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The AISV Community Life program is rooted in the School’s Guiding Statements, particularly in our values:
Empowered international community
Meaningful learning opportunities
Personalized learning experiences
Social and emotional well-being
Collaboration for innovation
Celebration of diversity
Safe and supportive environment
The overarching purpose of AISV CL in the Middle School is to encourage the development of a well-rounded community. AISV CL allows staff from across the school to take an integral part in our community building effort that is directed toward the enhancement of our community. This program encourages school-wide communication, strengthens team building skills, allows for the exploration of skills and interests both inside and outside of the classroom, provides time for teachers to advise students on academic, social, or future-planning situations and ensures that at least one adult in the school is getting to know each student well, making sure their learning needs are being met, and encouraging them to make good academic choices and plan for their future.
AISV Community Life in the Middle School encompasses:
Students attend daily morning homeroom ‘check-ins’ with their advisory group.
Middle School Monthly Assemblies
These days allow AISV community members to take an integral part in the effort to cultivate partnerships among students, staff and parents. The clubs are either led or co-hosted by Middle School students. The clubs are created from student interest, such clubs are Cooking, Floorball, Dance, Arts & Crafts, Animals, Photography, Chess, etc.
At the end of each quarter, students have the opportunity to celebrate their academic growth and effort. In the past, such celebrations have included Bowling, Ice skating, Halloween Fashion Show, Middle School Dance, etc. These are planned quarterly by the teachers and Middle School Student Council.
Students meet with their small groups, under the guidance of adult advisors, for 90 minutes a week to discuss both academic and social-emotional issues and to prepare them for their future.
Outcomes of the program:
Students will build onto their own talents and aspirations, build positive self-esteem, develop social skills, become positively involved in school and community activities, and build self-awareness for improved personal learning.
Students develop close relationships with other students in their advisory, as well as their adult advisor, who becomes a valuable liaison between home and school.
The purposes of advisory are:
To ensure that every student is known well by at least one adult in the school.
To help develop and support each student’s expectations for academic and personal success in school.
To give each student a voice as an active participant in a community of learners.
Teach social skills necessary for students to build positive relationships with peers and adults, so they can enjoy responsible independence.
An open forum that addresses students’ social and emotional well-being.
Why is it important to have an advisory program in the Middle School?
Early adolescent students have needs and concerns that the academic program rarely meets. Successful schools for early adolescents provide multifaceted guidance and support services. One of the hallmarks of an effective middle school is that it is inviting, safe, inclusive, and supportive of all, and that is has specific programs to support that essential characteristic. Abundant practice and research studies clearly indicate that when students are known well by other students and by caring adults in a school, they will be better behaved, care more about others, and have a more positive attitude about their school and their work; and their achievement will increase.
Why does AISV include social/emotional learning in its program?
Academic success and personal growth increase markedly when young adolescents’ affective needs are met. Studies show that students who have access to social and emotional learning demonstrate:
better academic performance: achievement scores an average of 11 percentile points higher than students who did not receive instruction relating to social/emotional issues.
improved attitudes and behaviors: greater motivation to learn, deeper commitment to school, increased time devoted to schoolwork, and better classroom behavior.
fewer negative behaviors: decreased disruptive class behavior, noncompliance, aggression, delinquent acts, and disciplinary referrals.
reduced emotional distress: fewer reports of student depression, anxiety, stress, and social withdrawal.