The school counseling curriculum correlates with the Kersey Creek Elementary school counseling vision statement so that the needs of all students are addressed through the curriculum. The school counseling curriculum also coincides with the Kersey Creek Elementary school counseling mission to provide a developmentally, comprehensive program that meet the academic, career, and social/emotional needs of the students through innovative and varied programming. The ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors for Student Success are focal points in instruction and measured to determine the growth of all students with diverse needs, interests, and abilities. Three lesson plans were selected from the curriculum to demonstrate how guidance instruction reinforces the achievement of every student.
The first lesson focuses on memory strategies as well as the executive functioning skill of utilizing working memory. Students were given a pre-test to create a baseline from which to show progress. The students were given a series of digits to memorize for fifteen seconds, and then they had to copy the digits from memory. Afterwards, the concept of memory and memory techniques were taught. Once the lesson concluded, the students were given the same assessment again. The perception data reveals that on the memory strategies pre-test, 26% of students obtained a perfect score of ‘5’, and on the post-test, 60% of students obtained a perfect score of ‘5’. This is a 131% change. The outcome data indicates that knowledge and skills obtained from this lesson as well as additional lessons in all academic units contribute to the 11% increase of the Gap Group 1 pass rate on the 2016 Virginia Standards of Learning reading assessment.
The second lesson plan is an example of several career lessons in the fourth grade career unit. The career unit centers on lifelong learning, career clusters, work readiness skills, multiple intelligences, interests and abilities. A primary objective is to establish that the children have the job title of student, and the skills learned during their education are career skills including attending school. The students were given a pre-test prior to instruction of the unit and given a post-test at the end of instruction. ‘4’ was a perfect score on these assessments. Perception data indicates that on the career pre-test, 0% students received a score of ‘3’, and 2% of students received a score of ‘4’. However, improvement was apparent on the post-test with 45% of students scoring ‘3’ and 40% of students scoring ‘4’. The percent change of students receiving a score of ‘4’ is a 1,900% change The outcome data exceeded the expectations of the school counselors and revealed that all students, who had 10 or more absences during the first semester of the 2015-2015 school year, individually decreased their absences from 64% to 84% during the second semester. The implication can be made that increased student awareness of the significance of attending school correlates with improvement in school attendance.
Finally, the third lesson pertains to conflict resolution and bullying prevention. This lesson is an excerpt from the fifth grade social/emotional unit. The students were given a pre-test prior to the unit being taught. At the completion of the unit, the students were given a post-test. The unit includes topics such as the “I Message” technique, compromise, types of conflicts, and strategies to handle a bullying situation. Perception data on the social / emotional assessment signifies that on the pre-test, 5% of students obtained a perfect score of ‘4’, and on the post-test, 68% of students received a perfect score of ‘4’. This is a 1,260% change. Outcome data indicates that 19 students were referred to the office for aggressive and disruptive behavior during the 2015-16 school year, which is a 14% decrease in comparison to the 2014-2015 school year with 22 student referrals. The implication can be made that when students are capable of independently handling social conflicts and bullying, the number of students who present aggressive and disruptive behavior decreases. Data provides evidence of the effectiveness of the Kersey Creek Elementary school counseling curriculum to support the Kersey Creek Elementary school counseling goals as well as the Kersey Creek Elementary school wide goals. Based on these results the school counselors will continue to teach the lessons and obtain more data in subsequent school years to determine if there is a positive trend towards student success.