Dr. Meg answers questions about Advisory Period

  • Link to Zoom video:



    Thank you to all who submitted questions about our new Advisory period and schedule. Here is a list of the questions asked and addressed on the Zoom meeting for those who were unable to attend.

    1. Where did DHMS find the Project Wayfinder Curriculum and how was it chosen? Are there any other schools in Burbank using this curriculum?

    Burbank High piloted this curriculum the last two years and brought it to the secondary principals. BHS will be expanding the use next year and Monterey and CDS will also be adopting the program. Luther started an advisory period a couple of years ago and they use Second Step, which is what is used in the elementary schools. I felt that the middle school curriculum from Project Wayfinder fits the needs of our middle school students better than Second Step, which was designed for elementary. Project Wayfinder was designed for secondary school students.

    2. When will the Advisory Period be?

    Beginning of the day from 8:00am to 8:25am, on Monday, Wednesdays, Thursday and Fridays. Curriculum will be delivered on Mon, Wed and Thurs, but Fridays will be reserved for spirit activities and watching Cougar Vision. Daily announcements will happen at the beginning of the Advisory period.

    3. How will students be divided into their advisory groups?

    Students will be randomly assigned to their group by grade level.

    4. If the groups are the same for all 3 years, what are the plans if a student does not get along with another student in their group, or with their teacher in this group?

    Yes, there will definitely be an opportunity for students to switch groups if there is some kind of conflict/mismatch with the teacher or another student in the group. We would first try to resolve a conflict, but changing groups will always be an option we will consider. At the end of year one, the staff will discuss and review the program and reevaluate how we group students and how we deliver the instruction. Feedback from students and parents will be solicited and considered.

    5. Is there an opt-out option?

    Yes, there will be an opt-out option for students, but we hope that everyone will give it a try first before opting out.

    6. Is role play involved and/or required by students?

    No, role play is not a part of the program. Also, students will never be forced to share or participate in an activity that makes them uncomfortable.

    7. Will students be graded? Is this a required program to graduate either middle school or high school?

    This class will not be graded, but attendance will be taken. It is not a class that is required for graduation.

    8. How will teachers be trained to deliver this curriculum?

    When purchasing the curriculum, we also paid for 6 hours of training for the teachers. The initial PD will be delivered before school starts, and then we will have a few additional trainings throughout the year as we become more comfortable with it.

    9. Can we find out more about the curriculum and what they will be learning during this time?

    We will have some copies of the Project Wayfinder Toolkit here at the school at the beginning of August. We will have them down at registration so parents can look through them. There is an additional digital resource that comes with the program. We will be reviewing that at a PTSA meeting and making it available to parents.

    10. Have you ever considered a block schedule?

    This comes up occasionally, but would have to be voted on and agreed to by a large majority of the school staff and approved by the teachers’ union. Currently, there is not a lot of support for a block schedule.

    11. Does this curriculum have anything to do with Critical Race Theory?

    To answer this I will quote an article from Education Week. You can read the full article here. “There is a good deal of confusion over what CRT means, as well as its relationship to other terms, like “anti-racism” and “social justice,” with which it is often conflated. To an extent, the term “critical race theory” is now cited as the basis of all diversity and inclusion efforts regardless of how much it’s actually informed those programs.” - Stephen Sawchuk This program does not teach CRT, but likely is an idea that influenced the writing of some of the curriculum.