Project Starfish Grades 7 - 12 Advisory Program
The Legend of the Starfish
A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance. As he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water. Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.
As the man approached, he saw that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time, he was throwing them back into the water.
The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied, "I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die because of lack of oxygen. "But," said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."
The boy smiled, bent down and picked up another starfish, and as he threw it back into the sea, he replied: "I made a huge difference to that one!"
At Missouri School for the Blind (MSB), the Advisory Program is a key component in helping 7th to 12th grade students achieve success in the educational environment and successfully transition beyond high school to the larger community. MSB provides a non-traditional, individualized education program with high quality academic and life skills preparation. The focus is on the student as a whole person, placing equal importance on meeting each student's educational, social, developmental and vision needs. To ensure that each student has every opportunity for success, both in and beyond MSB, 7th to 12th grade students are assigned an Academic Advisor. Academic Advisors meet with students regularly in grade-level advisement groups or in individual advisement sessions. Advisement sessions are approximately 30 minutes in length and focus on grade-level specific objectives. Two faculty members serve as Advisors to each grade-level group of students and accompany the group from grades 7 through graduation. Like the Legend of the Starfish MSB Advisors focus on helping students meet challenges and succeed: one at a time.
MSB Advisory Goals and Outcomes
Goal #1: Increase Student Success and Academic Performance
- Advisees will have easy and regular access to academic advising from an advisor who actively monitors their progress.
- Advisees will engage regularly in goal setting and self-assessment.
- Advisees will develop study and organizational skills that will support academic success.
Goal # 2: Facilitate Transition to Employment/Life Skills
- Advisees will develop and demonstrate appropriate skills for independent living.
- Advisees will develop an understanding of adult community resources.
- Advisees will develop and implement a transition plan.
Goal # 3: Foster Social Conscience & Social Interaction
- Advisees will become more self-aware, self-managed, and self-directed.
- Advisees will develop cooperation and teamwork skills.
- Advisees will develop constructive relationships.
Goal #4: Develop Citizenship Skills
- Advisees will practice behaviors needed to demonstrate good citizenship.
- Advisees will engage in activities that make a positive contribution to the school and the community.
- Advisees will recognize and integrate positive character traits.