Evans City Elementary (2017)

Evans City, PA

Anger Management
Behavioral Issues
Conflict Resolution
Peer Mediation
Relational Aggression

Closing the Gap

Each year, as Evans City Elementary School’s counselor, along with the YESS (Youth Education Support Services) team and the School Counseling Advisory Council, I collect, review and consider the available data from the PSSA results, the school-wide data report, the discipline reports and the attendance reports. Together we determine the top three areas of focus to support Evans City Elementary School Comprehensive School Plan. From the original paper plan, I create a targeted action plan with monthly, ongoing monitoring of data that provides opportunities for course correction throughout the year. We chose to focus on three areas and the related groups of students: social and behavioral needs for all third graders, the academic needs of a targeted group of fourth graders, and targeted students with above 10% absence rate for the previous year, 2014-2015. Since under-achieving groups of students require a variety of interventions to ensure their success, we proposed an intentional intervention to address their achievement gap focusing on the group of students with attendance issues, knowing that the first step to being academically successful is to be present in school each day. I planned the intervention by carefully cross-walking the ASCA mindsets and behavior standards to guarantee that the activities aligned with desired student outcomes and the goals for this group of students. I made sure that the activities were developmentally appropriate, and aligned with the Mindsets and Behavior Standards of the ASCA National Model.

It is my habit to review the roster of students who have excessive attendance at the end of each school year. “Building Effective Dropout Prevention Programs – Some Practical Strategies From Research and Practice,” by Loujeania Williams Bost, Ph.D., states that students who do not regularly attend school struggle with academic progress. The Seneca Valley School District, in compliance with Pennsylvania statutes, has a closely followed attendance protocol. I augment the protocol with interventions tailored to specific student needs. Some examples include phone calls home, meetings with parents; behavior plans for students, support groups for students, “pay check” incentive, and monthly positive acknowledgment of success for individual students. The data indicate that students’ attendance improved with these interventions.

Regular monitoring and communication with these students and their families helped them make improvements to their attendance.

I noted previously that the students who were unable to meet their goal of 92% attendance rate had home issues beyond their control. These students had parents who had various personal issues that caused them to devalue daily school attendance for their children. I realized that in the future, I must look for ways to engage these parents if I am going to have an impact on these students’ daily attendance. Phone calls by myself and the school administrators were not able to engage the parents in a way that made a positive impact on their children’s attendance. In the future, I will continue to monitor these students and provide additional supports as needed.

Goal: Fourteen students at Evans City Elementary School With an attendance rate below 90% during the 2014-2015 school year will increase their school attendance to 92% by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

Target Group: Fourteen students below an attendance rate of 90% from the previous year (2014-15)

Data Used to Identify Students: Yearly attendance report from attendance secretary for the 2014-2015 school year & school data reports for the last three years

School Counselor(s): Kayla Snyder

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): Mindset: 2, 3, 6 Behaviors: B-LS 1, 3, 4; B-SMS 1, 2, 4, 8; B-SS 2, 3

Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?: Individual counseling, Parent & Teacher consultation, attendance incentive groups Curriculum for attendance group, "time card for each student, items for "paycheck", attendance graph for each student, monthly and yearly certificates, letters for parents, Flyers for all parents at "Meet the Teacher" program

Process Data (Number of students affected): 6 females & 8 males: two 1st graders (one student receives free lunch, seven 2nd graders (four students receive free lunches), four 3rd graders (no one receives free lunch), one 4th grader (no one receives free lunch)

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): Using a Likert Scale, 100% of targeted students valued the importance of coming to school at least 17% more by the end of the 2015-2016 school year. See “Closing the Gap Perception Data Table” See attached chart for a graph of Perception Data.

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Of the 14 students 6 met the goal of 92% or better attendance and 9 students maintained 90% attendance. Gr 1: 50% reached attendance goal ; Gr 2: 28.5% reached attendance goal; Gr 3 75% reached attendance goal: Gr 40% reached attendance goal. See attached chart for a graph of Outcome Data.

Implications: The data indicates this intervention was helpful in reducing the number days students were absent. Though only 43% were able to reach the attendance goal of 92%. 64% were able to maintain the expectation of 90% attendance this year. Regular monitoring and communication with students and families helped these students make improvements. Need to brain-storm creative ways to engage parents, especially families who are part of Free & Reduced Lunch Program.