The Zebulon GT Magnet Middle School Counseling Department follows the recommended Domains, Mindsets and Behaviors standards developed by ASCA, while also adhering to the North Carolina Professional School Counseling Standards. Our lessons are student focused – keeping in mind we are preparing our students for life in the 21st Century.
The lessons were presented to 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes during the fall and spring semesters. The curriculum results are based on activities completed by the school counselors and teachers. Sixth grade lessons covered bullying and study skills/organization. Seventh grade lessons covered bullying. Eighth grade lessons covered bullying and high school preparation.
In response to our district policy of every school addressing bullying, the bullying lessons were completed with the entire student body during our anti-bullying month which is held in October. The counselors prepared weekly bullying lessons which were presented by all core teachers. The lessons were presented through one of the core (math, science, language arts, and social studies) classes weekly. The students were given copies of: county policies and procedures, state laws, tip cards, and website information which were followed by class discussion along with a question /answer period. Students also viewed videos. Counselors gave all students an opportunity to sign the banner pledging to refrain from bullying behavior and to report any bullying activity at the school. Students who signed the banner were given some type of prize such as a pencil, bracelet, or bookmark. 95% of the students participated. All students participated in a pre/post bullying survey. Surveys took place quarter 1 before the lessons and then again during quarter 2 after each student had participated in 4 bully prevention lessons. Although our data showed 75% of the students had not reported being bullied, we still feel it is important to continue these lessons due to the massive increase in student suicides as a result of bullying. We want our students to believe in themselves and make appropriate decisions related to well-being. Data showed bullying incidents decreased between 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years.More than half of the student body do not perceive bullying to be a problem at our school. More than 75% of all students reported they had not been bullied at school Q1. This increased to 85% when asked Q2, after 4 bully prevention lessons were presented to each grade level.
Although the results yielded students had a decrease in the number of discipline referrals for bullying behavior, we feel this number could be even lower if bully prevention lessons are presented earlier in the year.
High School 101 spans various topics to prepare 8th grade students for their transition to the high school level. School Counselors covered academic and behavioral expectations during the lesson. Students were given a copy of high school courses and they mapped out 4 year plans with assistance from the Counselors. The students were made aware that the plans are ever changing and schedule changes can be made as needed each school year based on interests and future career goals. Students also made decisions for 9th grade classes and over the span of two weeks were called to the computer lab to make selections online. The results showed the majority of our students were prepared for high school and understand the transition between middle and high school, however more time needs to be spent in helping students understand the correlation between high school academic performance and college readiness.
When survey data showed over 40 6th grade students self-identified as needing assistance with study skills and organization, School Counselors planned a two day lesson to cover the topic. It was presented to the entire 6th grade class through Social Studies the first day and Science classes the second day. Students were given a pretest to measure their prior knowledge and a posttest to measure any knowledge acquired. The two day lesson consisted of a power point presentation, hand outs and a video showing organizational techniques for keeping a planner. Students engaged in class and small group discussions and were given the opportunity to practice skills with their own agendas. If a student did not have access to an agenda, a copy of a calendar was provided to them. When looking at the results from all lessons, we feel study skills should remain a yearly presentation for all 6th graders. Through these lessons, it is our hope that the students will have the ability to be more self motivated and self directed in their learning.