Revised: ID ED News reported in January of 2016 that Idaho has a "go-on" rate of only 46%. This number is a drop from 2013 when it was 54% and in 2014 when it was at 52%. This trend shows that Idaho students are less likely to start college after high school. The District has a clear and shared focus to have 60% of Vallivue District high school graduates will be on a college or career and technical pathway by 2017 and will increase to 80% by 2020. Also, the district will " close the achievement gap between identified groups of students through a focus on academic acceleration and targeted intervention. Just because the high school graduating seniors will be the official outcome data at Lakevue we understand that the senior year is built on a foundation started in kindergarten when students first begin school. The other important piece is to understand that if only 46% of students in Idaho are starting college out of high school and only 77.3% (as reported by the news in 12/2015) then we will have more people becoming parents who did not have the mindsets or tools needed to become college graduates. Therefore the conclusion is that I need to, down at the elementary level, need to be able to critically analyze, set goals to help close the achievement gap for Lakevue Elementary School Students. Further research reveals that Hispanic males are the first students to make up their mind as to whether or not to attend college usually by the end of their 5th grade year (research given to counselor at the 2016 ASCA Conference). With this knowledge, I looked for a curriculum that would support the students, support the goals of the district and align with the mission and vision statements of both the school and counselor at Lakevue. The curriculum also had to align with the Positive Action Grant's requirements that are set by the State of Idaho. The curriculum chosen is researched based from Positive Action and curriculum shared by Angela Robison who gave me a curriculum that she used which was research based and aligned with the ASCA model.
The lessons that I will used for 2016-2017 were began by supporting data to meet students needs on a global perspective and down to the individual student based on the vision, goals and priorities at the district, high, middle and elementary levels. I teach lessons as part of my core curriculum to give skills that target a "belief in their whole self, including a healthy balance of mental, social/emotional and physical well-being." (Mindset Standard 1) I also want every student who leaves Lakevue to have an "understanding that postsecondary education and life-long learning are necessary for long-term career success.
Bridging that gap:
The data shows that there has been an improvement in perceptions of the students at all levels. The students have shared through surveys that they have an increased belief in themselves, identified adults at the school that will help them, to take positive actions to help others, to lesson the art of making excuses for ones behavior, demonstrating advocacy skills to help themselves, identify long-term and short term goals, and an overall positive attitude towards peers, teachers and staff. (Data was taken from the 5th grade student population. Because of the timing of state and district assessments grades 3 and 4 were not given the surveys.)
As the goal is set by the district to continue to increase the number of students who graduate with a college "go-on" rate the need for lessons to continue to close that gap will not diminish. With an almost 50% Hispanic student population and an understanding that Hispanic males have typically made up their mind by the time they are finishing 5th grade the need to continue to teach these types of lessons with the students is critical to continue to close the gap for Lakevue students as they transition on to the next stage in education. Also, I will change the timing of the surveys for the coming school year so that all the students will be able to take the survey so that there is a better understanding of how the lessons and interventions that are taken by the school counselor are closing the gap between what is and what could be for the students at Lakevue.