The school counseling department used a variety of assessment tools to determine the needs of its student population. The results provided foundational data that would be used to develop programs and interventions designed to address the greatest needs of students. The school counselors partnered with stakeholders within the school and community to implement programs throughout the 2016-2017 school year. The small groups created by these partnerships targeted specific segments of the student population.
The student groups were identified from data related to school wide academic performance, the comprehensive discipline summary, student feedback, and faculty/staff recommendations. The information collected indicated a need for students to learn skills in the areas of conflict resolution, study habits, grade level transitioning, post-secondary planning, and personal/social development. Student participants shared characteristics such as; same grade level, same gender; types of offences leading to discipline referrals, post-secondary knowledge base, and regular teacher interactions. The school counselors determined that the students receiving the information could benefit greatly, as the content delivered would help to address specific behaviors and skillsets.
Due to the demographics of the student population of Pebblebrook High School, the School Counseling department wanted to provide as many interventions and group support as possible. This desire led to the introduction of programs like Project Adjusting Our Crowns (PAC) and Keep Calm and Get into College (KCGIC). The Project Adjusting Our Crowns organization is a non-profit initiative developed by a former Pebblebrook High School student, Ms. Jhessica Wade. The purpose of PAC is to prepare young ladies for future success via relationships with mentors, interactions with local community professionals and celebrities; as well healthy connections with their peers. PACs founder and facilitator solicited the assistance of the school counseling team to identify potential group participants. The female students were recommended for PAC based on previous interactions with the school counselors, teachers, administrators, office staff members, and sports coaches. PACs ultimate objective for the 2016-2017 school year was to assist its 65 participants in the pursuit and accomplishment of personal, social, and academic goals. The 65 participants were all surveyed at the beginning of the group. The survey data helped the facilitator and school counselors to identify areas that each student would be focusing on for the duration of the school year. Outcome data collected will be used by the PAC founder/facilitator and school counselors to enhance program tools, future student participation, and curriculum topics.
The School Counseling team also introduced the Keep Calm and Get into College (KCGIC) workshop series to 11th and 12th grade students. The purpose of the small group was to prepare upperclassmen for post-secondary planning. KCGIC was developed as a result of a 30 person focus group. Focus group members were recommended by faculty/staff, invited by the facilitators, and solicited via schoolwide advertisement. The focus group was asked to complete a survey to help KCGIC facilitators, Ms. Kimberly Chinn and Ms. Julynn Williams-Chandler determine the needs of current junior and senior students. The information collected helped the facilitators develop topics for the seven sessions administered throughout the school year. Of the 30 focus group members, twelve made the commitment to partake in the series on a consistent basis throughout the 2016-2017 school year. Focus group data indicated that over 50% had no working knowledge of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the process of completing college applications, the preparation for standardized testing, the acquisition and use of fee waivers; nor were they using calendars to keep themselves organized.
At the conclusion of the group the twelve participants completed the same survey. Data from the post-group survey indicated that nearly 100% of KCGIC participants showed an increase in their knowledge and skills related to the information presented. KCGIC outcome data will be used to create innovative, resourceful lessons for the upcoming school year. These lessons will be developed with a larger, broader student audience in mind, which will address more of the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors. The facilitators will collaborate with the other school counselors and faculty members to expand their programming ideas and lesson plans to younger students, and those with alternative post-secondary plans. As suggestions are provided some session material can be altered or removed to focus on different aspects of post-secondary planning. The goal is for KCGIC to incorporate current and relevant information that will lead to an increase in Pebblebrook High School students who are better prepared for life after graduation.