Developing & implementing a core curriculum report aided us in viewing the effectiveness of the counseling program, lessons delivered, & areas of growth for the 18-19 school year. We analyzed the data to determine if the delivery of the Why Try lessons administered were effective for students. Core Curriculum lessons and other interventions were utilized in decreasing academic failures, truant students, & behavior referrals from the 16-17 school year to the 17-18 school year.
Lessons from the Why Try curriculum are designed to help dropout prevention, violence prevention, truancy reduction, & increase academic success; which targets social/emotional, career, & academic domains. The curriculum aligns with our vision & mission statements, while also supporting our beliefs, mindsets/behaviors, & identified goals in making productive individuals in a global society. Utilizing the needs assessment & dividing the lessons by grade levels helped to provide students with the opportunity of learning from various domains.
The eighth grade, “Defense Mechanisms/Removing Labels” lesson focused on students working with diverse populations, defense mechanisms, & stereotypes. Perception data results showed a 184% change increase for understanding what a defense mechanism was; 153% change increase for students understanding the four steps in controlling their defense mechanisms, 200% change increase in students understanding that when they use a positive defense mechanism, they cause no harm to themselves or others; & 53% decrease in having more than 3 negative labels for themselves. Eighth grade students perceived that removing labels & utilizing defense mechanisms in a positive manner can aid in improving in the areas of social/emotional development.
The seventh grade, “Motivation Formula/Social Skills” lesson objectives are to help students to challenge their anger & challenges into something positive, recognize their support system, understand the basics of self-motivation. When comparing pre & post perception data results, we noticed 34% change increase in how students can change their negative thinking to positive thinking; 37% increase on how many students had at least three people that they could seek for support; 3% increase in understanding that when one makes negative choices, that they hurt themselves & others; 65% increase in understanding that making negative choices can lead to less opportunities & freedom; 62% increase in understanding that motivation begins with the challenge; & 62% increase in students understanding that if channeled, challenges & anger can be inverted to positive motivation & healing. Seventh grade students perceived that changing their outlook on how they viewed themselves & others could lead to them thinking in a more positive manner academically & social/emotionally.
The sixth grade lesson on “Reality Ride” objectives were to help students to understand that positive outcomes can occur when you have a positive attitude towards work & learning, how to develop short & long term goals, how to seek help from adults that support their success, & how to take responsibility for the consequences for their decisions. When comparing pre & post perception data results, there was a 61.08% change increase in what students thought the definition of reality was, 106.70% change increase in students believing that studying can help them to achieve good grades; 8.14% change increase in feeling that studying is essential to making good grades; 77.42% change increase for viewing their future as positive & full of potential; & 30.25% change increase in students identifying ways to keep themselves motivated when things are tough. A 3.68% change decrease was calculated for students feeling as though a goal was a waste of time, results based upon strongly disagree & disagree. By the end of the lesson, 333 had a goal for the 17-18 school year & 323 students knew the environment in which they spent the majority of their time.
Future plans include more details on all of the lessons plans, calculating the approximate number of students expected for each lesson, understanding more details about the student's perception for lessons, & review outcome data on a monthly basis to determine if the lesson was effective for the duration of the school year. Mindsets & Behaviors will be reviewed to determine if they’re appropriate for the lesson, based upon new data. Results from the lesson has helped us to recognize that the more lessons we due earlier in the year, may be linked to more students passing, less discipline referrals, & less truant students at the end of the year. Hands on teaching strategies, digital media, & more partner work will be implemented into future lessons to aid in engagement. Our attendance goal was mentioned in our first lesson of the year entitled intro to the school counselor/bullying and in individual counseling sessions with at risk truant students.