Breaking News: Board of Education announces co-ed adviseries for class of 2026

Students will have the option to choose mixed gender, single sex, or no preference



Board meeting on Nov. 15 announced optional co-ed advisery plan that will start with the class of 2026

On Nov. 15  the Board of Education unanimously approved optional co-ed adviseries for the incoming freshman, ending the 96 year New Trier tradition of gender segregated adviser system.

While incoming freshmen will have the choice to select mixed gender, single gender or no preference, current freshman, sophomore and junior adviseries will remain unchanged.

We don’t change just for the sake of change and innovation. We have to do it with purpose and intention.

— Jean Hahn

The class of 2026 will choose their adviser plan February of 2022. Students and families will receive a notification and confirmation of adviser room assignments in May, and will be given names of adviser and senior helper in June.  

“The current gender structure of adviser rooms does not meet the needs of many students at New Trier,” said superintendent, Paul Sally. 

Northfield principal Paul Waechtler said ideally there will be a balanced group of mixed and single gender adviser rooms. 

“For all of these models, we will work with students to make sure they’re comfortable,” he said. 

If a student elects ‘no preference,’ the student will be placed to balance out the number of single gender and mixed gender adviseries. Comments and concerns from family and 8th grade teachers will also be considered.  

“We don’t change just for the sake of change and innovation. We have to do it with purpose and intention,” said Board Member Jean Hahn.

Changes will not be made easily once a student chooses their advisery plan. 

“This is a four year commitment. The adviser rooms will remain together until they graduate. The core adviser program will not change based on the group a student chooses,” said Waechtler.

Winnetka principal Denise Dubravec said the adviser program will continue to be revised to meet the goals of creating a community devoted to each student’s growth. 

“We feel that the proposal we are providing is the best entry point. New Trier prides itself with being first and foremost a school that provides relationships. Our adviser program is unique in that it’s meant to provide four year connections between students and staff,” said Dubravec. 

According to a survey given last school year to advisers and students, a majority were in favor of single gender adviseries. Parents were not given a survey. 

The prompt of the student survey was, ‘If you were to start at New Trier again, would you prefer a single gender adviser room or mixed grouping?’ from 774 student responses, 52% voted for single gender and 48% voted for mixed gender. 

58% of advisers responded preferring single gender adviseries and 42% mixed gender, but 85.9% of them said they would continue to be an adviser if adviseries moved to a mixed gender system. 

Adviser chair Theodore Koulentes said there was compelling evidence for moving past the single gender advisery system. 

“Many reported that the gender structure is not reflective of the real world after New Trier. The current structure is not inclusive,” said Koulentes.

According to Sally, the adviser program will continue to commit to providing students with a quality high school experience. 

“I hope what the families and students think about is the relationships. There isn’t a wrong answer to the question,” said Sally.