Our closing the gap goal was defined through multiple sources of data. The counselors reviewed our school data profile, school improvement plan, and building goals. The counselors decided to use our program goals for our closing the gap. We observed the grading period one report and how we could decrease the amount of D’s and F’s in each grade specifically in math and language arts. Before the grade period one report came out, we tracked D’s and F’s through weekly eligibility reports and organized it into a Google Doc. We also found that students met the criteria of the closing the gap population were failing multiple classes. Many of the students were also our low income population.
The interventions were specifically chosen to help reduce the amount of D’s and F’s students were receiving in mathematics and language arts by the end of the school year. We chose to use academic small groups to reach more students. The students selected were those that were deemed most “at risk”. We flagged students who were failing multiple classes. Another activity included weekly grade level meetings with staff. We would take time to go over the shared spreadsheet among teachers and identify trends. Although classroom teachers were in communication with parents we could communicate to parents that their student was failing multiple classes and communicate this in detail. Warning cards were passed out to those students to increase communication about their grades. Students would have to create a plan on the back of the card on how they would increase their grades and meet with the school counselor. Teachers would also bring up students of concern backed by data for a problem solving team meeting. The school counselors would then set up a meeting and track data and interventions. The interventions would be separated by ELA and math. Rather than silent reading or computer time for math students would receive targeted lessons for deficient skills in ELA or math.
The data results will help deliver interventions/activities more effectively in the future. We reflected on our perception data and agree we need stronger perception data questions. This will help us collect data more accurately in the future and ensure quality. We felt that it was necessary to collect more perception data as well. We gained ours solely through the academic small groups which showcased our most at need population of students. We considered holding parent meetings for those students and inform them on strategies they could use at home.
What we noticed in the data is that there was a higher amount of D’s and F’s in math compared to ELA. According to our data profile this was true for the year prior as well. We also noticed that the students who were originally on the grade period one report struggled getting off of the eligibility lists and would continue to be on the grade reports throughout the year. We are aiming to change this population by giving them the tools and strategies necessary to see success and not be overlooked. The successful outcome we are looking for is to see a significant decrease in the amount of D’s and F’s from the beginning of the year to the end and for our students to build confidence and see less stress because of the strategies we have taught them..
We carefully selected specific mindsets and behaviors that reflected our goals. The first was M6, which is a positive attitude toward work and learning once students develop a growth mindset rather than a fixed about their grades they will open up many doors to their success. Another was B-LS3 which is the use of time-management, organizational and study skills. Often times students are unable to identify proper studying mechanics, as well as a time-management system. We address this more through our small group sessions by filling out a time management template. Our department also wanted to foster self-motivation and initiative. That is why we selected B-LS.4 which is to apply self-motivation and self-direction to learning.
Our department would like to add to our list of interventions so we have an assortment to choose from. We have also considered moving toward an electronic approach to the academic warning cards due to finding the cards throughout the hallways and students not completing the solutions portion. We feel that through google classroom we can reach more students and have them stay tuned into their grades and developing a system to stay successful.