The small groups were designed and implemented based on our school counseling program goals, ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors, and the specific needs of our school population. The Dragon Club Academic Success groups targeted all grade levels. The targeted number of students were 56 out of 1133 for the 2016-2017 school year. These groups were formulated based on students not passing Language Arts and/or Math during first quarter (9 weeks) to meet promotion standards. Sixteen six graders, twenty-five seventh graders and fifteen eighth graders did not pass language arts and/or math. Our Dragon Academic Success group used a book called "Success for Teens," by The Editors of the Success Foundation. Group topics focused on Attitude Towards Learning, Habits are Powerful, There's No Such Thing as Failure, Everything Starts With Small Steps, and Make Your Dreams Come True. The group group met a total of eight session once a week. The topics addressed in the small group were aligned with the mindsets and behavior standards. The outcome data revealed that 43% twenty-four out of fifty six students or eight per grade level met promotion standards. The remaining thirty-two students continued to receive counseling interventions during third and fourth quarter (18 weeks) such as organizational skills, time-management, study tips, and appropriate use of school agenda (daily planner). When considering future group lessons the counselors will consider providing more small group sessions twice a week and look at a variety of resources to enhance the curriculum.
The sixth grade counselor facilitated an anxiety to group to address students who had chronic tardies and absences based on anxiety. Ten students participated in this six session small group. The group targeted understanding the physical and emotional effects of anxiety. Coping strategies included understanding the power of positive thinking, attempting to challenge fears, creating a new healthy routine and becoming more realistic to the actual size of each problem. The mindsets and behaviors were aligned with the topics addressed in the small group. Outcome data indicated, 90% or nine of out of the ten of the students significantly improved in their classroom attendance and tardies by 100%. The counselor will continue to utilize this small group lesson for the upcoming school year because of it's proven effectiveness in reducing the number of anxiety related attendance issues.
"Queen Bees, Drama Queens and Cliquey Teens," identified twelve seventh grade female students who repeatedly had behavior referrals based on conflict with other female students. Skills addressed in this six session group were the following: types of friends, coping with bullies, building your self-esteem and being a better friend. The group concluded with eight ways to empower yourself against hurtful friends. Topics and activities were aligned with the mindsets and behavior standards. The outcome data revealed 75% or nine our of the twelve female students learned how to use effective communication skills, identified appropriate verbal and non-verbal ques, and overall became loyal friends. The counselor will continue to use the small group lesson since it was a successful small group. However, the counselor realized that presenting the small group lesson earlier in the school year could possibly have greater results by addressing the conflict sooner and lessen the number of behavioral referrals.
"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens," targeted twenty eighth grade students who had 3 or more days of Out of School Suspension. Eight sessions were conducted to help them demonstrate empathy, make ethical decisions, self-discipline, self-control, and effective coping skills when faced with a problem. This will enhance social maturity and behaviors appropriate to being a productive member of society. The mindsets and behaviors were aligned with the small group lesson. The outcome data indicated that 90% or eighteen out of twenty students did not exceed three or more Out of School Suspensions. The counselor used interventions with the remaining two students by creating a behavioral contract called a clean slate to monitor and track their behavioral progress. The counselor was satisfied with the small group outcome data, therefore she will repeat the small group lesson next year if data supports a need.