The WMMS Counseling Department selected three core curriculum lessons to evaluate the effectiveness of the classroom activities provided through the core curriculum. The lessons chosen were based on their relation to our program goals, their relation to the three ASCA domains (academic, career, and personal/social), and their developmental appropriateness. Because our vision statement aspires to prepare students to be college and career ready world-class citizens, it was important that all domains be covered in the lessons selected.
6th grade did a lesson about Respect and Empathy to promote anti-bullying during October. Perception data indicates that students’ perception of the importance of empathy and respect increased as a result of the lesson. There were fewer 6th grade ALC referrals in the fall semester than in the spring. This data and student self-reports of empathy suggest that the lesson about empathy may have helped students to think about others’ feelings and to be respectful toward one another, which might have contributed to the lower numbers of ALC.
6th grade also did a lesson about Behavior and Expectations, which taught students about the WMMS CAT Matrix (which outlines teacher expectation for student behavior). Perception data indicates that the lesson was successful in teaching the expectations because all students were able to complete a drawing/writing activity demonstrating their knowledge of the expectations and 90% of students were able to act out an expectation on the first try. There were more ALC referrals in the spring semester than in the fall semester, which could indicate that this lesson was not as successful and the counselors had hoped it would be in reducing ALC referrals. However, it is typical to see behavior referrals increase over the course of a school year, so perhaps this lesson was successful in keeping the number of ALC referrals in the spring (62) close to the number of ALC referrals in the fall (55), even though there were more referrals in the spring. This lesson addresses important aspects of our students’ development into responsible citizens, and should be continued in the future.
The Eighth Grade lesson, "8th Grade, Now What," was delivered to 8th grade students and covered the importance of the mindsets and behaviors demonstrate self-discipline and self-control, demonstrate effective coping skills when faced with a problem, and demonstrate ability to manage transitions and ability to adapt to changing situations and responsibilities. The purpose of the lesson was to help prepare students to increase responsibility before they transition to high school, along with having a growth mindset. Perception data results showed that student’s feelings about the importance of goal setting increased from 63.8% to 75.6%. The outcome data for ALC referrals decreased from the previous year for 8th grade from 83 students to 66 students, and 75.6% of students met at least one of their goals that they set at the beginning of the year. The data showed that a great deal of students felt setting goals was important when it comes to their academic career.
The school counselors take into consideration the outcome data to help drive future core curriculum lessons for students in the future. A discussion occurs amongst the Counselors and use the feedback to incorporate changes to future lessons. The Counselor's belief is to make sure they provide students lessons based on their current need and their developmental level. The Counselor’s want to make sure for the future, they provide close to an equal number of lessons across all grade levels. Focusing on the needs of our students will help impact the entire school culture and community because once their needs are met, they will be able to focus academically. Counselor’s will incorporate whole school surveys to get a better understanding of needs school wide versus grade level.