When determining what small groups are held, we typically will hold them as an intervention to help address our program goals and chosen ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors. After reviewing data and establishing our program goals counselors chose the group in which they were most passionate, and some counselors co-facilitated. “The Boys Life Skills” group was selected as the exemplary group because it exhibited a growth in student identity. Counselors believed this group made great gains with our boys in achievement, behavior, and social/emotional growth.
The Boys Life Skills and The Girls Life Skills group (M 2,3,4,5; B-LS 4, B-SMS 1, B-SS 1), led by Conyers, Xiong, in collaboration with behavior specialist Mr. White was for boys and girls in grades 9 and 11. Students were identified by achievement, attendance and behavior data. Students in this group had earned more than one (1) N in Quarter 3 as reported in Infinite Campus. After 6 sessions the Boys Life Skills outcome data showed students exhibited a growth in student identity in each of the 13 survey questions. Facilitators of this group agreed that it was beneficial and will continue in future years. A highlight from the group was having Washington Alumni come into group as "guest speakers" to speak with the boys about academics, respect, and responsibility.
The Future is Now Group- ( M 2, B-LS 3) was a group designed to help 7th grade students find the self-confidence in ability to succeed and focus on time management, organization and study skills to be successful. Counselor, Rick Walker used perception data collected through his pre/post tests. Data showed students did not know how to ask for the help they need to be successful. Students were selected from student referrals after the lesson SMART Goals was administered. The students made strong strides in raising their grades and Mr. Walker is looking forward to running this group in 2017-2018. He made the decision to add more groups covering this topic based on the positive feedback from students and teachers.
The “It’s My Senior Year” group, led by Schmitz and Mathiowetz was developed to address the disproportionate number of English Language Learner (ELL) students who drop out as compared to the total number of ELL students in the student population. Students were selected based on ELL teacher referral and pulling senior on-track graduation status, and data from Infinite Campus which indicated students who were at-risk due to attendance, behavior, and course performance. (Mindsets and Behaviors M 2: B-LS7) Eight students were selected and eight participated in five small group sessions covering topics such as organization, post-secondary planning, and completion of a college application. At the conclusion of the intervention, 100% demonstrated an increase in academic achievement by passing core classes, six demonstrated improvement in attendance, and all eight students applied to a 2 year college. An implication of this group was that counselors should consider providing enough sessions to cover all material at a slower pace in effort to have a greater overall improvement.
The “Post-Secondary and Me” (M 4, B-LS 9), is a group for juniors who indicated they were experiencing stress about the college application process after the administration of core counseling curriculum lesson “College SuperMatch” where students researched and saved at at least 2 colleges they are thinking about in Naviance. Many of our students report high stress with regard to post-secondary planning. We surveyed the juniors and asked them specifically about their stress. 16% reported being "very stressed" or "stressed to the max". This group was led by Vestrum and Schmitz and both will consider this group in 2017-2018.
An “Attendance Group” (B-SMS 1, B-SMS 7) co-facilitated with Vestrum and Social Worker Randy Snyder was created to address attendance needs of our 11th Hmong male students. They represented a disproportionate percentage of absences in the 11th grade. Through small group discussions, Truancy County Social Worker presentations, and SMART goals to increase daily attendance, the groups outcome data had positive results. Attendance increased from missing an average of 4.5 days/month to 3 days/month. The positive outcome data warrants us running this group again next year.
The Grief Group (B-SS 4, B-SMS 7, 9) was formed after a death in our Junior class. Vestrum facilitated this group of 4 close friends to the student that passed. Lessons were presented on the stages of grief, coping skills, and journaling. The group provided an opportunity for members to learn and practice interpersonal skills, discuss feelings, and share in a safe environment.