The Albemarle High School counseling curriculum represents what our department, our school, and our county’s vision is for each and every student. Our vision for our students to achieve academic, social, and career success is seen throughout our core curriculum and is the basis for the lessons that we plan and present to our students. We use the American School Counseling Association Mindsets and Behaviors to help guide our curriculum to make sure that we are focusing on the needs of all students and that our programming is comprehensive and equitable. We use the data that we collect from our core curriculum lessons to help guide future lessons and help us to see what lessons worked well and what lessons need to be tweaked. As our school needs change, we continue to look at and adjust our programming. The chosen lesson plans show how our comprehensive programming affects the achievements of all of our students.
Lesson one focused on our graduation rate and post-secondary planning. We had each senior fill out a needs assessment and followed that up with a 30 minute presentation on understanding graduation requirements and post-secondary planning. We also went back into Government classes in the spring to have seniors fill out an exit survey to gauge where the seniors stood at that point in regards to graduation and having a post-secondary plan. For the 2016-17 school year our graduation rate increased to 95.5%, which was a .5% increase from the previous school year. We had 11 seniors not graduate. As a department, we will continue to strive for a 100% graduation rate. We realized that our ESOL population continues to be a high risk population and will use the data to look at implementing more support programs for that cohort next school year.
Lesson 2 related to our second goal. It focused on our students that indicated that they wanted to attend Piedmont Virginia Community College in the fall of 2017. We created a PVCC enrollment event with the help of Andrew Renshaw, the Dual Enrollment Coordinator at PVCC. In our senior exit survey for the 2015-16 school year, we had 22% of our seniors indicate that they were going to attend PVCC in the fall of 2016, but only 15% of those students actually attended. We wanted to eliminate some of the obstacles that students face when trying to navigate the ins and outs of applying to community college. We held our registration event at AHS and brought in PVCC employees to work with our identified seniors to complete placement testing, paperwork, and class registration. For the 2016-17 school year, we had a 5% increase of students attending PVCC in the fall of 2017. The data was promising, but there is still a disconnect for some of our students that we will continue to try to address. We would like to continue to grow this event by adding student tours of the PVCC campus and providing FAFSA completion help for students. Due to our work, we were also given a part-time PVCC liaison position to continue to help provide access and remove barriers for our students.
Lesson three focused on our 10th grade career unit and our attendance policy. It works to address our school’s vision of creating lifelong learners and productive members of society. The students participated in a pre and post-survey, a presentation, and a follow up career activity in Naviance. Based on our pre and post-survey data there was an overall 18% increase in the understanding of our attendance policy. We had a 1% decrease in unexcused absences for the 2016-17 school year. The activity the 10th grade class did through Naviance was a Career Interest profiler and to add three career matches to their Naviance account. Our goal was to have 100% of sophomores complete this task. We had 82% of our students complete the career interest inventory and 77% save three of their favorite career matches. Based on our data, we realized that some students did not complete the entire process, so some of our data may be skewed. Also, there were students absent on the days that we presented and did not complete any of the activities. Some ideas that we came up with to implement next year are small group meetings during our long lunch time for students that were not able to finish, and working with our career counselor, to meet with the students that were absent and have them complete the activity.