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George P. Mullen Elementary (2018)

Manassas, VA

Closing the Gap

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.

Goal: By the June 2017 identified students who accounted for a total of 55 behavioral referrals by October 2016 due to bullying behaviors will decrease receiving referrals by 80%.

Target Group: Students Kindergarten - 5th grade

Data Used to Identify Students: Informal behavior referrals

School Counselor(s): R. Cottle-Makhene/P. Freybler

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): Domains: Academic, Social/Emotional MS: 2,3,5 LS: 1,4,6,7,9 SM:1-7,9,10 SS:1-6,8,9

Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?: •School counselors will teach staff about Responsive Classroom practices during staff meetings and offer classroom interventions to teachers on an as needed basis. •Specific informal referrals will be utilized to collect data on the specific types and motives of behaviors. This will be created with a collaboration between PBIS and counselor advisory committee. •School counselors will facilitate small groups with impulse control and school success topics. These groups will be given several times throughout the school year. •School counselors will facilitate and lead parent meetings to address students behaviors and interventions. These meetings will be initiated through the parent, administration, school counselor as needed. •School counselors will provide individual sessions for students who make poor behavior choices, these sessions would be scheduled as well as on an as needed basis. They will be self,teacher, or parent initiated. •School counselors will provide classroom lessons to teach whole group lessons about conflict resolution, coping skills, anti-bullying, and importance of making good choices. These lessons will be presented at least monthly throughout the school year. School counselors would provide check in/check out for students who receive numerous behavior referrals. Check in/check out will be twice a day everyday. •The school counseling department will facilitate a partnership and mentoring program with the Air Force Booster Club. The volunteers from the Air Force will meet and mentor the students at least one time a week.

Process Data (Number of students affected): Eight

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): The students who participated in the check-in/check-out program filled out an assessment as a pre and post-test. This assessment was given October 2015 and in May 2016. The students responded either Yes or No. Every student had the assessment read to them to ensure accuracy. 1.)I feel like I am responsible for my own behavior. Pre:38% Post:100% 2.) I use strategies to control my feelings. Pre: 25% Post:87% 3.)I feel like I have a connection with a caring adult at my school. Pre: 50% Post:100% 4.) I feel comfortable asking for help at school. Pre:50% Post:100% 5.) I feel like I have friends. Pre:63% Post:100% 6.) I feel successful in school. Pre:25% Post:100% 7.)I am proud of myself. Pre:38% Post:100%

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Outcome data was collected from informal behavioral referrals and report cards. *38% of office referrals given in the first quarter of 2016 were repeat offenses by 8 identified students. There was an 80% decrease of referrals by these same students in subsequent quarters. *Of the five classrooms that were monitored for whole-group impact from individual students behaviors (some classrooms had 2 students receiving interventions), 3 classrooms had at least a 50% jump for first quarter to fourth quarter in a "B" average or greater, the other 2 classrooms made more modest gains of 12% *The students who participated in check-in/check-out also so gains in the grade point averages. 50% of the students ended the fourth quarter with the same average as their first quarter (one student jumped up a grade point average in the 2nd and 3rd semesters) 13% of students raised their grade point average up by three letter grades. 38% of students raised their grades by two letter grades.

Implications: The interventions that we put into place helped to decrease our informal referrals and the perception data showed us that we were able to raise the self-confidence and feelings of success within our students. We will continue to utilize the check-in check-out program for new students as well as monitor the ones who have graduated this year. We will also continue with our informal referral forms since the data we retrieved from those was helpful. The correlation between classroom behaviors and grade point averages indicated that good classroom management, or an ability to work with challenging behaviors is key to ensuring the best academic outcome for all students. The counseling department began to introduce Responsive Classroom to the faculty. Many teachers began implementing the practice, however this was our first year. Next year Ms. Cottle-Makhene will facilitate a Responsive Classroom team in our school. The goal will be to impact the whole student body as much as we have impacted our 8 check-in check-out students. If we could help facilitate every student towards self-actualization then everything else would fall into place. In order to do that our core curriculum will have more of a focus on enhancing self-worth and character development.

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