What Faculty can help?

<p>We are debating whether to send S back to BS in the fall after a year where S was lost and received little support. We want to discuss our reservations with the school before deciding, but don't know who/what dean to reach out to. That's indicative of the situation--that is, since S had little rapport with any teacher or other faculty member, and a very hands off advisor, we don't even know who to turn to. Where should we start?</p>

<p>Different schools call them by different names but perhaps starting with someone like the Academic Dean or Dean of Students? PM me if you want to go into more specifics. I would try to get a promise of a strong advisor if I were you.</p>

<p>I agree with Creative1, the Dean of Studies or Academic Dean. Or, what about the Chaplain? The Dean of Students, if your school has that office. </p>

<p>PM me if you want to add details. I'm not certain what to recommend, because we haven't faced this problem. Our child was assigned to a new advisor at the end of the year. Our child had a list of 5 to 10 advisors who would have been acceptable. </p>

<p>Have you contacted the school's counseling service? The head of counseling should know which advisors do well with students who haven't yet found a niche at the school, and could perhaps give you a better idea of how to tackle the school's administrative structure.</p>

<p>At Exeter, the Dean of Students or the Dean of Residential Life would be the people to talk to. There are many reasons why a new student may feel lost, and it definitely makes sense to discuss the situation with the school before deciding how to handle it.</p>

<p>Just a thought- but how about the Director of Admissions? They are always concerned with retention and attrition and might direct you to the right person.</p>

<p>I want to reach out to school but in a constructive way--what would be a reasonable request ? S was basically on his own--neither encouraged nor on anyone's radar. For example, advisor had no connection to him in class, sports or dorm and saw him a total of 5x all year. When S struggled in Latin, no one told us or encouraged help/tutoring--we learned only because he complained to me he'd "never get it" and I intervened. In band, we heard not a peep all year only to get a report card comment that he was passive and uninspired. We heard nothing from the dorm parent on the hall And not one family or faculty invited him to their home (even though we live far away and he only left campus for the very long breaks)--my guess is he was mostly invisible.
Where do I start to ask for change, or is this simply a case of kid not ready/parents not ready?</p>

<p>grinzing, I would bring your concerns exactly as you wrote them in your post above to the Dean of Students, so that he/she can help you understand whether your expectations are unrealistic, or someone wasn't doing his/her job, or maybe you/your son could have done something to make things better. My gut reaction is that (1) contact with adviser should be more frequent, (2) teacher should be in touch with adviser and adviser with you if your son is struggling in a class, and (3) there should be some communication from dorm faculty to parents. But, again, things may be different at your school, so it's worth talking to an administrator and trying to figure out what's reasonable for you to expect at this particular school.</p>

<p>If you feel it is a problem with the faculty, talk to the Dean of Faculty as well as the Dean of Students. Your school may call the occupation something different, but find out who is in charge of the faculty without going straight for the headmaster.</p>

<p>We talked to the Dean of Students and they are recommending a different advisor for S as well as more support from dorm parent. I get the impression the school is supportive if we push/provoke, but left to their own devices, neither advisor, teachers nor dorm parents are too communicative with parents. Is it appropriate to ask advisor to reach out to teachers and keep us advised regularly or is the point of BS to let go? We are so torn because a 14-15 yr old boy, although very highly functioning in many ways still needs support. I don't feel comfortable being pushy about this but I also don't feel comfortable letting this go another year without knowing there will be a different approach to support.</p>

<p>Given your experience last year, I think it would be entirely appropriate for you to ask for regular e-mail updates from your son's advisor and dorm parent--maybe once a week at first, tapering off if things are going well. It sounds like the school needs you to lay out specific parameters. He'll be independent regardless--you just need to know that someone is keeping an eye on the situation, and squeaky wheels get greased. Just knowing they will be contacting you at the end of each week may be the reminder they need to keep an eye on the situation. I think you should trust your instinct. As a teacher, I do understand how quiet kids can get overlooked, but I don't think you're being too pushy. (If he were 18, I'd feel differently)</p>