Based on Parent, Staff, and Student Needs Assessments, our School Counseling Advisory Council (SCAC) recommendations and our Campus Improvement Plan, Molina’s Counseling Department determined two main counseling outcome goals for the 2017-2018 school year.
Knowing implicitly that attendance and thus graduation rates can be negatively impacted by students who feel disenfranchised, disempowered and/or disengaged from the school/learning due to avoidant behavior for fear of relational intimidation/violence, bullying and/or the stress of managing a challenging academic load, we aligned all our core classroom counseling curriculum to achieving these two overarching counseling goals: improving attendance and improving graduation rates. Specifically, all three featured lessons (Teen Dating Violence; Anti-Harassment; and Personal Self-Care and Wellness), not only helped us reduce absences, but also helped reached target behavior goals.
Teen Dating Violence: Our first highlighted lesson was on Teen Dating Violence. This lesson was provided to our 457~ 9th graders & 550~10th graders.
The perception data was a pre and post survey. The survey’s baseline showed that 25% of the students understood the warning signs of an unhealthy dating relationship and 21% of the students knew how to report a teen dating incident on our campus. The outcome data reflects that the Teen Dating Violence Lesson empowered our students to protect themselves from unhealthy teen dating relationships and knowing what action to take should they be a witness to or victim of teen-dating violence. After completing this lesson, less students reported using absences to avoid confrontational relational/dating situations. Most of our students also met the lesson’s main goals of helping students identify: (1) the signs of an unhealthy dating relationship, and (2) how to report teen dating violence incidents on campus. There was a 55% increase in the number of students who could identify the signs of an unhealthy dating relationship and a 73% increase in students who knew how report teen dating violence.
There were also less reports of teen-dating violence-related incidents, as reflected in the campus disciplinary report. It could be helpful review this lesson again, especially in February, since that is “teen-dating month” and the week of Valentines is such prevalent time for students to go out on dates. We also met with the SCAC Committee to establish a plan to set a QR Scan code to more efficiently and anonymously report dating violence.
Anti-Harassment: Another highlighted lesson was the Anti-Harassment Lesson, during which counselors focused on Anti-harassment protocol and initiatives based on the requirements of House Bill 127. The data revealed that, 95-97%, of students, knew how to identify and report bullying behavior after the anti-harassment lesson, so the method of delivery was successful and should result in less bullying behavior on campus and, therefore, less students being absent to avoid bullies. Scenarios will be added to this lesson next year to ensure that students know how to apply this knowledge. Counselors plan to continue to work with students that have exhibited bullying behaviors or were victims of bullying throughout their high school years. The success of these lessons is evident by self-reporting surveys from our students that indicated an increase in feeling of safety and wellness among their schoolmates. This improvement in Anti-Harassment/Anti-Bullying is also evident by counselor observation and a decrease in bullying reports in our student disciplinary reports. Counselors met with the Guidance Advisory Council to implement a QR Scan Code to enhance the bullying reporting process.
Personal Self Care and Wellness Lesson: The third highlighted classroom counseling lesson we taught was the Personal Self-Care and Wellness Lesson. In this lesson 137 students identified, through a self-reporting survey, that they had a higher than normal academic stress. Of these 137 students, only 41 could identify 5 self-care and wellness goals and verbally express at least 1 affirmation. The outcome data reflected that by participating in the Personal Self-care/Wellness Lesson, not only did less students self-report using absences to avoid stress related to academia, the number of students that could identify at least 5 self-care and wellness goals was increased from 41 to 133 out of the 137 students which tied in directly with the decrease in the number of referrals needed to wrap around Psychological Services.
Since this lesson model was successful, Molina counselors will continue to use this model to help students understand how to identify wellness/self-care goals and verbalize self-affirmations. Counselors will add a QR Scan code to allow students more direct/timely access to counselor support/referral to outside services as needed, and for immediate student feedback.