The Deans Program at Avenues São Paulo

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John Ciallelo, Head of Secondary Division

Photo of dean and students

The deans program is one of the highlights of an Avenues education. Deans are highly experienced educators who work full time to support the growth of individual students. They maintain a comprehensive overview of the student’s experience at Avenues and guide them through important academic and social transitions. From 6th grade through graduation, the Deans Program helps students transition from child to young adult.

Throughout the program, deans stay in touch with the student’s teachers to track and celebrate student progress and to ensure challenges are recognized early on and handled promptly. Deans also work closely with parents and support strong school/home partnerships.

Upon entering 6th grade, students are assigned a dean who will work with them through 9th grade. For students, these years are a time for dynamic transition and discovery. There are enormous cognitive leaps in their ability to focus and absorb rich and complex information as they also change physically. Deans meet with their students frequently both one-on-one and in small groups, to give advice on school life and raise questions that encourage self-reflection and self-exploration.

Starting in 10th grade, students begin to explore their options beyond graduation. With a deep knowledge of their students’ talents and aspirations, the upper grades deans are exceptionally well equipped to guide students through the college search process. They help students to explore new interests and to plan out a course of study that will best prepare them for admission to the college of their choice.

As we look ahead to the start of school in August, our deans, who are experts in transitions, are preparing comprehensive plans to welcome all our new students. We know that, while it will be an exciting time, it will also be a time of great change for many. These plans will fully support students’ adaptation to their new school over first weeks and months of our first, first year.

In summary, Avenues’ deans create an effective mentoring relationship that is characterized by mutual respect, trust, understanding, and empathy. All our deans are good listeners, good observers, and good problem-solvers who know, accept, and respect the goals and interests of each of their advisees. Most importantly, Avenues deans establish an environment in which our students’ are encouraged to explore, to learn from their mistakes, to be active learners and to discover interests and passions that will enrich and provide personal fulfillment throughout their lives.

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