The Advisory Program addresses the emotional needs of young adolescents, while fostering family and community partnerships, strong teacher-student relationships, and a positive school climate. It provides an avenue for adult guidance and peer support as young adolescents cope with one of life’s more confusing periods.

Through Onekama Middle School’s Advisory Program, we are seeking to address the particular concerns of middle school students during this crucial time in their lives. Advisory meets every day for 25 minutes in the morning. Students are divided into small groups of approximately 20 students and paired with an advisory teacher. Each student has an advisor to listen, to help, and to react to difficulties as they arise. It is a preventative program, but also, it represents an effort by teachers to know and value young adolescents as individuals. Our advisory program follows the model and philosophy advocated by the National Middle School Association.

Sixth grade students work to form numbers, shapes, and words with
their bodies WITHOUT SPEAKING!


  1. To provide an adult advisor for each student who is a mentor to and an advocate for the student. This insures that every student is known well by at least one adult in the middle school. This adult is able to support the student in times of difficulty, to recognize the warning signs of teen problems, as well as to celebrate the student’s successes.
  2. To meet students’ need to belong to a group, and to help students feel accepted and valued by teachers and peers.
  3. To foster a positive school climate as students develop positive relationships with teachers and with one another through organized team-building activities.
  4. To provide a forum to address topics of concern for young adolescents: physical changes common to middle school students, peer relationships, family relationships, study skills, school rules and student responsibility, health and nutrition, goal setting, career exploration, problem solving and decision making, sexuality, substance abuse, respect, current events, and community service.
  5. To secure a time to address significant and unexpected events — a death in the school, violence in the community, national tragedies — in an arena with a higher level of trust and concern than is found in the average classroom.
  6. To prepare students for academic success by discussing study skills, organization, and time management.
  7. To improve home/school communication and relationships.
  8. To promote good citizenship through comprehensive community service projects.
  9. To support programs that foster health, wellness, and safety.

Eighth grade advisory students show their spirit!


  • Each of the ten themes explored in the Advisory program follows a curriculum written and developed by Onekama Middle School teachers.

    SEPTEMBER: "Getting Acquainted"
    OCTOBER: " Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution"
    NOVEMBER: "Decision Making"
    DECEMBER: "Community Involvement"
    JANUARY: "Self Esteem"
    FEBRUARY: "Career Planning and Goal Setting"
    MARCH: "School Spirit"
    APRIL: "Relationships"
    MAY: "Respect"
    JUNE: "Accepting Responsibilities/ Positive Attitudes"

    Thursdays are a unique day in our Advisory program. On Thursdays, our Advisory period is combined with the following period to allow us an extended length of time for special projects. Advisory classes meet every Thursday for 70 minutes, and rotates through four special activities:

    • Team Building -- To foster a sense of belonging and team identity within an advisory group, each group has selected a team name and a designed a logo. On the first Thursday of each month, students participate in intramural games. The focus is on teamwork, cooperation, and unity. Students also organize and take part in a Spirit Day and a Field Day.
    • Service Learning — Each advisory class selects a service learning project based upon the needs of our community. Students, teachers, and parents go into the community to give their time and talents, and to learn important lessons about compassion, commitment, and the power of service to others. Projects for the 2000-2001 school year included: recycling; cleaning parks and the riverbed; helping senior citizens at their homes by raking, planting bulbs and flowers, shoveling snow, and visiting; and designing, planting, and caring for a school garden.
    • Guest Speakers and Assemblies — Thursdays also allow us an extended period of time to bring students together for guest speakers on topics related to our theme for the month.
    As part of a monthly community service project, sixth grade students make wreaths to deliver to older citizens in ourcommunity.