Sandy Spring Friends School



Middle School Advisories

In the Middle School at SSFS, Advisory is one of the primary places where students are cared for, known as individuals, and experience the confidence that comes from a deep sense of belonging. It's one of the most meaningful ways we carry out our mission.

Middle School is an exciting time of tremendous development—it can also be a tremendously challenging phase. What if your child was championed by a rock-solid teaching team and backed by a loyal band of classmates, boldly exploring each academic year together? At SSFS, that’s our model. Here’s to a middle school journey that’s anything by middle-of-the-road!

A Middle School advisory group gathered around an engaged teacher on the floor of the classroom

Speaking of the journey, at SSFS, the advisor serves as your child's tour guide. Middle School advisors have numerous roles in the lives of their advisees. They are responsible for serving as student advocates, supporting their advisees in school endeavors, and helping them to achieve an appropriate balance between academic and extracurricular activities. Some of their official duties include clerking and guiding weekly advisory meetings, supervising tutorial, Meeting for Worship, and other activities, and periodic conferences which ensure understanding and partnership between home and school.  

Unofficially, but just as important, is the expectation that the faculty member will make the effort to get to know the student beyond the structured classroom setting. At the start of the year, each advisor administers an "Advisee Inventory," which assists the advisor in learning about the advisee’s likes and dislikes and some of their personal interests and habits. The advisee inventories, which include student statements about nightly study habits and screen time, can be very helpful during parent/guardian-teacher conferences.

A Middle School advisory group pointing to a Let Your Light Speak Sign above them

Why Advisory?

  • “Home base” on campus 

  • 10-13 diverse students who bond over shared experience

  • Middle School faculty member who gets to know each student beyond the classroom

  • Special Advisory lunches including local takeout

  • Tailored academic support and planning

  • Enriching discussions facilitating social-emotional growth

  • Family conferences that go beyond mere academics, providing a holistic view of the student’s progress

Advisory Group Meetings

  • When? 7:55 – 8:07 AM every morning and during Community Time after lunch once a week for 40 min
  • How? Advisors are provided with a set of lessons and resources for these meetings on a wide range of topics
  • What? Quakerism, academic planning and organization, leadership and team building, and social-emotional themes such as managing stress and building healthy relationships