance as well as being worth a credit for all four years at MHS.

“So, it’s a weighted grade. In other words, 50% of the grade comes from attendance and participation and 50% of the grade comes from the tasks that you accomplish throughout the semester,” advisory committee member Kristal Kleiner said. “Over the year you only have to have a 60 percent to pass.”

Advisory was created to help students prepare for their future and help build a community and the committee believes that making Advisory a credit will help enforce the standards that have been set by the state and MHS.

“Part of it is a state mandate… But also, we saw a need to build community in our building. Also we saw a need for social emotional support and monitoring and kind of growing in that area. And then also, of course, you all need to be academically prepared,” Kleiner said. “So there are certain things that we have to do and then also places where we definitely see a need. Advisory has evolved to accomplish those objectives.”

The change to a credit is also to help with accountability throughout the school for both teachers and students. The grade will encourage students to go to advisory and participate. 

“One of the ways in which we can all be accountable to those objectives is to provide documentation of participation, attendance and accomplishments,” Kleiner said. “So not only does that allow students to maybe have a reason to be part but also it allows parents and students to see progress.”

It also helps to ensure that teachers check for completion on tasks in their advisory and make sure that students are focused while learning skills for the future. 

“And it also causes I think teachers to make sure that they are also dutifully… checking and making sure (students get what they need),” Kleiner said. “This particular grade will allow us all to just get credit for what you’re doing and make sure that we’re assisting you in the things that you need to get done before you leave.” 

Many students don’t believe that the change is necessary because it adds another thing to worry about in an already packed schedule.

“I don’t think it’s necessary. It’s the only time I get to do what I want to do, and then also use that time for clubs and stuff,” sophomore Paulo Tolentino said. “So if I have to worry about getting good grades in that class, (it) adds more stress and that class is normally used to lessen the stress.”

Some students agree that Advisory credit will cause more unnecessary stress in their school lives and Advisory should not be graded.

“I feel like we don’t need them,” junior Jeremiah Weisbender said. “I feel like it’s kind of pointless. I don’t do my work there in general. It would take less stress off people who have… work and stuff or something like that.”

Other students think that having a grade in Advisory will be a good thing.

“I think Advisory is necessary because it helps you prepare and gives you flex time to go talk to your teachers. I think it should be a participation grade,” senior Macy Hendricks said. “I think it will be a good thing if it’s a credit next year, because it won’t affect me.”

Advisory credit will not officially start until next semester. This semester is just a pilot focusing on feedback and will not affect students’ GPA. This semester is for students, teachers and the community to communicate with each other and share their thoughts on the change.