The School Counseling Core Curriculum Action Plan is analyzed through various sources of data. Data supporting selected interventions determine if the school counseling program goals were achieved. Goal One focused on increasing the school’s Average Daily Attendance (ADA) from 96.00 to 96.50. To meet this goal, the Student Success Skills (SSS) evidence-based classroom guidance program was implemented as this program teaches students key cognitive, social and self-management skills. SSS was delivered to all grade levels: Ready to Learn (RTL; K-2), Ready for Success (RFS; 3-4) and Student Success Skills (SSS; 5). The school counselors analyzed not only ADA data, but also pretest/posttest and student needs assessment data.
Lesson Plan Summary
The three sample lessons (see attached) provided were chosen from RTL, RFS and SSS. Each lesson focuses on foundational skills for students to improve their relationships by creating a positive classroom environment, thus making the climate/culture of the building a better place to learn. Topics covered in the lesson plans vary by grade level. Some of the topics taught included listening, paying attention, goal setting, Kaizen, healthy optimism, and creating a caring/encouraging classroom. All 300 students in grades K-5 received these lessons which were delivered during scheduled guidance lessons which met for 45 minutes once a week from 8/24/15-9/30/15. Additional monthly booster lessons were also delivered (K-5) January through May.
All students completed the 2015-2016 Student Needs Assessment (see attached) at the beginning of the school year. An area of concern noted was that only 61% of students enjoyed coming to school. The statistic concerned counselors, teachers, and administration as attending and coming to school willing and ready to learn can affect student achievement and behavior. It was hypothesized the skills learned through the SSS curriculum would benefit students by improving their social skills and creating a safe, caring learning community.
Students also took a Pre-Test/Post-Test (see attached) that aligned with their grade level curriculum to further assess the impact of the program. On each of the Post-Tests an additional question was added to measure enjoyment of coming to school. With the addition of this question, counselors were provided with feedback (in numbers) about how the curriculum impacted students’ perceptions and their behavior, as evidenced by attendance rates.
Data historically suggested that Miles’ Average Daily Attendance (ADA) rate between 2009-2015 ranged from 96.00% to 96.58%. A goal of raising the ADA during the 2015-2016 school year to 96.50% was set since this was the highest ADA in the district during 2014-2015. Miles finished the 14-15 school year with an ADA of 96.36%, a drop of .04% to 96.32% in 2015-16 (the year of implementation). However, 96.32% was still the highest ADA achieved in the district. Collectively, 61% of students (K-5) at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year indicated they enjoyed coming to school, yet after implementation of the program this percentage rose to 87% (all details can be found in the Core Curriculum Results Report (CCRR)).
Implications and Evolution
Overall, almost every student in grade K-5 reported increasing their knowledge and use of skills taught as reported in the Pre-Test/Post-Test results (See Tables 1, 2, and 3 in the CCRR). Though the ADA did not increase to 96.50% as hoped, Miles was able to sustain a high ADA while two out of the three other elementary schools in the district saw a significant decrease.
For this upcoming year, the counselors will continue to focus on teaching the SSS curriculum and add other evidence-based counseling curriculums to aide in improving attendance and achievement. Additional interventions at the Tier Two and Tier Three levels will also be coordinated for the few students responsible for a majority of the attendance concerns.
Support from all stakeholders is needed to positively impact attendance. Further evolution of maintaining a positive and encouraging culture school-wide will remain a focus in the 2016-17 school year with teachers being trained in all evidence-based counseling curriculums. By infusing these programs into the regular school day, all students are provided with continual practice and reinforcement of non-cognitive/social-emotional learning skills. The counselors will continue to be active in classroom lesson facilitation, working collaboratively with teachers to address student, class, grade level, and whole-school needs. Classroom contact provides the counselor with first-hand knowledge and observation of certain problem behaviors. Counselors will also communicate with parents and conduct home visits for students with attendance concerns. The counselors can then be proactive in providing consultation to teachers and parents as well as offer supplemental services to students.