How the gap was defined through data:
Mullen Elementary had a difficult year behaviorally in 2015-2016. The behaviors were disturbing enough to fill the administrator and counselor offices up with students who were making poor choices. These behaviors took time from teacher instruction and from student’s instruction. In addition, the students who were in trouble were spending a lot of time out of the classroom in the office. Teachers were requesting school counselors to talk to their classes to remind students of school wide expectations and students reported feeling bothered by certain students’ behaviors in their classes. In our counselor advisory committee meetings and PBIS meetings we brainstormed possible solutions. Both committees agreed that we needed a school wide intervention that would not only have components of PBIS but also components of building classroom community. When the counseling department met with administration about goals for the department, administration asked the counseling department to help teachers implement Responsive Classroom. The counseling department met as a team and decided that the best indicator of decreasing negative classroom behaviors would be to decrease behavioral referrals. The referrals count for the 2015-2016 school year was 196. We cross referenced it by grade level and name. We realized the majority of our behavioral referrals came from 8 students who were given repeat referrals based on bullying behaviors. After comparing our quarterly review of data we noticed that 39% of the total referrals were attributed to 8 students. We decided to not only make it a counseling department goal to decrease overall referrals but to further define it to our closing the gap focus by decreasing the referral count for the repeat offenders.
The following activities and interventions were chosen:
• School counselors would teach staff about Responsive Classroom practices and offer classroom interventions to teachers on an as needed basis. This was chosen because Responsive Classroom is evidence based in building positive classroom structure.
• Specific informal referrals would be utilized to help teams gather data about when, where, and why behaviors were occurring so we could plan interventions accordingly.
• School counselors would provide small group counseling for student. This was chosen so students could receive more specific interventions.
• School counselors would provide individual sessions for students who make poor behavior choices, these sessions would be scheduled as well as on an as needed basis. These sessions would be especially important for the students who received many referrals.
• School counselors will facilitate and lead parent meetings to address students behaviors and interventions
• School counselors would provide classroom lessons to teach whole group lessons about conflict resolution, coping skills, anti-bullying, and importance of making good choices. This was chosen to make sure that we are reaching all students.
• School counselors would provide check in/check out for students who receive many behavioral referrals and are sent out of the classroom repeatedly. This was chosen to help teach the students the value of intrinsic motivation and having a daily positive contact with a staff member. This was also chosen to collect behavioral data.
• The school counseling department would facilitate a partnership and mentoring program with the Air Force Booster Club. This was chosen to help identified students have a positive role model.
How the data results will help:
Although our goal was to decrease behavioral referrals we also decided to take it a step further and see the impact of the referrals on the student’s report cards. Reviewing the students’ report cards from first quarter and comparing them to fourth quarter allowed us to see the true impact we had when the students’ negative behaviors were decreased. The check in/check out program gave us data on a daily basis and with that we were able to notice trends pretty immediately. Noticing those trends was helpful because we could add or switch interventions as needed. The data also gives us a picture on what interventions we need to be ready to implement at the beginning of the next school year. The students on the check in check out program decreased their behavior referrals by 80%, and the decrease rate of overall referrals was 12%. Due to the success we will continue with all of the interventions, and add a more comprehensive Responsive Classroom component that all teachers utilize. While reviewing the data we realize that we could ask better quality questions to determine if the decrease in classroom behaviors directly correlated with behaviors. We will do that by creating a survey for every student in the classroom.