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South Effingham Middle School ()

Guyton , GA

Closing the Gap

REVISED SECTION



Beginning in August, we began analyzing various data with our stakeholders to determine which subgroup of students needed additional support presently & 5 to 15 years from now. Based upon academic data from infinite campus (IC), we selected minority students that were failing during the first semester. In the 16-17 school year, 97 students were failing one or more subjects. Out of the 97 students, 34 (16.19%) students were of a minority background compared to their peers at 7.46%. Our retention rate for 15-16 was five & in the 16-17 school year, we were at six; in which all had failed at least one subject. In order for students to be promoted to the next grade level, they must pass their core academic classes, math, science, history, & English, as well as the Georgia Milestones for their grade level. Data from IC showed that students that failed at least one subject also struggled on the Georgia Milestones at the end of the school year. Therefore, we targeted minority students that were failing one subject to assist them in passing their grade level & Georgia Milestones.



Our tier 1 intervention included core curriculum in the classrooms & our academic classes of Read 180 & Math Connection; both assist students that are underperforming in a core area. Tier 2 intervention involved one-on-one advisement with the students to determine an action plan on how we could improve their grades. Tier 3 intervention involved a boy & girl Small group (SG). The interventions were chosen due to being able to target students that have had the core curriculum interventions, academic tier interventions, but still needed additional support; and by being the best option for our school at the moment as recommended by the school district. The researched based activities included students transforming a fixed mindset to a growth mindset by including activities that stimulated mindfulness & determination. Research asserts that students will form more of a fixed mindset when they are younger due to seeking praise from society. Therefore, teaching students to shift from a fixed mindset of seeking praise, to a growth mindset of viewing progress, will help students to take control of their life & build success. We also included an activity that focused on understanding self-talk by utilizing SMART goals. This activity was established to help students to understand how to make a goal & how to make an action plan for the goal. Other session topics included identifying brain basics, understanding not yet, self-talk, everyone is unique, & teaching others about what they know.



The process data from SG displayed 100% participation for a total of 18 students. A comparison of the pretest & posttest perception questions revealed that the students believed that the activities in SG resulted in them gaining knowledge & feeling better about themselves. Out of the 18 students that participated in SG, 12 of them were students of a minority. The other students 6 students participated in a district SG intervention hosted by Mrs. Demetria Wright, the behavior specialist for middle schools utilizing the WHY Try curriculum. Three minority students chose not to participate in SG interventions. Out of the 18 students served, 100% showed academic improvement with final grades of a C (70+) or better. Overall outcome data displayed that out of the 92 students failing one or more subjects, the 21 minority students were all promoted to the next grade level & passed the Georgia Milestones. Four students were retained school wide. The SG intervention, core curriculum, Reality/Career Fairs, GCIS, Read 180, Math Connections, advisement, & individual counseling sessions all contributed to the success of the students.



Future plans include the academic SG being hosted in January versus in March to help students academically. The data results displayed that we will need to do more interventions in the fall as a prevention method to students failing. New strategies and events will be put in place such as our commitment to graduate ceremony, Junior Achievement lessons on career development, a new career aptitude test. Data will be more detailed regarding our closing the gap initiative by showing monthly numbers towards this goal for stakeholders and collected electronically. Questions will focused directly from the lessons taught and less on perception. We will also ask better question based upon the quality of content. The ASCA M&B will be reviewed to determine if they still align with the lessons & events taking place monthly. Each intervention we implemented this year will continue & we will add more as needed per data from infinite campus.

Goal: By May 23, 2018, minority students identified failing one subject in grades 6th-8th during the first semester will decrease by 50% from 21 students to 11 students by the end of the second semester.

Target Group: Students that are failing after being placed in Read 180, Math connections, undergoing core curriculum lessons, and one-on-one advisement.

Data Used to Identify Students: Infinite Campus/Semester Failure Report

School Counselor(s): Sherri Hall & Diana Virgil

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): Domain: Academic Mindset M2 Behavior B-SMS 6

Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?: Mindset Matters Small Group Counseling (2 Groups Boys - 1 & Girls -1) Lesson 1: Small Group Activity One (Introductions/Motivation Style/Pre-Survey Lesson 2:Small group Activity Two (Mindfulness) Lesson 3: Small group Activity Three Identify Brain Basics/ Not Yet & Determination) Lesson 4: Small Group Activity Four (self-Talk) Lesson 5: Small group Activity Five (Everyone is Unique/ Teach Others What You Know /Post-Survey)

Process Data (Number of students affected): Total Number of Students Affected is 18 Girls Group: 6th - 4 7th - 2 8th - 3 Boys Group 6th - 6 7th - 2 8th - 1

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): As indicated by the comparison of pre and post test data questions listed below, students demonstrated an in increase in knowledge and understanding of strategies to increase student achievement. Twelve questions were asked before and after the lesson. They are as follows: Girls: Q1: I can be anything I want to be when I grow up Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q2: I am smart Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q3: It is ok if I make a mistake. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q4: I know how to calm down if I start to get angry. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q5: People would say I have a good attitude. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q6: I could teach others about how the brain works. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q7: I like school. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q8: If I mess up on something, I immediately get frustrated. Pretest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Posttest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Q9: I typically look on the brighter side of things. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q10: I have good study skills. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q11: Other people like to have me on their team. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0 % Q12: If I practice something long enough, I will finally get it. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0 % BOYS Q1: I can be anything I want to be when I grow up Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q2: I am smart Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q3: It is ok if I make a mistake. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q4: I know how to calm down if I start to get angry. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q5: People would say I have a good attitude. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q6: I could teach others about how the brain works. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q7: I like school. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 78% No: 22% Q8: If I mess up on something, I immediately get frustrated. Pretest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Posttest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Q9: I typically look on the brighter side of things. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q10: I have good study skills. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q11: Other people like to have me on their team. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0 % Q12: If I practice something long enough, I will finally get it. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11 % Twelve questions were asked before and after the lesson. They are as follows: Girls: Q1: I can be anything I want to be when I grow up Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q2: I am smart Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q3: It is ok if I make a mistake. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q4: I know how to calm down if I start to get angry. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q5: People would say I have a good attitude. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 11% No: 89% Q6: I could teach others about how the brain works. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q7: I like school. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 89% No: 11% Q8: If I mess up on something, I immediately get frustrated. Pretest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Posttest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Q9: I typically look on the brighter side of things. Pretest: Yes: 33% No: 67% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q10: I have good study skills. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0% Q11: Other people like to have me on their team. Pretest: Yes: 44% No: 56% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0 % Q12: If I practice something long enough, I will finally get it. Pretest: Yes: 22% No: 78% Posttest: Yes: 100% No: 0 % Boys:

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Achievement Comparison The number of students in 6th -8th grade improving their grades in one or more classes to a C or above, as well as their academic grade point average. This will also lead to meeting requirements for promotion to the next grade level. Data to be collected: January report Card March Report Card Final Report Card Results: Girls Group: Out of the 9 students, all 9 met their goal of raising their grade by progress report time to a C or better. Boys Group: Out of the 9 students, all 9 met their goal of raising their grade by progress report time to a C or better. Summary: For the boys and girls group combined: 18 out of 18 students (100%) improved their grade to a C or better in all four academic classes. All 18 students were promoted to the next grade level based upon the final grade report. Overall. All identified minority students were promoted to the next grade level & passed their Georgia milestones.

Implications: The mindset small group activities helped to aid in the school’s mission of closing the achievement gap by bridging together what was taught in the core curriculum and skills necessary to succeed in school and for post-secondary success. The school counselors chose small groups to aid in helping students to achieve academic success due other various academic interventions in place at SEMS. The school counselors are confident that their selection in screening of students for the small group had a positive impact on the process data collection, screening/interviewing students for participation in group; as well as parental support. Documentation was done for small group attendance and perception question responses for both groups. A comparison of the pretest and post test perception question responses revealed that the students believed that the activities in small group resulted in them gaining knowledge and feeling better about themselves. Outcome data displayed that the delivery and content of our session has a positive impact on 20% of the 92 students identified failing. The school counselors felt that the group was a major success. After reviewing the outcome data, the counselors felt that outside interventions such as read 180 and Math connections contributed to the success of the students. For the 2018-2019 school year, the counselors will have a group in the spring during January instead of March in addressing academic achievement for students. Also, adding a session on organizational skills will be beneficial for students that are failing academic courses. The method of data collection was successful and will continue to be used. The counselors also plan to monitor the students for the whole second semester so that after the group. In addition, the school counselors will collaborate with teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders to implement additional activities for students throughout the year. The school counseling department will make a school wide effort to implement more academic focus, as well as mental health focus for the next school year. The counselors will continue to work directly with students in various aspects to address academic, behavior, and attendance discrepancies among various student groups.

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