In order for students to achieve their full potential, become lifelong learners, and valuable contributors to society, the school counselors, along with the advisory council, strive to implement a core curriculum that will enable students to achieve these results. Through the annual Olweus Bullying Prevention Survey given to 4th and 5th grades, it was noticed by the administration, Advisory Council, and counselors that there was a decrease in the number of students intervening as an active bystander. Additionally, the team analyzed discipline referrals and it was noted that 17 % of referrals were related to bullying behavior. Therefore, the school counselors used this data to drive their program goals and core curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year. It was decided that the school counselors would focus on active bystander behavior with the school-wide bullying prevention program as well as empathy, cyberbullying, and assertive behavior to meet the program goals.
The goals of this unit included:
By the May 2016, we will reduce the number of office referrals related to bullying behavior by 50%.
By May 2016, the amount of students reporting that they “just watch what goes on” when they see bullying behavior will decrease by 55% (from 9% to 4%).
By May 2016, the amount of students reporting that they “try to help the bullied student” when they see bullying behavior will increase by 14% (from 69% to 80%).
The counselors created a unit with four lessons that guided their instruction to accomplish these goals. The lessons were taught to second through fifth grade; however, data was collected from 388 students, which included all 4th and 5th grade students. This data would assist in guiding decision making for future lessons. Perception data was collected using a counselor created pre/post survey in addition to the results from the Olweus Bullying Prevention student survey from 2015 and 2016. The outcome data was collected by the number of office referrals from 2015 and 2016.
The counselors analyzed the pre/post-test, Olweus survey results and office referrals. Based on the data, the counselors were pleased with the increase of knowledge and decrease in office referrals. Looking at the perception data from the pre and post-test, it was determined that students’ understanding of the bullying behavior definition increased by 16%; the cyberbullying definition increased by 22%; and the bystander definition increased by 29%. Students’ skills also increased by 19% (Q4) and 12% (Q5) when identifying bullying situations. Likewise, students’ skills increased by 6% (Q6), 8% (Q7), and 13% (Q8) when responding to bullying situations appropriately. Additionally, when comparing the Olweus Survey, it was concluded that there was a 67% decrease in the students who responded that they “just watch what goes on” when reacting to seeing a student being bullied. Furthermore, there was a 67% decrease in the number of office referrals that relate to bullying type behaviors. Based on these results, it is concluded that the delivery of the curriculum was successful. The students were able to truly understand how to help others being bullied and demonstrated appropriate bystander behavior with their peers. Based on our conclusions, the counselors will continue to deliver this core curriculum unit due to the positive results on the post-test, the OBPP survey, and the decrease in office referrals. Weekly class meetings that support and reinforce the unit and skills throughout the school year will continue as well. One area that was noticed that may need a little more attention is from question 4 and 5 on the pre/post test. It is a common theme that students have difficulty distinguishing a bullying vs. non-bullying situation. Noticing this common theme again, the counselors would like to add this as a recurring topic in weekly class meetings as well as devoting an entire core curriculum lesson to this topic in the future. Also, based on this information and data, the counselors created a small counseling group to meet the needs of individual students that were consistently referred to the office due to continued bullying type behaviors.