Whole Child Education » Advocacy


Why we have "Advocacy" instead of "Homeroom"

For many schools, homeroom is a home base for students, a place for students to begin their day and an adult that parents know they can go to. We have all those things + meaningful social emotional learning within our unique Advocacy program.
Advocacy classes are, first and foremost, a time for students to build supportive relationships with their peers and with an adult they can trust. It is a time for everyone to feel recognized and welcomed into the school community.

Why Do We Call it Advocacy?

We believe language matters, and though Advocacy is a home base for students and parents, Advocacy is more than a homeroom. We believe the term Advocacy embodies the true goal, a program driven by facilitators who effectively advocate for their students and teach students how to advocate for themselves. Teachers are called "Advocates" to represent the proactive role they play in empowering their students to build positive futures.

What Happens in Advocacy?

Everything Begins in Circle
Every student in the building begins the day in an Advocacy Circle. In Circle, we greet one another and check in so that every student is seen, heard, affirmed and valued. Advocates use this time of the day to gauge where our students are at socially and emotionally so they can comprehensively meet their needs. 
Advocacy Throughout the Day - a Daily Class
During this daily block, students meet with their faculty Advocate to engage in relevant activities that support their social and emotional growth, career readiness, and academic success. These sessions provide students with opportunities for positive peer interaction, life skills development, and coaching to overcome educational, personal, and social barriers to educational attainment. A successful Advocacy program is a powerful tool for creating a positive school culture where our whole community can succeed. 
Advocacy Curriculum - Responsive and Collaborative Themes
A team of social emotional learning experts collaborate with parents, students, and staff to create K-12 SEL themes for each month. This process allows us to authentically respond to the needs of our community and create meaningful content. Advocates spend time learning about each theme and they plan intentional lessons for their students. Advocacy themes are not contained to Advocacy; they complement learning goals in academic courses, as well. 
Previous themes have included: Growth Mindset, Self-Compassion, Self-Regulation, Healthy Relationships, Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds, and We Love the Environment! 

Social Emotional Skills Quick Reference

Adapted from "improve every lesson plan with SEL"
by Jeffrey Benson
Emotional Self Awareness
  • Use feeling words
  • Identify triggers
  • Self soothe
Personal Goal Setting
  • Set short & long goals
  • Develop plans for goals
  • Note progress & adjust
Identifying Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Identify strengths
  • Advocate for needs & resources
How Others Feel
  • Identify emotions from words
  • Recognize nonverbal cues
Working with Similarities & Differences
  • Identify varied perspectives
  • Communicate understanding
  • Develop mutual solutions
Communicating with Others
  • Ask others how they feel
  • Express your feelings directly
Impacting Your Community
  • Match behavior to setting
  • Admit mistakes & make repairs
  • Assess your impact on others
Responsible Decision-Making
  • Recognize others' needs
  • Predict outcomes of actions
  • Use feedback to adjust
Contributing to the Greater Good
  • Identify ways to contribute
  • Take action to contribute to the greater good