Fossil plans to remove Advisory from future curriculum


Melissa May

With the removal of Advisory classes, Fossil’s administration plans to switch to a four by four schedule with eight classes.

Melissa May, Head Copy Editor

As of Thursday, November 5, the Fossil Ridge High School administration announced their plans to remove Advisory classes from the typical student schedule. The development was originally announced to teachers, then later written about in Fossil’s November newsletter. The news became especially prevalent on Monday, November 9, as students and teachers began to discuss the new development of Fossil’s schedule.

Advisory was a class that was originally implemented into Fossil’s curriculum in the hopes of providing each student with a small community of people that they participate and work with weekly. Fossil’s website explains that advisory “helps to create a smaller-community feeling and a sense of belonging.” Since every student is assigned an Advisory class, it was considered the perfect way to share information and monitor students’ academic growth.

Advisory classes did run smoothly throughout their duration as weekly ninety-minute class periods. Even during the introduction of Extended Learning Opportunity (ELO) as an extension of Advisory and another opportunity for work time while in school, problems were rarely raised. Things have become incredibly difficult for Advisory classes recently though, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of school funding and budget cuts.

According to the November newsletter, Dr. Chaplain explains that the school is “no longer able to afford running a 7-period schedule with Advisory for students every year.” With the elimination of Advisory, Fossil will run on a 4 by 4 block schedule next year, as well as into the foreseeable future. Year-long classes will now be scheduled in consecutive quarters within the same semester. Semester courses will be completed in single quarters and year long classes will take only one semester.

The removal of Advisory has already become a controversial topic. Some students are excited for the removal of the class from their schedules, while others are upset with the change. Junior Gina Curtis aligns more with the latter, stating, “I’m disappointed, because our class had become so close. We had an incredible teacher to help us, and it’s really sad that we won’t be able to finish our last year of high school together.”

From a senior perspective though, losing Advisory is a bit different. Ellie Visser explains her thoughts about Advisory being removed after her graduation: “Honestly, I know some seniors that didn’t like Advisory are upset that it’s only being removed once we’ll be gone, but I’m somewhat indifferent. I feel for the juniors and underclassmen who will lose some of the bonds and connections they formed through Advisory, but I’m not firmly in one stance or the other, since I won’t really be around to experience the aftermath of cutting Advisory.”

Outside of just student opinions though, Advisory teachers are also experiencing mixed feelings surrounding the removal of the class. Choir teacher Briana McCormick describes her thought process, explaining that, “I think if it’s what we need to do as a school, then I’m all for it… there’s not really another alternative, and the way they have it set up right now, there’s not an option that allows us to keep Advisory.”

She also states that she is excited for more schedule flexibility for students: “I think that’s huge, to be able to pick another class, it’s very exciting. In general, eight periods works really well, and I know a lot of teachers might even prefer teaching classes in their content area rather than an Advisory class.”

“We love our students and the opportunity to get to meet people you might not usually meet, but Advisory isn’t what’s best for the school right now, and the new scheduling opportunities seem very hopeful.”stated McCormick.

Heading into the 2020-2021 school year, students, teachers, and parents alike understood the vast and rapid change that Fossil and the rest of Poudre School District would have to undergo. The ever present and ever rampant COVID-19 has forced schools all around the country to rethink the way they wish to proceed with their scheduling.

Since Advisory classes have been a big part of Fossil’s makeup since its opening in 2004, the decision to remove the course has been met with some differing opinions. Regardless of the discourse, the reimagining of Fossil’s scheduling and the removal of some classes was practically inevitable. Fossil’s future will surely look very different from what has been seen in the past, but developments, like new changes in scheduling, only serve to move the school forward in the years to come.