REVISED SECTION: At Millbrook High School our small groups were designed with the mindsets and behaviors as the foundation in order to address our comprehensive school counseling program. Much of our school counseling program is based on core curriculum and individual student planning, therefore our groups addressed intervention concerns that are found by analyzing student data.
The groups run at Millbrook were data based and grounded in the developmental needs of students. An analysis of data revealed that more African American ninth grade males were being retained then the ninth grade population in general. Data also showed that the Latinx population was dropping out earlier and faster than other sub populations. This data point is influential because it decreases the Latinx student populations promotion and graduation rates. After the data was reviewed, the counselors at Millbrook High School sat down together to determine the best way to address the gaps in achievement through small groups.
The groups at Millbrook reflect that they are focused on data and addressing mindsets and behaviors. The better choice, get involved, and from boys to men small groups focused on 9th grade students. Better Choice and Get Involved both involved Latinx 9th grade students in order to address the achievement and promotion gaps that were apparent after data analysis. From boys to men small group was based off of the data about 9th grade promotion rates of African American male students. The senior success group, equity and access group, and first-generation groups all addressed upperclassman. The equity and access group filled a need to focus on creating equal access to AP or IB classes for our underrepresented students. The first-generation group targeted our seniors who would be the first person in their family to go to college. This group addressed unique mindsets and behaviors, such as the ability to overcome barriers. Finally, the senior success group targeted students who needed to pass all of their classes, or more, in order to graduate.
The Women’s Leadership small group was chosen as the group to highlight for ASCA because of the frequency and consistency of meetings, need it met for the comprehensive school counseling program, and perception and outcome results it yielded. The idea for the Women’s Leadership Group came while analyzing the mindsets and behaviors, as well as, school wide student data. As a team, it was determined we needed interventions targeting social/emotional needs of our students. Therefore, the Women’s Leadership Group was developed in order to have a focus on young women who had the potential to be academically and social/emotionally successful, as well as, in the career domain as well. The lesson plans were developed specifically to address each area and help the students empower one another.
The results from the group found it did successfully address each mindset and behavior it was set out to. Over 70% of the group felt like a leader by the time the group ended in May. This addressed the mindset and behavior related to growing self-confidence (M2). 100% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the group helped them learn more about the college process, which relates to the mindset and behavior regarding identifing long- and short-term academic, career and social/ emotional goals (B-LS-7). They self-reported loving the field trips, making friends, and being able to learn more about the college process. They also stated they loved being able to support and empower one another, which relates to the mindest and behavior to create positive and supportive relationships with other students (B-SS-2). The outcome data showed the quantitative effectiveness of the group. 100% of seniors in the group graduated on time (compared to a 92% school-wide graduation rate). The promotion rate was 93%, only one student was retained due to failing English II. Students also showed academic success in the classroom and decreased the number of F’s they had. From quarter 1 to final grades the number of student F’s decreased by 5%.
Overall, the students of the Women’s Leadership Group showed both social/emotional growth and academic success. For these reasons, it is recommended that the group continues and expands in order to help more female students have the same experience. In order to improve the Women’s Leadership Group, it would be helpful to meet more consistently and increase the number of students to expand the impact. For the following year, the group will be continued and will be working towards expanding the group to meet some of the above recommendations.