REVISION: Added a graph file to summarize student perception data. Reduced the number of mindsets targeted.
The small group action plan was created at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year after discussing the needs of our students. Due to the success of secondary homeroom groups the previous year, the counselors thought that expanding and further developing curriculum for this group would be beneficial to the students. Twice as many homerooms were added for the 2016-2017 school year compared to the previous year, and students were placed in the homerooms to begin the school year. Counselors met with the secondary homeroom teachers during institute days to discuss curriculum and goals for the group. Based on curriculum that worked well or did not work well last year, it was decided to include SMART goals, weekly grade checking with individual students, completing assignment notebooks daily, working on organization skills, and utilizing encouragement and rewards (for example, the person with the highest grades for the month gets a pizza). Participants for the secondary homeroom group were selected from grade data, referral data, attendance data and/or counselor or dean referral. Students with low grades, and/or multiple referrals, and/or low attendance were added to the secondary homeroom group. Counselors and deans were also asked to place students in the group if the student would benefit from the support based on knowledge of social/emotional needs or academic needs.
Anger management was another group that met with success during the previous school year. The counselors have found that creating groups based on preventative strategies like anger management contribute to the well-being of our students. Students in the anger management group learn to identify their triggers, learn coping skills and gain knowledge of conflict resolution. Anger management has been the most in demand support group for our students due to the number of students identified as needing it. There is often a waiting list for students to be in the anger management group, therefore the group was run both first and second semester. Participants for anger management are selected from counselor and dean referral based on knowledge of anger control issues, disrespectful behavior, and difficulties with peer conflict.
Growth mindset was a new concept for a group this year. After analyzing grade and referral data from the first 6 weeks of school, the counselors discovered that ninth and tenth graders needed more academic and social/emotional support. The idea of teaching these students about a growth mindset stemmed from district professional development activities in which teachers and student services personnel learned about growth mindsets and fixed mindsets. A growth mindset group had also been conducted at one of the district’s middle schools the previous school year and the middle school counselors shared their positive results with our counselors. Students in ninth or tenth grade with two or more failing grades and at least one referral were selected for the growth mindset group.
The included results report summarizes the growth mindset group. The data results show that the participants’ feelings of school involvement, connections to peers, goals, academics, and self-knowledge all increased from the start of the group to the end of the group. It may be that students might have benefited even more if the group had more sessions or continued for second semester. It may also have helped with data collection if pre and post tests were created for some of the weekly lessons. A pre and post test on knowledge gained of the concept of growth mindset might help us understand our student needs even more. The results report will help us target ASCA mindsets and behaviors because we better understand the areas in which the students feel more confident and the areas in which we can develop future growth mindset lessons. None of the students selected a five in the areas of school involvement or academics on the post-test so adding lessons specific to academic achievement and possibly a tutoring session as well as encouragement in extracurricular activities might be needed. The students’ feelings of self-knowledge were fairly high on the pre-test so future groups may not need the lesson on self-reflecting. In understanding this data, we can target mindsets and behaviors that are more related to school involvement and academics instead of self-knowledge. We feel very strongly about continuing to teach our students the concept of growth mindset and we will work to further develop the curriculum for the next school year.