Advisory Time Put on Hold

SVHS+Broadcast

Bella Quilici

SVHS Broadcast

Rose Houghton, Writer

On Friday, SVHS teachers received a email from Principal Mrs. Hutchinson announcing a temporary end to advisory due to students’ low attendances throughout the school. With the influx of student Covid cases resulting from the two weeks off during winter break, SVHS has decided to remove the 40 minute time period before lunch in hopes of reducing students’ contact tracing.

“We’re just at a different stage of the pandemic.” Palo Alto Superintendent, Don Austin, tells the San Francisco Chronicle. As students continue to fill the packed hallways and classrooms, the cases continue to rise. Austin adds that it is simply not possible to “identify affected individuals, track down all their contacts, and quarantine all those individuals for some time or [have them tested].”

In hopes to reduce the amount of contact trace emails the school has to send out, advisory has been postponed until February 10th. Advisory was created to be a period of work time for students as well as a time for admin to make announcements and reminders about behavior expectations. 

In more recent months, advisory has been a time for Video Arts students to air their broadcasts. These student-ran broadcasts consist of interviews, educational videos, and funny games surrounding events at school. The postponement of advisory threatens the viewing of these videos. 

Video Arts teacher, Mr. Hansen shares that “having no advisory affects [his] curriculum by demotivating students and not giving [his broadcast team] a venue.” Without having a time to show off their work, the broadcast, which consists of many students’ work, relies on advisory time to go live. A large portion of Hansen’s curriculum focuses on teaching real world applications, such as streaming live. “How are my students supposed to get experience in live streaming when we can’t broadcast? [There is] no time to express the art [the students] create.” With every classroom tuned into the broadcast during advisory, almost all students are informed about the recent news and events around campus. 

Although SVHS is attempting to reduce Covid cases by minimizing a students contact with others, getting rid of advisory directly affects the Advanced Video Arts program, which hinders students’ access to knowledge about school events.