There were four groups facilitated in the 2016-17 school year: Pregnant & Parenting, Refresh, Grief/Loss, & Study Skills. Counselor interest was a factor to determine which counselor would facilitate each group. The parenting group has been in operation for now 5 years, facilitated by the SAP Counselor (Ms. Lyons) and School Nurse (Ms. McMillan). The grief group (Ms. Saviello) was chosen because we had students experiencing loss and our student body was still dealing with the unexpected loss of a senior in September 2016. The study skills group (Ms. Greene & Ms. Coombs) came about based upon the results of the 9th grade needs assessment which had the highest interest by students. Lastly, the Refresh group (Mr. Small & Ms. Lyons) was developed from the fall advisory council where concerns of stress and anxiety for students were shared.
For the Refresh group, counselor input determined 10th grade students for the group since these students often choose some of the most difficult courses and are not prepared to handle the academic pressures. The group’s aim was to help students choose courses wisely for next year while giving them a boost of self-confidence and reassurance moving toward final exams. The group gives a setting for students to enter the end of the year in a healthier and more centered frame of mind. Enloe High School has a reputation for high levels of stress amongst students in rigorous courses. Students have taken a combination of 21 AP/IB classes during high school ending with a final weighted GPA of 5.73. Students compete for college admission and they struggle with stress. Many 10th grade students take between 4-6 AP/IB classes and an 11th grade student takes 6-8 AP/IB classes in one year, averaging more than a college student takes at one time. The group results show that the topics are of interest to students and survey data supports this as well. The Grief group was important for students who have experienced loss and giving them a safe setting to share concerns and feelings. The group allowed for discussion and an understanding there are others who have similar feelings. The group was successful because students reported feeling more connected to others which ultimately gave them a network of students to talk with. By having students report a connection to others as they are processing grief, the implications are students will demonstrate more positive behavior and willingness to seek help when needed. In addition, we could see an improvement in academics and overall attendance at school by these students. The pregnant and parenting group has been critical to keeping parenting students engaged in school. We learn of pregnant/parenting students from word of mouth via self-reporting, other students, staff members, and sometimes the health department informs the school nurse. The decision to offer this group to only female students was made based on past experience and feedback from students during screening process. (Note: a separate group was offered multiple years for students who were fathers, however none were interested because they were not involved with their children.) The group meets three times in a row at the start of the year in order to helps establish rapport and then over other Thursday to provide support. Group topics are decided based on the needs of the students, the pre-survey at the start of the year, and the post-survey from the previous year. Guest speakers are invited & report card monitoring are among some of the activities. By the end of the 2017 school year, there were 15 students in this group and 8 graduated (53%), 3 promoted (20%), and 4 retained (27%). By the end of the 2016 school year, there were 12 students remaining in the group with 3 graduates (25%), 7 promotions (58%) and 2 retentions (17%). This group provides social/emotional and psycho-educational support for peer and adult connections, helps students balance motherhood and school, and setting post-secondary goals. Graduation is the ultimate goal and for those who cannot remain at Enloe, the goal is to foster connections and support them in their next steps. The study skills group data were positive, 4 of 5 students are expected to be promoted and data suggests that students do feel supported and the group should continue. From our small group experiences, student feedback, collaboration with stakeholders, we understand it is necessary assess what groups are needed and how to affect a large population.