Among the most important ways the faculty works with students is through the advisor system. In the first year, each student is assigned a faculty advisor who will counsel that student on virtually any question or problem.
Advisors keep all the facets of school life in focus for parents, faculty, and advisees. They inform students of their grades, help them plan course selections, address daily concerns, and schedule weekend activities. Advising styles differ, but each faculty member works with five to seven students within broad advisor expectations. After the first year, students choose their own advisors.
Not all advising comes from formally assigned advisors: students needing extra help from faculty members can always find it. Both formal tutorial sessions and impromptu conferences are common. Many teachers frequently take students on trips or invite them to meals and gatherings. Groups of students generally gather at Mr. Maqubela's house on Thursday evenings for Parlor, a Groton tradition, where forms meet to socialize. Both spontaneous and scheduled events foster genuine and lasting friendships between students and teachers.
To provide additional support to students in their personal growth, Groton offers a health and wellness program that begins at orientation and continues until graduation. The program, coordinated jointly by the Counseling Office and the Dean of Students Office, offers workshops and seminars on a variety of health topics—such as sleep, substance abuse, stress management, and healthy relationships—in a developmentally appropriate context.
In addition, Groton’s professional counseling department works with groups of students on issues of common concern, and also meets with students individually, with families, and with groups of friends to discuss, in confidence, any pressures or problems. Counselors consult with faculty members about particular student needs and work closely with advisors, deans, the health center, and academic support staff to facilitate an integrated and sensible plan for students who may need additional support.
The counseling department also trains and supports a group of Sixth Form peer counselors who volunteer to serve as peer advisors to students in each dormitory, to day students, and to international students.