The Heights School, like any other educational institution, has a clear and distinct mission. A mission that sets it apart from other schools and gives it its character. This mission pervades every aspect of the School’s life: academic, athletic, and spiritual. The administration, the faculty and staff, and the School’s families work together in making this mission a reality for each student.The mission is accomplished through a rigorous academic program, competitive athletic teams, and a dedicated faculty and staff. What makes it all come together in the life of each boy is the Advisory Program. Advisory seeks to assist parents in the intellectual, moral, physical, and spiritual education of their sons.Jacques Maritain, a philosopher of the Aristotelian tradition, once said in a lecture given at Yale University, “The prime goal of education is the conquest of internal and spiritual freedom by the individual person, or, in other words, his liberation through knowledge and wisdom, good will, and love.” (Education at the Crossroads, p. 11). In a sense, Advisory seeks precisely that. It brings together “knowledge and wisdom, good will, and love”—all the different aspects of the School’s programs —academic, athletic, spiritual—into one single conversation. In so doing, advisory helps each student reach his full potential both in his academic endeavors and in his personal formation as a man. The advisory effort is reinforced and made complete when the advisor works hand in hand with the boy’s parents. Cooperation between parents and advisor is what makes the advisory program successful. This relationship is necessary because the parents are the primary educators of their sons and are the ones who know him best. The advisor, therefore, must work in tandem with the parents in a partnership for the good. Another component of the advisory program is the interest and empathy the advisor shows for his advisee. The advisor looks out for his advisee. This is the most basic of all his duties. “How is he doing in class? What do his teachers say about his academic work? Is he interacting well with his peers?” The advisor thinks about each advisee. “What are his talents and weaknesses? What could he do with his gifts? How should he be developing academically?”
After observing each advisee and thinking about him, the advisor may point out things that the advisee may not realize about himself. An advisee may be reminded of the importance of using his time well on school nights. A second suggestion may be that it’s better to study certain subjects first and take care of others later. Another suggestion 4 could be that he needs to get his binder in order. Counsel may be tailored to the boy’s personal struggle for virtue and excellence.
Advisors meet with their advisees often. Regular communication fosters fruitful conversation, goal setting, encouragement, support, and accountability. The advisor presents the mission of the School to each student so he may benefit from every opportunity the School offers.