*We want to note that we uploaded revised charts for lessons 2 and 3, showing percent change to demonstrate impact. While we could not revise our chart for lesson 1, as mentioned in section 8, we created a pre/post test to use for this lesson going forward that would provide us with the percent change data we would need.*
It is important to our department that the process data for our core curriculum reflects our entire caseloads. When students were absent for our classroom lessons, we sought them out later to meet individually or in small groups, making sure we conveyed the main points of the lesson and that they completed our perception data instruments. Our core curriculum is in a growing phase but we see many challenges as we add new lessons. In 2017-2018, the lessons we delivered looked better on paper- in our perception and process data- than they did in our outcome data. Our perception data in particular for the academic/career lesson, at 91% average score on the post-test, appeared to indicate a huge success, until we saw at the end of the year that outcome grades had not risen but dropped by .3%. We did succeed in reducing Fs for 8th-graders in part through our core curriculum lesson on careers for that class, but we were only partially successful with the 6th-grade lessons. Peer conflicts and counselor-led conflict mediations dropped by a modest 5%, and language arts grades, mentioned above, actually got slightly worse. Because it was our first year delivering this academic lesson, it will serve as a baseline in the coming years for measuring our program’s effectiveness at helping students learn to work well in groups. It was also a reminder that we need to work harder and smarter at helping students internalize the Mindsets and Behaviors that we teach them.
Our pre and post-test for the conflict resolution lesson asked students to identify the steps to resolving a conflict peacefully but this tested theories, not practice. To improve our curriculum, we will incorporate more role-playing practice in the lesson and ask students to self-assess how they communicate through conflict. This will align the lesson and the perception data with B-SS 1: “Use effective oral and written communication skills and listening skills.”
There were problems with our curriculum that we will address with practical modifications. For example, because we saw a large disconnect between what first seemed like stellar perception data results followed by notably uninspired outcome data results, particularly for the 6th-grade lessons, we will revamp our lessons, pre/post-tests, and follow-up activities to align them more with our chosen Mindsets and Behaviors. We will shorten the academic/career lesson and the post-assessment because students did not have time to finish the assessment during the lesson. Cutting questions and lesson content will clarify the message. The same is true for our Mindsets and Behaviors- for both 6th-grade lessons, we focused on two per lesson, but this proved to be too much to teach and for our students to absorb in one lesson. We will focus these lessons to center on only one Mindset and Behavior. We will continue to expand our core curriculum. Due to increasing conflicts involving social media, we will add a lesson on social media and cyberbullying along with our conflict resolution lesson, and in response to disappointing outcome data for our academic/career lesson, we will add follow-up core curriculum on taking on academic challenges, with Mindset and Behavior B-LS 8: “Actively engage in challenging coursework.”
We will continue all of these lessons and add more. As we mentioned in our results report, we were happy with the outcome of a significant decrease in Fs among our targeted 8th-graders, so we will keep our 8th-grade career lesson intact. We know that our students find the most success through a program with a vigorous and data-driven core curriculum. We will continue to bolster this component of our program in order to help our students reach our vision for them to be “accountable citizens, productive members of society” and “lifelong achievers”.