Based on the 2014 -2015 school report card and according to federal accountability, Kersey Creek Elementary met federal Annual Measurable Objectives in all subgroups except Gap Group 1 on the Standards of Learning reading assessment. The students in this subgroup include our English Language Learners, students with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged students. Since our school was not identified as a Title I Priority or Title I Focus school, the school was required to implement an improvement plan during the 2015 - 2016 school year.
The school counselors at Kersey Creek Elementary identified students who were struggling academically as well as those in Gap Group 1 in third, fourth, and fifth grades. Determination of students who needed additional academic support was accomplished through office referrals, teacher and administrator recommendations, test scores, student support meetings, and summaries from action team, child study, and eligibility meetings. Goals to address gaps in academic achievement, specifically reading, is indicated in the 2015-2016 School Improvement Plan. The Kersey Creek school counseling goals include developmentally appropriate activities to support academic achievement for students in kindergarten through fifth grade.
Some of the school counseling activities included self-esteem, GRIT, emotional regulation, study and test taking skills. In addition, activities regarding executive functioning skills development were implemented. The goal of these exercises was to improve students’ abilities to accurately process information. Executive functioning skills include: shifting information, using working memory, planning, prioritizing, organizing, and self-monitoring. Examples of activities to reinforce these skills are games, memory exercises, discussion about time management, and setting goals. The school counselors worked on these skills with students in small groups, individually, and during guidance instruction. The memory strategies lessons described in the school counseling core curriculum and lesson plans section is an example. Resources utilized for the executive functioning skills activities were Promoting Executive Functioning in the Classroom by Lynn Meltzer, Smart but Scattered by Peg Dawson, EdD, and Richard Guare, PhD., Get Organized Without Losing It by Janet S. Fox, and Helping Young People Learn Self-Regulation by Brad Chapin, M.S., LPC, LMLP and Matthew Penner, M.S.W., LMSW.
As mentioned previously in the narrative of the school counseling core curriculum results section, fourth grade students took an assessment prior to a memory strategies lesson and an assessment after the lesson. On the pre-test, 26% of the students obtained a perfect score and 60% of the students received a perfect score on the post-test. Lessons such as the memory strategies lesson support the Kersey Creek Elementary school wide goal to increase the SOL Pass Rate of Gap Group 1 students from a 61% pass rate on the 2015 Reading SOL to a 72% pass rate on the 2016 Reading SOL test. The pass rate percentage on the 2016 Reading SOL assessment for students in Gap Group 1 is 71.15%, which is within .85% of the minimum passing percentage. However, when scoring the Virginia Standard of Learning assessments, a R10 factor is considered if a school increases its annual measurable objective (AMO) score by at least 10%. Therefore, Kersey Creek Elementary was given additional credit due to the R10 factor, and the school received a pass rate of 72%.
The Kersey Creek Elementary school counselors are pleased with the data results of all of the goals, with every result implying student success. In the future, the school counselors will continue to incorporate current topics including executive functioning skills into individual and group counseling as well as guidance instruction. The school counselors will also continue to collect more specific data to determine if the strategies being used persist to be effective each year.