9. School Counseling Core Curriculum Results Report
The core curriculum lessons were chosen for grades three, four and five to support program goal number four. The school data showed that 50% of discipline incidents that were officially written up during the previous school year had to do with offences against students (i.e. peer conflicts). Teachers in grades three, four and five were also frequently coming to the counselors for assistance in managing peer conflict in the classroom. Third, fourth and fifth grade teachers were reporting that they were spending time dealing with conflicts that could be spent on academics and the counselors noticed that they were receiving a high number of student notes to see the counselor regarding peer conflicts. School counselors at Roberts determined that all students in grades three, four and five would benefit from core curriculum lessons that taught healthy, effective strategies for conflict resolution (446 students).
Student surveys were used to provide perception data in grades three, four and five. Data showed that students gained knowledge in how to identify conflicts and what strategies are effective in managing peer conflicts (see attached graphs). And while most students reported that they felt more comfortable about handling a problem after the lessons, there was still a large number of students that were not. In some individual classes that number decreased following the lesson which might indicate that students didn't feel confident using the strategies. Counselors noticed this trend and added more Rex Rules lessons during the month of May that students can choose to go and practice the conflict resolution strategies.
Two forms of outcome data were utilized to evaluate the effectiveness of the core curriculum lessons, office behavioral referrals and the teacher tracking form. Upon analyzing the number of office behavioral referrals we noted that 3rd grade decreased from semester 1 to semester 2 (S1-1, S2-0), 4th grade increased (S1-1, S2-2), and 5th grade increased (S1-2, S2-4). As noted in previous narratives, the manner in which discipline data is reported at Roberts Elementary is inconsistent. The counselors searched for a more equitable way to gain behavioral outcome data. The counselors consulted with several lead ramp reviewers on the best method to gather additional outcome data. They agreed that in addition to the schools’ behavior referrals that having the teachers track the number of times teachers had to intervene with peer conflicts would serve as valuable outcome data. Using the teacher tracking tool, the number of peer conflicts that teachers had to intervene with decreased in 3rd (pre-14, post-11), 4th (pre-18, post-14), and 5th (pre-6, post-4). This outcome had to do with two factors, the students learned specific strategies to manage conflicts and the teachers, who remained in the classrooms for the lessons, learned about the strategies as well and were able to direct the students to use their “strategies” rather than spend time dealing with conflict themselves.
After analyzing the data school counselors at Roberts determined that the intervention was successful in teaching students’ strategies to deal with conflicts, however, the lessons may have been more effective if they were implemented earlier in the year, rather than March/April. In future implementation of these lessons, it would also be helpful to either build in more time to the lessons for role plays so that more students feel confident using the conflict management strategies.