What Makes City Neighbors High School Unique?
There are a number of reasons why City Neighbors High School is a unique school. From the way we integrate the arts into classes, the creative projects done throughout the year, to the advisory system that we call pod. Pod is one of the major ways in which we aim to build relationships with both students and their families to ensure the developmental growth of students and their success as an individual.
What is Pod?
Pod becomes a student’s home away from home; it is a space where students gather with their Pod mates and advisor daily. Pod meets between the hours of 12:00 pm- 2:00 pm, with the exceptions of Wednesdays when the meeting time is from 12:20-2:00 pm. In pod students are provided with a space where they can store their belongings. It is a time where advisors are able to spend one on one time to help students develop as individuals. Each pod is assigned a space somewhere in the building where the group will meet on a regular basis. Pod serves as an extended advisory. Each Pod at City Neighbors is comprised of 15-16 students and one adult in the building. That advisor and the student start their journey during the ninth grade year through the twelfth grade together. Doing so really allows for the advisor to get to know the students. Advisory serves as a safety net for students and away to not let students fall through the cracks.
The main purpose behind pod is to build relationships with the students. The advisor, student and parents are the key players in the success of Pod. It allows the student to be able to have one adult that they can go to help them with anything that they may need.
Many of the teachers and other support staff have the responsibility of being the advisor of a Pod. As the adult responsible for the pod, it is his/her job to help the students grow as individuals and a cohesive group. It is the advisors job to plan activities for the group to engage in during pod time. A crucial part of the advisor is getting to know the students and consistently assessing the needs of the group.
Because City Neighbors is a lottery-based school; advisories are composed of many different types of students from different parts of the city, schools and backgrounds. Our goal is to make each Pod as diverse as possible. In pod students should see it as a time to make themselves better people. They should trust that the different activities done in pod, will help in making them better individuals. Students should understand that pod is not a time to hang out and relax.
The intended goal of having students assigned to one adult is intentional. It allows for the school to be in open communication with families. Having a high family involvement helps with pushing the student to their full potential and ensuring that we are doing all that we can to best support the students. As a school we feel that parents/families are an important aspect of the students learning team.
One of the biggest benefits of pod is the development of character and personal qualities of the students. Pod offers students a place where they can practice becoming better people and more productive individuals. In Pod they are able to enhance their interactions with different types of people. Pod is a time to reflect on different experiences that occur both inside and outside of school. A huge component of Pod is having an environment to talk about these experiences with the same group of people in a safe environment.