For the 2021-2022 school year, Loomis Chaffee’s administrative faculty has made the decision to shift away from last year’s temporary Thursday Advisory Group (TAG) meeting schedule.
Considering the COVID-19 related circumstances of the last school year, TAG was initiated in place of community gatherings during Community time because Loomis wasn’t allowed to arrange all-school convocations and seminar programming in order to comply with Connecticut’s COVID regulations.
It was created because “we knew that we would not be able to gather as a whole community in the same way as the past,” said Dean of Student Life & Wellness Jessica Matzkin.
TAG took up the school’s mission in encouraging Loomis students to have brave conversations about present-day social issues. According to the course description on the Loomis website, the Thursday Advisory Group program was put in place “to deepen community and inspire action through weekly conversation.”
“We knew that it would be a hard year socially and emotionally and wanted to make sure that our advisors were a consistent touchpoint,” Dean Matzkin said.
Because many students had chosen to remain online for a majority of the fall and winter terms, Loomis had wanted to ensure that all students had an adequate support system during the pandemic year, no matter if they were physically on the Island or not.
Although TAG meetings were received with positive feedback, the return of Loomis’ old class schedule and additional implementation of all-school meetings during Community Time no longer allow for weekly advisor meetings. The administration wanted to make sure that there were fixed time blocks allotted for advisors to meet with advisees as a whole while maintaining a structured approach that targeted varying issues in the community.
Accordingly, students will meet with their advisors around four times a term. The topics discussed during advisor meetings will be centered around student life and current events in society, organized by a diverse array of organizations on campus, including Student Life, the Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), the Norton Center, and the Academic Office.