My identified gap was defined through review of report card data. In the 4th grade there were a number of regular education students who were not achieving in a major subject area. Some of these students were receiving academic interventions, and some were not. It appeared, however, that the academic interventions themselves were not sufficient to raise the achievement for these particular students. So, I chose activities which were designed to increase the students' recognition of their grades and belief in their power to affect their grades. Cheston is working towards implementation of the Leader In Me program, although it is not yet fully rolled out. I essentially piloted the academic piece of Leader In Me by working with students to understand goal setting and having them choose their own "Wildly Important Goal". We then focused on tracking progress on a weekly basis, discussed effective action plans to meet goals, and the importance of having an accountability partner to motivate. This emphasis on Behavior LS7 was combined with the introduction of time management skills, organizational skills, and study skills (LS3) which the students indicated a need for based on a survey I administered.
The results of the data indicate that this intervention was powerful for this group of students since they all increased their knowledge of study skills and raised their trimester 2 and 3 grades by large margins. The amount of time allotted to this closing-the-gap group was very manageable and based on the data results, it was time well spent. These activities could be easily replicated with other grade levels to expand the delivery, or even as part of the core curriculum. As my school moves forward with Leader In Me, I anticipate that these activities will be automatically built into each classroom structure. As we near that stage, the data from my pilot group will be useful in convincing potentially reluctant teachers of the merit of such interventions, thereby driving decisions about future interventions and curricula. Achievement data will continue to be analyzed and it will help to refine the collection of future data within our student information system. I can see us using disaggregated data to target students in specific ethnic groups or disability groups for future closing-the-gap activities, especially as this initial activity moves into more of the core curricula. Targeting these specific Mindsets and Behaviors through this action plan, has revealed how potent the school counseling program can be in affecting the academic outcomes at Cheston. This will make it more likely that the administration, with the corroboration of the school counseling advisory council, will support further future academic interventions by the school counselor.