Coed Advisories Offered to Class of ‘27

Isabella Palacio and Alia Sajjadian

After a long week of classes, advisory time can be a welcome reprieve from structured curriculum and assessments. This block offers an opportunity to enjoy a mid-morning break of donuts, decompress with friends, and reconnect with the same group we started our journeys with at Sage. Prior to this fall, all advisories were single-gender. 

Sage Hill administrators plan to introduce coed advisories for the incoming class of 2027, partly to promote a more inclusive experience for all students.

Students’ placement into coed advisories would be completely optional and single-gender advisories will still be available for students who are not as enthusiastic about this change. However, students would not be able to change their initial choice midway through their Sage years.

I strongly believe that offering a choice aligns with our values and makes us more inclusive, not only to our non-binary students but to all students who will join our community starting in 2023-24,” Dominic Campeau, Dean of School Life, said in an email.

Some students may prefer this mixed-gender environment over the traditional one simply to engage with a broad range of students. Junior Sofia Jacinto agrees with the thought that coed advisories would be a “great opportunity [for students] to bond with both girls and boys in their grade.” Yet, she believes that there are potential disadvantages as well. She speculates that some conversations may be more guarded since there might be topics students may feel less comfortable discussing in mixed-gender settings.

Math teacher Claire Cassidy did not believe that advisory time would benefit from this change. Cassidy, who currently has a junior advisory, explained that she has experienced mixed-gender advisories at a different school and knows that “it becomes more of a social gathering.”

Other students said they are more open to the idea.

“It will be a fun and cool experience, definitely unique,” senior Jack Johnston said.

Ahead of implementing mixed-gender advisories, Campeau spoke with deans and advisory coordinators who offer similar programs at other independent schools. He was eager to learn more about how the programs operated but is not aiming to adopt anything identical.

“We cannot simply copy-paste something done elsewhere and expect that it will translate the same way here,” Campeau said. “Everything we do at Sage Hill is with purpose and must address the wants and needs of our community.”

The overall message and structure of the advisory will not be changing, Campeau emphasized.

“We will still promote character education, wellness, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our advisors will still offer individual support and guidance to our students,” Campeau said.