In the 2014-2015 school year the high school principal started to look at data with us as it related to students who did not achieve 5 course credits by the end of their 9th grade year. At Shenendehowa CSD 5 credits would indicate that you have completed your 9th grade year and would be considered a 10th grader. It was determined that many of the students who did not achieve these 5 credits in this 9th grade year significantly increased their chances for struggling for the remaining time at high school or dropped-out. As a result of this evaluation it was determined that we wanted to set a goal that would try and directly impact these at-risk students.
During the spring of last school year (Spring 2015), 25 students were identified as a good-fit for the Micro-Team. These students were identified based on middle school grades, attendance, behavioral reports, and middle school counselor recommendations. Essentially, the students selected had a high probability of not passing the 9th grade. Letters were sent home to the parents of these students, informing them about the Micro-Team. Parents and students who agreed to take part in the Micro-Teams met with their individual school counselor to create a Transition Action Plan during the summer (2015).
We chose our activities and interventions after doing extensive searching and research. We were looking for age appropriate programs that we could modify to use with our identified student group. One of the resources we found was the website for "The Center for Excellence in School Counseling and Leadership" On this site we discovered lessons for "Developing Helpful Teen Habits" Using this resource along with the resources provided in the ASCA National Model we developed our structured plan and subsequent lessons that we used with the students.
The following activities occurred throughout the 2015-2016 school year to help the 25 Micro-Team Students pass 5 academic credits. :
-- After school activity at the start of the year that focuses on building relationships.
--Guidance Lesson 1: Helpful Teen Habits, Setting Goals and School Success-- PART 1
--Guidance Lesson 2: Helpful Teen Habits, Setting Goals and School Success-- PART 2
-- Counselors conducted weekly portal/grade checks.
-- Counselors conducted individual meetings with the students throughout the year to check on progress and to see if any additional services are needed.
-- Counselors held planning meetings with the students' teachers. Every teacher got a Student Information Sheet so that they could have some background information about the students in the Micro Tream.
Because of the success of the students this past year, we plan to repeat the program moving forward . We will evaluate and adjust the activities and lessons that we feel need improving.