The SEMS School Counselors conducted a needs assessment at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year to help with the creation of small groups based upon the needs of the student population. After analyzing the results, the school counselors presented the information to the administration. The mindsets & behaviors were reviewed to determine which ones would be appropriate for a small group setting. Due to the school district requiring certain standards, in regards to the curriculum & the number of groups per year, the school counselors generated a list of groups that met the needs of the students, district requirements, goals for the school year. Students were referred to small group by faculty/staff, parents, self-referral. The school counselors then reviewed the students in need of small group support & categorized them based upon their attendance, behavior, academic performance. Parents were contacted when a student was invited to small group; in which an informed consent was signed and returned. The announcement of groups was placed on the weekly call home, school counseling web page, monthly calendar, & on the school announcements.
Rationale - Building Champions Group was established due to many students having unexcused absences, poor academics, or discipline referrals. The school counselors focus was to review the whole child, while also helping the student to be successful in personal, social, academic, career domains. This is the focus of the the mindset B-LS7; to help students to establish goals in the three domains. We will continue utilizing this group due to its success, goal setting, understanding how to take responsibility, & to offer peer support to students who may be going through similar situations.
Rationale - Girls in Real Life Situations Group was established based upon sixth through eighth grade girls who were struggling with self-esteem, positive coping mechanisms, social skills, decision making. This groups was the focus of Mindset 1, belief in the whole self, which is a focus in helping the girls to feel empowerment & self-confidence in themselves. This group will continue for the next school year due to the its success rate & positive growth from the participants.
Rationale - Mindset Matters group, one for boys &one for girls, was established to help students realize that they are in control of their future. Students were chosen based upon having poor academic grades after the first semester. Mindset 2 was the focus for this group because it showed students that they had the ability to proceed; the goal or purpose for this group. The mindset matters curriculum will continue to be utilized during the next school year due to its high success rate for student academically.
Rationale - The Why Try group was focused on improving students’ behavior to help them to achieve academic success. Students were recruited based upon their discipline referrals for the previous school year. This group was based upon standards set forth by the Effingham County School District Mindset 6, establishing a positive attitude towards work & learning. Next year we will utilize why try for individual counseling sessions in the tier process.
Rationale - Attendance Matters group is focused on students that have been reported truant (11+) unexcused absences or are on the verge of becoming truant. Students were recruited based upon if they were truant the previous year, if they went over five unexcused absences during the first semester. Next year, we will continue to utilize the attendance matters curriculum; however, it will be delivered in individual sessions so that the school counselors can discuss more individualized plans for each student.
For the Building Champions group, this group aligned with our academic goal. However, the goal for the group by the 15th of December, students identified for small group will increase their target area of attendance, academics, or behavior by 25% during the next six weeks small group. Perception data indicated that: A positive percent change of 122 for staff support, 42.31 for enjoy coming to school, &35.25 for believe in doing well at school. A negative percent change of 78 for I think I am a bad kid & 24.77 for the school rules are strict.
After the group, average GPA went from 1.665% to 1.825%, discipline to 0.77% to 0% & attendance from 1.22% to 0.44%. The curriculum and perception data was driven by the ASCA M&B to help aid students in being productive citizens and learning skills to be successful in a global society.