Small Group Responsive Services are delivered through the Tier 2: Group Counseling Support Services at Estell Manor School. They are offered for each school year and based on identified needs of the school. These needs are determined by 4 sources: the data committee’s identified needs for the up-coming school year, students who are eligible for counseling services as per Individualized Education Plans and Section 504 Plans, and referrals from teachers and parents throughout the school year. The focus for groups is based on the needs of the identified students, and the small group action plan for the school year is designed. Parental consent letters are sent to the parents/guardians of the identified students to ascertain consent for participation in a school counseling small group.
Small Group Data Results Report:
One of the Tier 2: Group Counseling Support Services offered through the school counseling program was an Academic Success School Counseling Group for 7th graders who were identified at-risk for failure in either Mathematics or Language Arts based on 2015-16 achievement data for 6th grade students. This small group responsive services group was offered as one of the interventions to the 2016-17 Academic Achievement Closing-the Gap Goal.
• Outcome Data Implications:
There was an average increase of 3.75 points in final GPA’s in Language Arts from 6th to 7th grade. There was an average increase of 13.25 points in final GPA’s in Mathematics from 6th to 7th grade. Therefore, there is outcome data to indicate that the Academic Success group had a positive impact on student achievement.
• Perception Data Implications:
Students remained the same or improved in their mindset and belief that if they work hard they can pass their classes and their behavior standard of being able to use a variety of study skills. Four out of four students progressed from disagree to agree when asked if they knew how to make an outline for informational text. There was a bell curve demonstrating some student improvement and some student decline in organizational skills. Therefore, there is perception data to indicate that the Academic Success Group had a positive impact on student’s mindsets and behaviors regarding their own personal academic success.
In this particular school counseling group, there were initially only 3 participants. One student joined the group after onset of the program. Therefore, there is a limited sample size. It would be wise to continue to implement Academic Success School Counseling Groups in the future in order to gather more data on program success and lessons in need of improvement.
However, for the purposes of this small group results report study, a conclusion could be drawn to indicate an academic achievement benefit for students participating in the Academic Success School Counseling Group as indicated by perception and outcome data.
• Implications for Further Study:
One implication for further study would be to complete a more detailed outcome data analysis at the conclusion of the group. This could be accomplished through analyzing marking period to marking period growth. It would also be beneficial to include a teacher perception survey to garner teacher feedback on the students’ use of skills learned in the Academic Success Group within the classroom setting. (For example: Did students use an outline to study for an assessment?)
Another implication for further study would be to include other activities designed to address organizational skills. For example, the school counselor could work with individual students on a rotating basis to organize their locker. This would hopefully allow for an increase in student skills and knowledge in organizational skills.
The final implication for further study would be to cast the net wider to include more students in the Academic Success School Counseling Group. Since parental consent is necessary in order for students to participate in small group responsive services, it would be beneficial to try to investigate how to increase student participation through increasing contact with parents in an effort to garner consent for participation.