The Faculty Advisor
The St. Mark’s School Faculty Advisor, often referred to simply as the “Advisor,” is the primary connecting link between parents, their students, and the students’ teachers. The local guardian is required for all international students and this can be a helpful relationship, especially when the guardian works closely with the St. Mark’s School Faculty Advisor. However, because of the comprehensive nature of the advising system at St. Mark’s, and because the Advisor lives in close proximity to the students and therefore knows them and the school well, it is the recommendation of the School that international families limit their employment of external advisors.
An Advisor is a member of the St. Mark’s faculty who is assigned to all new students to support them during their time at St. Mark’s. The relationship between student and Faculty Advisor is a core element of the St. Mark’s program. The Advisor should be the initial point of contact for parents with concerns or questions about a particular student. First-year students are assigned to their Advisors.
In subsequent years, student preference becomes the basis for the assignment. Many students keep the same Advisor throughout their St. Mark’s experience; others select new Advisors as their needs and their relationships here change. The Advisor watches over students’ academic progress and personal development. Parents should make early contact with their child’s Advisor and feel free to communicate with any of those who teach or coach their children. The formal Advisor relationship is supplemented by the numerous informal adult contacts available to each student.
The role of the Advisor varies as the student’s needs and interests dictate. All Advisors are expected to maintain at least weekly contact with each advisee and to communicate with other faculty as needed to maintain “the total picture” of each advisee’s adjustment and progress at School. Advisors communicate with parents in writing twice a year and informally, by phone or email, as needed.
We strongly encourage students to seek out faculty members in order to discuss any concerns and/or problems. While faculty members will make every effort, where appropriate, to keep such discussions confidential, if a faculty member determines that the issues raised constitute an immediate danger to the individual, to others, or to the community, he or she will so inform the student and will accompany the student to that adult whom the faculty member feels can be most helpful.