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Advisory Syllabus
Instructor: Mr. Andy Stephens
Class Website:
Credit: .3 learning units/quarter

Course Description 

Advisory is a support group of students whom stays together year after year until graduation. Advisory groups are balanced in areas of gender, grade, ethnicity and other ways to maintain diverse voices and perspectives. Academic guidance is a major component of Advisory. It is provided on group and individual levels depending on the issue. Students are always welcome to approach Andy, schedule one-on-one appointments with him and contact him.


    1. Academics: Ask for and receive support and guidance towards graduation, attend meetings & conferences, gain exposure to opportunities offered at New Vista and in the larger community, productively use time provided to register for classes & keep accurate track of learning units (credits), find a Community Experience that fits your path, be exposed to school news
    2. Equity: Learn and discuss issues of equity and inequity in education and in our lives in general
    3. Social/Emotional: Acquire ways to successfully engage in self-exploration, teamwork and cooperation, participate in all Community Gatherings, encourage diversity of ideas and leadership styles through group interaction, improve skills around listening and mutual respect, plan & execute one long Advisory, support one another as individuals and group


  1. Google account-This is free but you must remember your username and password at all times.  If you forget it and cannot access your account it will affect your grade, so right it down somewhere! Your account will be used to create webpages for projects, collaborate with groups, and post lab data with partners. It is recommended that you sign up for a google account using your BVSD email.
  2. White Notebook-This will serve as a means to organize your paper documents, credit counts, year long plans, etc.
  3. Good Attitude-We will spend many hours together in class and are working together to create the best experience for everyone.   


  1. Follow New Vista's Core Values.
    • Practice respect-Be helpful, be kind, value differences, don't swear. 
    • Its about teaching and learning
      • Students-Attend, engage, and pass with B's or better
      • Teachers-Make it interesting and interactive
    • Support each other-Positive encouragement for everyone, use confidentiality and emotional support
    • Keep school and school activities substance free
    • Have fun together
    • Participate-Make these values real everyday, become members of the community; plan, organize, and be on communities
  2. Cell Phones-Cell phones should remain out of site during class time.  If you take out your cell phone during class without permission it will be confiscated until the end of class.
  3. Music-Music players (mp3, iPod, etc) should remain out of site during class time.  If you take out your music player during class without permission it will be confiscated until the end of class.
  4. Tardy/Absence-Tardiness and absences negatively impact classroom learning, therefore you are expected to be in class on time. For every 5 unexcused absences or 10 tardies in a semester your grade drops one letter. School policy-For every four unexcused periods of absence you receive detention; if this detention is not served you will be penalized with a credit reduction. If you are planning on being absent for a family vacation, college visit, etc, let me know in advance complete your make up work and have fun. YOU are responsible for making up the work you miss during tardies/absences. I will not remind you.
  5. Food-Healthy food may be consumed in the classroom as long as it does not distract from anyone's learning or teaching.  Examples of healthy food include: fruits, vegetables, and sandwiches.  Examples of unhealthy food include: candy, soda, and twinkies.  If you are unsure about whether a type of food is healthy, ask.  
  6. Leaving Class-I expect you to stay in class unless it is an emergency or you are meeting with school faculty or staff.  However, I understand that you may need to use the restroom during class time, get a drink, or take a quick walk.  Therefore, I will give you twenty extra credit points per quarter which can be spent on leaving class at a cost of 5 points per trip.  You can keep the extra credit, spend 20, or incurr a debt, its up to you.


  •  Equity and related issues
  • Complete registration and credit counts
  • Lead conferences and meetings
  • Attend all community gatherings
  • Plan and execute long-advisories
  • Plan and implement an engaging student led advisory
  • Support each other and the New Vista Community


Grading is based upon the rubric. You will complete two self assessments per quarter: mid-quarter and end of the quarter.

Updated grades are posted on infinite campus.

Late Work

Work is accepted on time with no penalty. Work is accepted after the due date, but within the same unit with a 20% penalty. No late work from a particular unit is accepted after the unit test without a 50% penalty.
Students who miss school due to excused absences are allotted the number of missed days to make up the assigned work. This does not apply to group projects.

If at the end of the grading period for the course you have earned a grade below a B, you have not met expectations. If there were extenuating circumstances that prevented you from meeting expectations you may write a typed one page request for an extension that outlines why you deserve more time, a list of your missing work, a timeline of when you will turn in each assignment and a signature from a parent/guardian. Such requests will be considered if received by the end of that quarter’s exhibition day.

Letter of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are an important component of college admissions and I love writing letters of recommendation for students who excel in my classes. However, these letters do take time and must be revised so that I can make you sound as awesome as you are. Therefore I have developed some guidelines:

  1. Ask me in person.
  2. Give me at least 7 full days of notice before the due date.
  3. Complete a one page resume in which you answer the questions I am asked and include personal highlights you want me to hit upon.
  4. Give me all of the paperwork with self-addressed and stamped envelopes.
  5. Don't ask me if you have proven unworthy in my classes.

Syllabus Digital Signature