The Core Curriculum lessons chosen for the Results Report are examples of how our Core Curriculum aligns with our Mindsets & Behaviors as well as our program goals. The work that our students do as part of their Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) helps them better understand and prepare to be successful with the counseling goals (being on-track to graduate, graduating on time, and increasing their attendance rate).
We took a great deal of time to consider our process, perception, and outcome data. Specifically, in our process data for all three lessons, we looked at student attendance. We learned that in future years we need to build out a plan to do make up lessons with students who are absent. This is something that we already do but never in a formalized way. Adding this component to our lesson will strengthen our ability to ensure that all students receive the material for each lesson.
As a team, we struggled with some of our perception data collection. We relied heavily on the district mandated MyICAP survey for many lessons. While the MyICAP survey has some pre/post built in (seen in our sample lesson 3: 11th grade Quarter 4 ICAP lesson perception data) and is very helpful in learning about our students and their attitudes, knowledge, and skills, it is not a consistent reflection of the effectiveness of our lessons. From an analysis of our perception data in this results report, we found that in some situations true baseline data was missing and we had to compare different grade levels of students. This can be seen in our sample lesson 2: 11th grade Quarter 2 ICAP lesson perception data in which we compared Class of 2018 data to Class of 2019 data. This is not the correct way to utilize data and we will collect true baseline data moving forward.
We had relied on the MyICAP survey as a perception data tool because of time constraints in the classroom for counseling lessons. The MyICAP survey is how students in Denver Public Schools demonstrate that they have a career and academic plan (which is both a state expectation and a graduation requirement). We had hoped to used this required survey to serve two purposes (record the plan and collect perception data). We now see the flaws in this approach. In the future we will request block periods to implement our lessons (as the block period is 50% longer than a normal class period). Having the additional time will allow us to use separate pre/post assessments to truly evaluate our perception data. We were successful in implementing pre/post surveys for some lessons (for example sample lesson 1: 10th grade Quarter 1 ICAP) and will be expanding this practice in future years.
Our outcome data moved in the direction that we were hoping for two of the lessons in our Results Report. However, in our 11th grade Quarter 2 ICAP lesson, achievement did not improve as measured by grades and attendance dropped slightly from fall to spring. In considering the implications of all three lessons, we thought strategically about how to best support our students. We determined that we need to leverage our partnerships to strengthen some of our lessons. For example, in the 11th grade Quarter 2 ICAP lesson our outcome data indicated that it might be helpful to bring recent alumni to speak with juniors about resumes and the implications of grades and attendance on academic achievement and post-secondary planning. In addition, the 11th grade Quarter 4 ICAP lesson indicated that we could strengthen our concurrent enrollment programming through continued partnership with district personnel.
As a counseling team, our core curriculum lessons are a vital part of the work we do with our students. Moving forward, we will be more explicit about communicating the links between post-secondary planning and students’ current performance (as seen in our perception and outcome data). We will also build upon the work we have started with our pre/post surveys to ask perception data questions that better assess student learning.