Roberts Elementary Comprehensive Counseling program includes a variety of developmentally, goal driven groups as responsive services. These groups are designed to helping our students be lifelong learners and in developing skills which promote academic excellence, college and career development and fosters responsible student behavior in order for all students to become productive and contributing leaders of society.
To determine what groups and students will be selected each year depends on the specific focus of the goals. Once the program goals are finalized, the counseling department looks at grades, attendance and behavior reports to select participants. The group topics were created after students, their grade levels and needs were analyzed. For most groups, the topics and lessons plans that were chosen were either research-based or previous small groups whose perception and outcome data was successful. Developmental needs are taken into consideration when writing the lesson plans for the groups. The number of group session is based on how many mindsets and behaviors and what competencies will be addressed.
Several topics for the group were not based on the data but do support the vision and mission statement. One group is the peer leaders who are trained early August and once finished, provide tutoring support for the younger grades. Family changes and anxiety participants are referred through teachers, parents and students. If there is an abundance of referrals then educational impact is assessed to determine who is most impacted by their circumstance. Anxiety is a very popular group in this area due to the high achievement, competiveness and over scheduled children.
Once children are selected, a permission slip is sent home. Parents who do not give permission are given a phone call to answer any questions. During the first group meeting, students are given a pre-test. Once the group has ended, students give their feedback, take the post test and outcome data is analyzed. The group results determine whether the activities or topics will be used the following year.
The small group that is highlighted in the lesson plans and results report is the Academic Advisement Small group. This group is based off of the research on Solution Focused and Skill building groups focusing on goal setting and weekly check-in regarding the goals. It is developmentally appropriate for the upper grades of elementary school. This particular small group was effective with students feeling more confident in passing math class and the milestone (see results report). Students were also more capable of identifying a SMART goal as well as creating one. Students identified as economically disadvantaged with failing math grades were selected for this group. As a result of participating, all students increased their grades in 3rd quarter and 83% 4th quarter. It is pretty typical students grades slide 4th quarter due the state wide testing completion and the lack of grades 4th quarter. Lastly, even though these students were at risk of passing the math milestone, 83% of the students passed the test.
This is definitely a small group that will continue as part of the Roberts Elementary Comprehensive School Counseling Program. This group as well as Resiliency group is a long running group but they also demonstrate effective results. Although counselors try to get more groups in during the year, there is something to be said about running groups more than 10 sessions. The counselors will continue to monitor this data to see if it is more effective to run all groups that length.