Daniel Pearl Magnet High School junior Nadia Montiel does her online school work. (Photo courtesy of Delilah Brumer)
Daniel Pearl Magnet High School

New advisory class at Daniel Pearl Magnet kicks off during virtual learning school year

Distance learning has affected many aspects of student life, such as the transition to different class schedules. One of the biggest changes has been the Los Angeles Unified School District’s addition of advisory periods.

“I think it was a combination of the district and the [Los Angeles Unified School District Teachers] Union wanting the schools to be able to give the students more social-emotional support,” Daniel Pearl Magnet High School Magnet Coordinator Leah Pevar said.

Advisory periods are graded on a pass-fail basis and students receive 2.5 units of credit toward graduation if they pass. Students have these 30-minute-long periods every school day except for Mondays. Students either have advisory period H, which is before lunch, or advisory period L, which is after lunch. 

“It’s still school but it feels kind of like a place to just be calm and relax a little bit,” freshman Robert Wolfe said. “Like today we were doing origami.” 

Due to their unusual nature, the responses to advisory periods have been mixed. While some students find them helpful, others feel like their time could be better spent working on more academic-focused work.

“I just feel like advisory is a little bit of a waste of time because I could be using it to do homework for other classes,” junior Nadia Montiel said. “At the same time, I do like that you get to talk things through and I have improved on things. We were talking about things like growth mindsets.”

Advisory periods allow for students to learn real-world skills, aside from academic subjects. Teachers help students learn these skills through techniques such as using slideshows or leading emotional check-ins. Additionally, advisory class sizes are capped at 20 students divided between periods H and L per teacher, allowing for more communication.

“I like how small the (advisory) classes are and how everyone just kind of knows each other,” sophomore Sabrina Robertson said. “I think (advisory periods are) good for the kids and even the teachers.”