James W. Robinson, Jr. Secondary School (2017)

Fairfax, VA

Academic Achievement

School Counseling Core Curriculum Results Report

Lesson 1: Sophomore - Character Education (Classroom)
This lesson was an initial effort to begin meeting the need identified by the behavioral data on this class. A classroom presentation reaching all sophomores was considered the most effective delivery option.

A pre- and post-survey was given to students using an electronic survey. Perception data showed that this lesson was well received and demonstrated an increase of understanding in the areas of character covered. The outcome data supported the goal related to this lesson; disciplinary incidents decreased by 37% from freshman to sophomore year for this class. We decided to continue this lesson in the future for sophomores and will continue to gather effectiveness data. Implications for the future are discussing expanding character education to more than one lesson and exploring the possible presentation to other grade levels.

Lesson 2: Freshmen - Academic Advising (Classroom)
We know from previous external research and observations as well as school data, that freshmen year is a critical transition period: a strong start is essential for high school success and graduation. Although our initial plan was to focus on the identified freshman receiving Special Education services in support of our grade improvement goal, we determined the lesson would be useful for all freshmen to begin a successful path to graduation. We wanted students to be thinking about possible career interests which could inform course choices and provide intrinsic motivation toward academic success and graduation.

Perception data indicated students did see value and a personal benefit from the information presented and the discussion. The basis for this was the analysis of 200 randomly selected freshmen surveys from general education, special education and honors classes. The results indicated freshmen increased their understanding of graduation requirements, desired courses and possible career choices.

Outcome data was also favorable as our goal was surpassed; 86% of the target group succeeded in passing all of their academic classes. Although we do not attribute this success solely to the lesson, we believe it along with individual counselor-student discussions with our target group on these topics were both notable contributors to their success.

The outcome gave us confidence in the effectiveness of this lesson; however, we found that doing this lesson during the extremely busy academic advising time made it a challenging proposition. We have discussed this and determined that the lesson should continue to be presented but during a different time of the year. This will allow students more time to carefully consider the future courses they will select by discussing options with their parents and teachers as well as their counselor.

Lesson 3: Freshmen - Time Management (Small Group)
We knew from anecdotal data and interactions with freshmen and parents that one of their largest challenges was the ability to manage time. We believed that with our identified group of students receiving special education services it would benefit them the most to address time management before teaching study skills.

A pre-survey was given in the first group lesson and a post-survey was given in the final group lesson. The time management topic did not have its own pre- and post-survey although a question on the survey did address this. Perception data indicated only a slight increase in the understanding of time management. However, there was a high level of understanding of time management in the pre-survey and we were pleased to see despite that a number of students indicated verbally they learned additional strategies and knowledge to effectively manage their time. Based on this, we believe that this lesson was useful in reinforcing time management concepts. It also provided reflection opportunities for students who considered themselves good managers of their time.

In our reflection on the data analysis, a factor we believe contributed to the high level of prior understanding of time management was our targeted group population, students receiving Special Education services. These students were enrolled in the Special Education “Strategies for Success” class in which a teacher helps students organize their academic studies and lessons on effective study habits are presented.

Based on our knowledge of the time management challenge, we hope to expand this lesson to make it available to other segments of our student population experiencing academic difficulties.

Grade Level: 10

Lesson Topic: Character Education

Lesson was Presented in Which Class/Subject:

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): B-SMS 1, B-SMS 2, B-SS 2, B-SS 5

Start/End: 11/24/2015--11/25/2015

Process Data (Number of students affected): 702 10th Grade Students (All 10th grade students)

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): The students accessed a pre-survey on their phones before the lesson began, and then at the conclusion of the lesson they accessed the post-survey (which had the same questions plus an additional question of “Did you enjoy this lesson and find it helpful?”). 87% of students replied “yes” to this question of whether they enjoyed the lesson and found it helpful. The first question on both the pre and post-surveys was “Do you know what it means to have good character?” The percentage of students responding yes increased by 5.6%. The second question, “Can you identify 5 traits of good character?” had a 2% increase. The third question, “Can you identify your own strong character traits?” increased by 8.9% from the pre-survey to the post-survey. There was a 3% increase in responses to the question “Can you identify a way in which you can display good character within our school?” And finally, the last question on the pre and post-survey asked “Do you know the difference between character and reputation?” There was a 13.2% increase in the number of students who responded yes from the pre-survey to the post-survey.

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): When comparing the 146 non-attendance disciplinary incidents from the 2014—15 school year to the 92 non-attendance disciplinary incidents in the 2015—16 school year, the data shows that there was a 37% decrease between the 2 years. In addition, the sophomore class made up a smaller percentage of total non-attendance discipline incidents in the school when comparing this school year to last. Specifically, last year this class made up 41.8% of the school’s total non-attendance disciplinary incidents, compared to only 37.2% of this year’s school-wide incidents.

Implications: Even though we were able to achieve our goal, this class still makes up the highest number of discipline incidents in the school. One thing we did see when delving into the data was that the discipline incidents per student drastically decreased for this class—from .207 incidents per student in the 2014—15 school year to .131 incidents per student in the 2015—16 school year. While we feel that our interventions were successful, we need to look at adding additional interventions because there is still work to be done with this class. To continue to address this issue, the counseling department plans to implement additional character education lessons to be presented in this class’ junior year. We also plan to utilize other resources available in our school, such as our School Resource Officers (police officers assigned to our school) to explain how disciplinary issues affect these students outside of school and when they graduate. Another resource we will utilize are sports’ coaches and other extracurricular activity sponsors.



Grade Level: 9

Lesson Topic: Academic Advising

Lesson was Presented in Which Class/Subject:

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): B-LS 1, B-LS 7, B-LS 9, B-SMS 3, B-SS 3

Start/End: 02/16/2016--02/17/2016

Process Data (Number of students affected): 612 9th Grade Students (All 9th grade students)

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): 200 students (randomly selected from a collection of General Education, Special Education, and Honors classes) completed a paper-based pre- and post-survey, which can be split into 3 different areas.
1)Question 1 and 2 were focused on understanding of information presented. Approximately 98% of students walked away from the lesson with an understanding of the lesson topic (an increase in 29% for Question 1, and an increase in 24% for Question 2).
2)Based on data from Question 3, 92% of students had thought about possible career interests by the end of the lesson (an 11% increase from the pre-survey).
3)Around 85% of the students were able to apply their knowledge to create a four-year plan, as evidenced by the answers to Question 4 and 5.

Perception data was also gathered verbally within the lesson via questions that students asked. Questions indicated that students were actively engaged, excited about future classes, and carefully considering their course options.

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): 97% of all freshmen passed all of their core classes and were promoted to the next grade level. In looking specifically at our target group of freshmen students (those receiving special education services), 86% of these students passed all core classes and were promoted.

Implications: This lesson was held during the Academic Advising season, which is an incredibly busy time for the counseling department. Holding this lengthy of a lesson was a challenge for us to balance, along with meeting with students individually for long periods of time to select their courses for next year. We feel strongly about the importance of this lesson, particularly given the data and feedback that we received from students, but we would like to consider having it earlier in the year (prior to winter break). This will also allow students more time to consider and research a variety of classes, utilizing teachers, counselors, and parents as resources to make decisions on their courses of study. The data indicates that there was an increase in understanding and, due to the lesson, students began to think more about a path to graduation and how their classes could relate to their possible careers of interest. Although 85% is a strong number of students who are able to apply their knowledge to a four-year course plan, we feel as a department that we can offer more supports to increase that number. Additional time for the lesson and holding it earlier in the year could allow students more time to consider their course options and ask valuable questions.



Grade Level: 9

Lesson Topic: Time Management

Lesson was Presented in Which Class/Subject:

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): B-LS 3, B-LS 4

Start/End: 02/24/2015

Process Data (Number of students affected): 5 Freshmen Students attended this small group session (freshmen receiving special education services who failed one or more core class the previous year)

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): Students who participated in our small group were given a paper-based pre and post-survey. Question 3 on the group's pre- and post-survey related directly to the topic of this lesson--time management. On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being unable to manage their time at all and 5 being confident in their abilities, the average response on the pre-survey was a 3.5. This increased only slightly to an average response of 3.7 on the post-survey. However, there was a follow up discussion with group members and counselor facilitators in which the students verbally stated they found the lesson useful and they would implement the techniques they learned in the lesson in the future.

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Of the 10 students who attended more than one group session, only 2 of them failed one core class, meaning that 80% of these identified students passed all of their core classes.

Implications: Although these identified students receiving special education services do receive additional support through their classes, we believe our group, and this lesson in particular, did prove to be beneficial to the students. In the future, we want to continue our group (although we want to also add a social/emotional piece in addition to academics) and we definitely want to continue working on time management with our identified freshmen students. Since the transition from middle school to high school can be difficult for all freshmen, we will consider expanding the time management lesson to include all freshmen.