Thomas Jefferson Middle School (2018)

arlington Arlington , VA

School Counseling Core Curriculum Results Report

Collecting and analyzing the data from lessons we give is one of our most important tools for refining our ability to impact students. The three lessons highlighted in the core curriculum results report (attachment 9.1) were chosen for analysis particularly because they target mindsets and behaviors we deemed important for accomplishing our school counseling program goals.

The “Be On Time to School” lesson was our introduction to our School-Wide tardy reduction competition, the “Time to Shine Tournament.” The perception data (attachment 9.2) showed less improvement than we initially anticipated about students believing Teacher Advisory (TA) and Yellow Jacket Period (YJP) were important parts of the day. Therefore, we thought in the future we might want to create a student-driven PSA or monthly announcements to discuss how TA and YJP helped them improve in school. From this lesson we thought we might have received more student completed pre and post-tests if lessons from counseling were delivered more frequently in TA and expectations were communicated more clearly. We have already addressed this for next year, by scheduling our TA counseling lessons well in advance. We hope that the combination of providing advanced notice and simple, user-friendly lesson plans will allow TA teachers, who have class sizes of no more than 15, to implement some lessons from the counseling curriculum that do not require a counselor to be physically present.

The “Positive Thinking” classroom lesson is linked to program goal 2. Our perception data (attachment 9.3) noted that over 50% of students already showed mastery of three of the four pre-test questions for the lesson. Thus, in the future, we may want to consider changing our pre/post-test questions to promote more critical thinking, eliciting more robust results. It would also be appropriate to stretch the discussion aspect of the lesson and have students personally reflect on how negative thoughts can be controlled and turned into positive ones. The perception data also indicated that most students did not know how to define a “mantra,” which could indicate an opportunity to go deeper into the power of repeating positive statements to effectively change one’s thinking.

The “Academic Planning and Goal Setting” lesson is linked to the 3rd goal (attachment 9.3). This was one lesson that we will break into two lessons in the future so that we can do a more in-depth activity with students about student-success skills and how they might be applied to improve grades. This lesson highlighted a key struggle of achieving “breadth” versus “depth” with students. We often feel we need to go over as much information as possible whenever we can get in the classroom, because time is so limited. However, this approach usually sacrifices engaging students and ensuring the information is understood. In the future, we might have TA teachers introduce student success skills before this lesson, so we could skip directly to the activity and begin productive conversations about practically applying these skills. This would allow us to add a peer-to-peer discussion to the lesson in which students could discuss “What might prevent you from applying this skill?” and “How will you make sure you still apply these skills when you experience these obstacles?”

Overall in our conversation about disaggregating perception and outcome data, we had certain thematic takeaways for making future lessons more effective. We agreed that we need to make surveys and pre/post tests electronic to save time calculating results and printing documents. We also reflected that our skills have improved in writing assessments linked to mindsets and behaviors that target student-attained “knowledge, attitudes, and skills.” Finally, we recognized the importance of our overall core curriculum planning; to ensure that we are able to get into classes, we must front-load the majority of our lessons prior to winter break when teachers are more flexible with their instructional time and we must utilize non-traditional methods of reaching all of our students, such as TA time, PSAs, and announcements.

Grade Level: Entire School (6-8)

Lesson Topic: The importance of being on time to school lesson and introduction to school-wide

Lesson was Presented in Which Class/Subject:

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): BLS-3, B-SMS 2

Start/End: Dec. 4, 2018

Process Data (Number of students affected): 349 6th graders, 343 7th graders, and 309 8th graders were in TA on this day and participated in the lesson for a total of 1001 students out of 1065 (94%) enrolled students enrolled on this date. - - However only 521 students took the Pre-assessment and 229 students took the post-assessment.

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): % A or SA = % Marked Agree or Strongly Agree
D or SD = Marked Disagree
or Strongly Disagree

It is important to be on time to school:
Pre: 93% A or SA
Post: 93% A or SA
0% change

Able to identify two ways to speed myself up in the mornings:
Pre: 69% A or SA
Post: 85% A or SA
16% Increase

Being on time is associated with higher grades:
Pre: 51% A or SA
Post: 73% A or SA
22% Increase

TA and YellowJacket Period do not matter because there are no grades:
Pre: 62% D or SD
Post: 66% D or SD
4% Increase

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Total number of tardies to school: 2014-2015: 50 2015-2016: 3368 2016-2017: 3157 2017-2018: 5,228 Percent change from 2016-2017 to 2017-2018: -65.6% increase

Implications: - Overall, the perception data does not seem to show a large change in students’ attitudes about the importance of getting to school on time, they already seem to recognize the importance. We believe in the future we could change wording to be more specific to show more growth between the pre-and post-tests based on the lesson, for example: “I know of three specific reasons why it is personally important for me to be on time to school” - There was a marginal increase in students’ ability to understand the association with being on time and higher grades (22%) and to identify ways to increase the speed of their morning routine to arrive to school on-time (16%) - 93% of students found it important to be on time to school but only around 60% thought TA and YJP were important. Because we hear so many times from students that TA and YJP don’t matter it was surprising the number of students who didn’t see this as a contradiction. An interesting way to try and change this perception might be to have students do a PSA video about how YJP improved their grades or SOL scores, to increase motivation to take YJP seriously. - Tardies increased significantly (65.6%) but this was likely heavily influenced by a change in the way the data was collected this school year. School administration changed it from the main office coding tardies to school to TA teachers coding tardies to school. - 8th grade teachers were confused about which lesson they were supposed to be doing this morning due to an unclear communication from our IB coordinator, which resulted in them starting the lesson late and possibly why so many students did not get to the post-assessment (521-Pre/229-Post). In the future, we will plan to have at least 3 counselors walking around on TA lesson days to make sure teachers are on task and to answer any of their questions. In the future, we would like to run through a school-wide lesson with teachers if possible during a staff meeting, because some teachers presented to the whole class on their SmartBoard instead of having students individually participate on their Ipads as instructed; we believe this is why overall Pre-assessment/Post-assessment completion was so much less than overall attendance in TA (1001 students). Because over 50% of students already agreed with most of the questions on the pretest, perhaps this type of lesson could be broken into two parts, with a more-in depth discussion of why it matters to be on time given only to targeted students who were frequently tardy, perhaps even as a small-group-style lesson. Or we just needed to be more specific on the pre-test questions as previously discussed; even if we do a similar version of the lesson we should make the questions more specific to ensure we are assessing knowledge, attitudes, and skills that have specifically changed because of the lesson.




Grade Level: All 7th grade students enrolled in a reading support class

Lesson Topic: Importance of Reading

Lesson was Presented in Which Class/Subject:

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): M 2 M6

Start/End: May 15,16, 17,18

Process Data (Number of students affected): 63 7th grade students (out of 65 students enrolled in all reading classes—97%) were present and participated in the lesson. Letters were mailed home to all 65 students with some follow-up tips for parents to help prepare students for the upcoming reading SOL the next week

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): % A or SA = % Marked Agree or Strongly Agree

1) I know what it means to have positive self-talk
Pre: 54% A or SA
Post: 94% A or SA
40% Increase

2) I know what it means to have a Mantra

Pre: 21% A or SA
Post: 91% A or SA
70% Increase

3) I believe that JUST believing I can do something has a large influence on my ability to do it

Pre: 79% A or SA
Post: 88%A or SA

9% Increase

4) I am able to apply positive self-talk when I am unsure of my ability to do something

Pre: 68% A or SA
Post: 91% A or SA

23% Increase

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): % of special Education students who passed the 7th grade reading SOL Out of the 34 special education students who failed the 6th grade reading SOL, 4 students passed the 7th grade reading SOL. - 12% Increase Related Data: - In 2017-2018, 59% of students who took the 7th grade Reading SOL increased their score from their 6th grade SOL score - Reading 7 SOL historical passage rate for special education students: 2014-2015 71.43% 2015-2016 49.09% 2016-2017 61.21% 2017-2018 24.49% - 36.7% Decrease in special education passage rate between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 - Reading 7 SOL historical passage rate for general education students: 2014-2015 93.09% 2015-2016 94.31% 2016-2017 88.70% 2017-2018 85.21% - 3.5% Decrease in general education passage rate between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018

Implications: - Our goal was for 8 special education students (25%) who failed the 6th grade reading SOL to pass the 7th reading SOL. 4 of these students passed the 7th grade reading SOL (12%). The goal was not met, but 4 students did pass. We plan to dig into the data to determine what helped these students to be successful and then to apply these skills/assets to our work with other students in the future. - Looking at the overall Reading 7 SOL pass rate data for 7th grade special education students, we can see large fluctuations in the historical overall pass rate (36.7% decrease in special education passage rate between 2016-2017 and 2017-2018.) This may be due to the switch in special education reading approaches to Orton Gillingham style of instruction in 2017-2018. -Though the overall pass-rate was low for special education students (24.49% in 2017-2018), 59% of 7th grade special education students improved from their 6th grade reading SOL score. Because of the many factors involved, of course, it is always a bit difficult to draw direct lines of influence between our interventions and the outcome data. However, this is positive sign for the impact our interventions may have had on these students. - Students seemed to already be confident in the power of thinking positively because on the pre-test 54% of students knew what it meant to have positive self-talk and 88% of students felt just believing in something has a large impact on their ability to do it. In the future, question 3 and 1 should be modified to more specifically align with the lesson objectives and content, and would likely show more growth between the pre-test and post-test. Question 3 should be refined to “I believe that hard scientific data supports that just believing in something can largely influence my ability to do it.” Question 1 could be refined to: “I can list 3 specific ways to implement positive self-talk when I am thinking negatively.” - Many more students (70% increase) understood what a mantra and positive self-talk were after this lesson, which we hoped translated to using this knowledge to prepare for SOLs. To more specifically know if students planned to use it, we could add a question, “I plan to use the mantra I developed as I prepare for the upcoming SOLs.” - In the future, follow-up lesson and/or assessment could involve the question: “What is a Mantra you use in difficult situations?” Or “What is a mantra you could use when taking an SOL.” This would determine if students retained this knowledge/skill and were able to apply it to their lives. -The lesson reinforced this important skillset for students at a relevant time by being presented a week before the test. However, in the future, perhaps we could do this lesson earlier in the year, so students could apply the skills throughout the year and then we could just do an inspiring refresher lesson or reminder video right before the test.



Grade Level: All 6th grade students

Lesson Topic: Individual Academic Planning and Goal Setting

Lesson was Presented in Which Class/Subject:

ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s): B-LS 3, BLS 7

Start/End: Week of April 9, 2018

Process Data (Number of students affected): 347 6th grade students participated in this lesson, out of 374 6th grade students enrolled in school on this date (93%). Follow-up lessons were conducted with 14 students who showed up to the makeup lesson during Homeroom class for the following week, increasing participation to 96%.

Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): % A or SA = % of students who marked Agree or Strongly Agree for their answer

1) I am aware of many elective options in high school.

Pre: 35% A or SA
Post: 73% % A or SA
- 38% Increase

2) I am using a success strategy to end 4th quarter strong.
Pre: 75% A or SA
Post: 87% A or SA
- 12% Increase

3) I believe that the course I set today can affect how well I do in my future.

Pre: 71% A or SA
Post: 84% A or SA
-13% Increase

Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Academic Watch list = Students with 2 or more D’s or E’s in core classes Total number of students on the academic watch list as of Quarter 1: 30 Total number of students on the watch list Quarter 1 who were still on the watch list as of Final Grades: 19 - 36% Decrease

Implications: 75% of students agreed or strongly agreed on the pre-test that they were using a success strategy to end 4th quarter strong. This seems to indicate that most students already knew about success strategies before the lesson. However perhaps “success strategy” is too general of a name because students may think it refers to any strategy for being successful and not the specific strategies discussed in the lesson. To show more growth from pre-test to post-test, perhaps the question could read, “I can list 2-3 specific strategies I will use to be successful in the 4th quarter.” - 71% of students agreed or strongly agreed on the pretest that “the course set today can affect how well I do in my future.” Perhaps in future lessons we would see more growth if we made this attitude more specific to the direct content of the lesson: “I believe that what I learn in middle school, will likely be relevant again in college and my career.” This would also emphasize connection between their classes now and their future, which is also more closely aligned with the lesson objectives. - Question 1 saw a 38% increase from pretest to post test, but perhaps also making this question more specific would increase pre-post test results: “I can list 3 specific elective options I may take in high school.” This closely aligns with the lesson and refers to more specific knowledge reviewed in the lesson. - The 36% decrease of students from the quarter 1 watch-list who were still on the watch-list as of final grades exceeded our program goal of a 25% decrease from quarter 1 to final grade. Combined with small group interventions and letters sent home to parents about the academic watch-list, this lesson likely helped support achieving this program goal. - The plan was to do this lesson earlier in the school-year as a studentship-skills refresher lesson right after winter break to increase student motivation, but teachers’ schedules preparing for SOL testing made it difficult to get into the classroom. In the future, the goal-setting portion of this lesson could be done in the fall; however the academic planning portion is usually more helpful to do in the spring because students have the context of having already picked classes, which helps them understand academic planning.