In the whole group session for Tier 1 support, the counseling department took leadership responsibility and collaborated with the faculty to provide Tier 1 strategies for all students. In the small group sessions for Tier 2, the counseling department had a more strategic responsibility. The counseling department monitored and identified targeted suspected students who needed additional support. The department also met with the students in pullout sessions. However, the most important component of our counseling program is analyzing the student’s needs and placing them into small groups that are effective and aligned to their needs. The Small Group Needs Assessment was one of our tools for student placement in addition to the Review360 universal screener. In our school year, we identified seven groups of students from kindergarten to 6th grade.
We placed the students into age appropriate settings having a specific behavior focus. We only had one group of Kindergarten through first grade students and their focus was on study skills. The goal for this group was to increase the appropriate behavior in the classrooms by 10% as evidenced by teacher observations. We also identified two groups of second grade through third grade students. One group had the focus of friendship and the other group had the focus of self-confidence established by the Small Group Needs Assessment. The goal of the first group was to increase positive friendship traits as evidenced by a decrease in the number of office referrals; whereas, the goal of the other group was to increase student self-confidence by 10% as evidence of the pre and post test. Not surprising, we identified four groups of students in grades four through six. The names of the focus groups were: Self-Confidence 1, Self-Confidence 2, Social Skills, and Friendship. The goals of the Self-Confidence 1 and 2 groups were to increase self-confidence by 10% as evidence of the pre and post-test. The goal of the Social Skill group was to increase the appropriate social skills by 10% as evidence of the pre and post-test. The goal of the Friendship group was to increase the positive friendship traits as evidenced by a decrease in the number of office referrals.
The counseling department monitored the progress of students through the program to the lessons conclusions. For example, the Social Skill group focused on learning appropriate social skills. The perception data showed an increase when comparing the results for pre-test to post-test. The students in the Social Skills groups had an average per-test score of 1.95 and the post-test had an average score of 3.08 in the teacher-rated Small Group Need Assessment tool. Additionally, the outcome of the office referrals showed a significant improvement in school years 2013-2014 to 2014-2015. Three of the students in 2014-2015 had zero office referrals for Class D: physical contact. One student's office referral was dropped from 7 to 2. Because of these results, the students earned positive praise and merits towards developing improved social skills awareness.
Overall, the success of the Tier 2, small group program was measured by analyzing the overall change in behavior (office referrals), academics, and attendance. To monitor the effectiveness of this component, the counseling department analyzed the number of Chapter 19: Class D referrals for physical contact. In 2013-2014, there were 38 referrals for physical contact. In 2014-2015, the number of Chapter 19: Class D referrals for physical contact reduced down to 20 based on data from the electronic Comprehensive Student Support System (eCSSS) data base. This is a 47% reduction in office referrals. We attribute this reduction in office referrals to implementing small group strategies for behavior and emotional management in addition to teaching the school-wide, Tier 1 behavior expectations in all areas at our school.
For academics, we measured the percent of students who met proficiency in the state assessments for Language Arts and Mathematics. Our Smarter Balance Assessment (SBA) results for English Language Arts increased from 18% meeting proficiency in 2014-2015 to 27% meeting proficiency in 2015-2016. Our SBA Mathematics increased from 29% meeting proficiency in 2014-2015 to 37% meeting proficiency in 2015-2016. Additionally, the Hawaii State Strive HI results also showed significant growth in Math and English Language Arts achievement scores and growth.
The data showed that we did not meet the attendance goal. We need to analyze the data of individual student to identify the root cause of the problematic attendance. More effective individual or group Interventions need to explored to promote positive attendance.