All grade 9 students participated through their Transition to High School class. Teachers facilitated the lesson because academic success in grade 9 is more highly contingent on social/emotional development than in upper grades. Teachers provided students who missed the lesson instruction at a later time. Perception data shows growth occurred across all Mindsets and Behaviors. In reviewing pre/post results, the assessment appropriately addressed the desired outcomes of the lesson and gave an accurate depiction of student growth. Favorable outcome data showed that the lesson achieved our program behavior goal of reducing suspensions by 3%. In 2016-2017 there were 302 suspension related incidents compared to 408 in the previous year as reported by LDS (Longitudinal Data Service).
Because of the success of this lesson we will continue it next school year and add additional follow-up lessons in the second semester to reinforce concepts. We will also create visual reminders to post in classrooms as requested by teachers.
Attendance and achievement data suggests that promotion outcomes were favorable and attendance outcomes were not. SSRI (School Status and Improvement Report) data shows that we met our program achievement goal of decreasing retention by 10% from 110 students in 2015-2016 to 51 students in 2016-2017. We did not meet our attendance goal of decreasing the number of students with 21 or more absences by 5%. This number grew from 487 students in 2015-2016 to 615 in 2016-2017.
Our failure to achieve the desired attendance outcome is not a failure of the lesson. Favorable achievement and perception data suggests that the lesson positively impacted academic success. Perception data demonstrates growth in the Mindsets and Behaviors addressed. Additionally, with the use of technology to engage students and individual work with students who missed the lesson, counselors were able to meet the needs of all students. To improve, we will revisit in the second semester and include college and career counselors as part of the lesson.
In reviewing the objectives, the lesson did not adequately focus on attendance. Connections between positive attendance and academic success were implied rather than explicit. As a result of these findings, we will re-evaluate our approach and look at barriers and systemic issues related to low attendance rates. We will add lessons to our core curriculum that will target attendance and advocate for finding solutions to this problem on a community level.
This lesson failed to positively impact attendance rates because it did not explicitly make the connection between attendance and academic success. We do not view this as a failure, rather an area for improvement. Process data shows that we were able to address the needs of all students. Students who were not present for the lesson met individually with their counselor. Counselors called parents and made home visits for students they had difficulty meeting with due to excessive absence. Through this process, counselors were able to identify their needs and work with students and parents to create a graduation plan.
This lesson played an integral part in achieving the outcome goals we had set. Achievement outcome data shows that we met our program goal of decreasing student retention rates by 10%. In 2015-2016, 110 students were retained compared to 51 in 2016-2017 (SSIR).
Perception data indicates student growth in the Mindsets and Behaviors which also demonstrates the lessons effectiveness. At the conclusion of the lesson, we felt the pre/post assessment addressed the targeted lesson outcomes. Lower gains in the area of utilizing resources to create a plan for achieving academic goals is one area we intend to improve upon. We plan to have all grade levels work more closely with students when registering for classes. We will also work with 11th grade teachers and administrators to build a unit around this lesson to help students create academic goals and a plan for realizing them.
We are developing a culture of sharing the gains students make as result of the counseling program, and systematically communicating with faculty, staff and the community. We will use existing meeting times to promote the services and interventions we provide and how they positively change student behavior and beliefs. For example, we will review the outcomes of the core curriculum lessons in relation to attendance, suspension and promotion so that teachers can better understand how these lessons promote student success. We will also create a department webpage for stakeholders to access information about the program and relevant data that demonstrates the program’s impact on all students.