Our small group action plan was developed based on the needs of our school community, our vision and mission, our goals, our SIP, and our district’s strategic plan. Four groups have been offered successfully in the past. Our Movers and Shakers group was added this year as we expanded our support for freshmen. Women of Tomorrow (WOT) and Take Stock in Children (TSIC) are both backed by community organizations. We often have a grief group, however, in SY17, there was not sufficient student need to offer it. There were 2 other groups that we held, one for juniors below a 2.0 GPA and one for athletes interested in collegiate sports; however, neither met the ASCA-prescribed minimum of four times and, therefore, we did not include them in our action plan.
Based on our vision and mission, program goals, data analysis, school and district initiatives, and administration’s directives, our groups supported graduation and college and career readiness. TSIC provides academic, career, and social/emotional support to college-bound students with demonstrated financial need, through an application process. This group focused on M2, M4, BLS3, BLS7, BSMS8, BSS3. WOT provides support for 9th-12th grade at-risk females, defined as students that are not living up to their full potential by any of a full range of criteria. 9th or 10th graders are selected based on school staff recommendation and remain in the group through graduation. The prominent Mindsets and Behaviors of this group are M1, M2, M4, M6, BSMS1, BSMS6, BSMS9. The Pathfinder Scholarship is a prestigious scholarship that is offered in our community. A committee of stakeholders reviews the candidates and selects our school’s nominees. Students build skills such as résumé writing and interviewing, aiding them in the Pathfinder process as well as their pursuit of other scholarships. The Mindsets and Behaviors that we focused on were M2, M5, BLS6, BLS10, BSS1, BSS8, BSS9. Our Test Anxiety Group was developed in response to the increase in students who report experiencing test anxiety. For example, the number of students who receive 504 accommodations for anxiety has increased from 17 to 48 over the past 3 years. This group was offered to serve students who experience mild test anxiety by addressing M1, M2, M6, BLS3, BSMS6, BSMS7, BSS2.
The group that we have chosen to highlight here is our Movers and Shakers group, which addressed our goal to give additional support to students as they transition to high school. We targeted ninth graders who scored a level 2 or 3 on 8th grade state assessments (level 3 is on grade level) and had earned a 2.5 GPA or higher in 8th grade. Additional criteria included attendance (excessive absenteeism is defined by our district as more than 20 days), no more than 1 discipline referral, and teacher recommendation. Our aim was to reach a population that tends to float in the middle without being challenged to apply themselves to the fullest. We presented students with information regarding careers and postsecondary education. As a follow up to our group, each student met individually with their counselor to review their course selections for SY18 and to discuss their postsecondary goals. Our goal was to see them increase the rigor of their sophomore schedule, thereby increasing their college and career readiness. The perception data reflects a 128.5% increase in the average score on the pre/post-test regarding college readiness. Further, 100% of students were able to successfully complete tasks related to college and career readiness. The outcome data shows that 77% of students increased rigor in their schedule, either by increasing the number of academic units or increasing the rigor of the courses themselves. 95.5% of students earned credit in all of their first semester SY18 courses. 72.7% of students increased their HPA as a result of their successful completion of their rigorous first semester SY18 courses. Based on this data, we will continue this group in the future. One change that we plan to make is to collect more perception data. While we collected data on the students' growth of knowledge and skill, we plan to measure student attitudes. For example, we would like to know if they perceive themselves to be better prepared for the college application process.
Based on our outcome data, we plan to make small adjustments to the groups themselves, but don't expect many changes to our action plan for SY18. The one exception would be if we find a need to bring back our Grief Group.