All BMS Core Curriculum lessons were selected based on the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors, teacher/student needs assessments, and conduct data from the previous school year. Our classroom lessons support both our program goals and the three domain areas we wish to address with students (academic success, social/emotional growth, and college/career planning). Our classroom lessons specifically focused on our first two program goals: increasing academic achievement and decreasing conduct referrals. Analysis of these three specific lessons allows us to evaluate if our time in the classroom effectively supports our students.
The Anger Management and Emotional Regulation lesson was new to the curriculum this year and specifically targeted for seventh grade students. This was done because conduct data from several previous years indicated that seventh grade students consistently receive more infractions than either other grade level. Outcome data showed a small decrease in interpersonal conduct infractions across the grade while perception data and teacher reports supported that the lesson was educational to students. As it was a pilot lesson, it was only taught to about half of the seventh grade based on whoever was present in the foreign language elective courses. As such, many seventh graders did not receive the lesson, even though they all could have greatly benefited from the material. Based on small improvement with this smaller sample, use of the lesson is planned for seventh graders but through a different course so that every seventh grade student experiences it. From the outcome data, we believe increasing the number of students exposed to the lesson will also increase the positive results. Additional campus-wide implementation, such as integration of the zones of regulation terminology into individual and group counseling, could also increase student understanding and ability to apply the lesson to their behaviors.
Introductory lessons are taught in every grade level each year. Information on school counseling, promotion/retention regulations, and an emphasis on goal setting is present in each lesson though execution varies to ensure students receive new material each year. Integral to these lessons is ensuring students understand their academic responsibilities for the school year. This includes promotion requirements and education about electives that will transfer to high school, affecting their high school GPA. As we frequently register new students from other counties with different requirements, we focus heavily on helping students create academic goals that will not only ensure they pass but excel for the year. Seventh grade students showed they could create their own SMART goals at the end of this lesson, when less than 4% had even heard of SMART goals before the lesson. Both perception and outcome data suggests that these students retained and integrated the information from this lesson into their academic lives. As these lessons appear effective in preparing students for the year, we will continue with Introductory lessons at the beginning of the year for all students.
This was also the first year we implemented school wide Stress Management lessons to reduce conduct infractions during testing days. Not only did we have three students hospitalized the previous year for anxiety attacks during our end of year state testing, but our conduct data analysis uncovered that students received a disproportionate number of referrals during that same time. Pretest data indicated eighth grade students had a decent understanding of stress management techniques while sixth graders did not. Both grade levels, however, showed growth from the lesson and outcome data supports that this lesson was beneficial to students. The seventh grade lesson addressed Stress Management through different techniques. The sixth and seventh graders will continue to receive these two lessons while a third new one will be developed for eighth grade. This will create a Stress Management Unit so that students receive differentiated training in stress management and test taking anxiety each year at BMS.
Overall we felt our classroom lessons were effective implementations to address our program goals and promote student success. We successfully reduced conduct infractions during standardized testing and overall in the school (by 36% and 14% respectively). We also successfully reduced the number of students at risk for retention by 26.5%. As goals 1 and 2 aimed for a 10% reduction in each, we plan to continue addressing these concerns with more specificity. They were overall school goals and we will begin to address certain gaps within our population that may need more attention. Future classroom lessons will continue to promote academic achievement and excellent behavior for all students, as we feel these lessons have done.