The ultimate goal of the Bully Proofing Curriculum is to reduce bullying and other aggressive behavior in school, and to teach students prevention and intervention skills. K-1 gets De-Bug the Bully and grades 3-5 gets HA HA SO What. According to the Post Test results, the majority of 3rd and 5th grade students learned the bully proofing strategies and knew how to stay safe. Not all students were tested, nor was there a pre test given - due to lack of time - but, a significant sampling demonstrates the effectiveness of this curriculum. Though the discipline referrals increased at Fair Street a lot this year (60%), it is believed that this is due to the consistent effort in documentation encouraged by the implementation of Positive Behavioral interventions and Supports (PBIS). Several teachers told this author that they had quit giving students discipline referrals because they did not believe anything would be done about the students' misbehavior. With the incoming of a new superintendent and her initiation of PBIS, there has been a major effort to have a systematically sound way of handling discipline referrals, along with the positive climate and reduction of behavior issues that PBIS brings.
It was noted by this author when figuring the statistics on the discipline referrals, that the students who participated in the transition classes (ex.failed grade 3 but placed in 4) did much poorer than the regular classes. Students in transition classes failed their grade last year, and have significant academic struggles. One change I will make next year is to adjust the Pre/post Test wording so that it is easier to understand for lower grades, and for students who may have significant academic difficulties. The Likert Scale was confusing for some, so I will also adjust this component. Also affecting the post test outcomes was the fact that some teachers read the tests to their students, and some teachers didn't. Additionally, it would probably be beneficial if the school counselor administered the tests to the students herself. Being the only school counselor of 637 students, that may not happen.
Upon reflecting on the accumulated discipline referrals for the year, it was discovered that 3rd graders and 5th graders had more discipline referrals than the other grade levels (K:7%, 1st: 14%, 2nd: 17%, 3rd: 24%, 4th: 14%, 5th: 24%). This is a consistent phenomena that this counselor sees from year to year. Third and 5th grade teachers may need more support in the future. At the Spring School Counseling Advisory Board Meeting, it was suggested by a board member that we try to provide mentors from within the school for all 5th grade students this coming year. I suggested something such as Check and Connect to try to facilitate this process. I will be collaborating with my principal regarding this effort, and also bringing this suggestion to the PBIS team to see how we could possibly get this accomplished. Though the Bully Proofing lessons are needed and helpful, we still need more support for our students who misbehave.
It also is noted that the majority of discipline referrals occur on the bus. This summer, Gainesville City Schools is having a bus workshop in which this counselor is one of the trainers. We want to share the PBIS information with the bus drivers in hopes that the climate on the school buses can improve, and that bus drivers feel empowered to keep their buses safe. We need to teach the students how to behave on the bus, motivate them to do what is right, and teach the bus drivers how to encourage this positive behavior.
The Good Touch Bad Touch curriculum has also been taught since this counselor came to Fair Street. One hundred and thirty one students completed the Post Test Survey with scores ranging from 89% - 95% correct in grades K - 5. Students were asked to name the body safety skills they had learned in the Good Touch Bad Touch lessons. Good Touch Bad Touch is a evidence based sexual abuse prevention curriculum researched by the University Georgia. It is encouraging to see students learn these skills, and then to follow through disclosing this horrible abuse to their school counselor.