Wadsworth Middle School (2018)

Wadsworth, OH

Small Group Responsive Services


Through our small group responsive services, we wanted to assist students that needed further support on the topics, mindsets and behaviors that we identified as necessary for further instruction through small groups. The small group setting was deemed the best way to support these students identified with specific needs to succeed to the best of their ability.

For the Organization Boot Camp group, we follow the book by Shawn Grime and refined it to work specifically for our students’ needs at Wadsworth Middle School with a focus on assignment books, lockers, books and notebooks, home study area and time management. Participants are selected by teacher referral.

For the Thrive stress management groups, group topics were based on major tenets of resiliency, like emotional management, growth mindset, healthy lifestyle and conflict resolution, etc. Participants were chosen based on attendance records and interviews with counselors or self-identified students that were having difficulty dealing with stress.

For the AIR group, students were selected if they were identified as having low socioeconomic status and failed one or more of their Ohio AIR tests the previous year, or were close to failing. With the addition of academic grades in classes, the list was narrowed down to our groups of seventeen and nineteen respectively. Each school counselor formed a group for her grade level. We then used our teacher, student and parent needs assessment to determine the topics for each meeting and worked closely with teachers to coordinate what was taught to students as systemic strategies in test taking, such as strategies for writing the extended responses in Language Arts for main ideas, supporting ideas, etc.

In reflecting back on the group, we felt that the single most important thing that we did was individually meet with students to explain their test scores to them, identify where they think they could improve this year, and make goals for this year. While going into the group, we hypothesized that a big issue was test anxiety around the tests being computer-based, but in working with the group and in doing individual interviews, we discovered that only a very small percentage of the students were anxious about the tests and a larger percentage of students had more of an attitude of not caring or not caring to persevere during the time of the test. But we also learned how easy it was to motivate most of the students to want to do well and to want to persevere during the very lengthy tests. Most of the students seemed motivated in knowing that someone was watching them and encouraging them and caring about how they did.

The AIR group results report was very helpful in future planning and assessing for achieving program mindsets and behaviors. The content was useful for these groups, but we did find that some topics were less useful than projected in the needs assessments, so we plan to adjust accordingly for future groups. We also reflected with each group meeting how to refine and better question to get more valid data from students. We use the perception data, formally and informally, to determine which lessons to continue. For example, as stated above, test anxiety was less of a problem for students than we expected, so we won’t spend an entire day on this topic.

Group Name: AIR Group

Goal: By May 2016, 75% of identified students with low socioeconomic status that failed or were close to failing at least one of the AIR standardized tests raise at least one of their scores an average 10 points on this year’s tests.

Target Group: Students that are both identified with low socioeconomic status and having failed one or more AIR standardized test or was close to failing one

Data Used to Identify Students: Low socioeconomic status and AIR scores

School Counselor(s): Manos

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): Mindsets 1, 2, 4, 6 Learning 3, 4, 5, 7 Self-Management 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 Social Skills 1, 3, 8, 9

Outline of Group Sessions Delivered: Introductions, rules, computer-testing skills General test-taking skills General test-taking skills Part 2 Writing strategies Writing strategies part 2 Test Anxiety Practice Questions for math All types of practice questions, meeting individual to review goals and individual growth

Process Data (Number of students affected): 17 students meeting twice weekly for 30 minutes for 8 weeks

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): Q 1. 94% increase in awareness of test scores Q 2. 41% increase in two computer testing skills Q 3. 47% increase in using pre-writing skills for multi-paragraph essay Q 4. 54% increase in naming one strategy to use to ease test worries

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): REVISED: 81% of the students in the group improved at least one 2016-17 AIR standardized test score by 10+ points compared with the previous school year, 2015-16 AIR test scores

Implications: REVISED: The data shows that the group was extremely effective in reaching and exceeding our goal of 75% of the students in the group improving at least one test's score by 10 points. The perception data shows that the main concepts directly taught in groups were maintained by the end of the group, as well. The data shows that the delivery method of the group, meeting in person with the counselor in a small group setting twice weekly, was very effective. Overwhelmingly, students reported motivation due to the counselor's paying personal attention to their test scores. For future years, we plan to continue working closely with teachers to use the methods they prefer to prepare students for testing and to make sure this data is accurately calculated for effectiveness each year. The data for each student was very valuable and shared with teachers to aid in their classroom preparations, as well. We plan to continue to improve and streamline lessons. As the extended response seemed to be much more difficult for students due to stamina and effort, we spent more time on preparing students for this test compared to the math test and this showed in the data, as students improved more in the English Language Arts section than in math. So, next year, we plan to add more time practicing math test taking skills. We hypothesized that students did not have the computer skills for the test, but we were proven incorrect and that students were very adept at using their computer skills, so we plan to spend less time on the computer testing skills and more time on the math testing skills (such as showing work). The questions asked for perception data were in line to support the mindsets and behaviors that we targeted to teach and the data shows that these areas were improved for students from the pre-test and post-test, and we will continue to have these drive the goals of the group, as well as the improvement of student achievement through test scores.