Small groups included on the action plan were created based on homebound data (anxiety group), achievement/grade report data (9th grade success group), and enrollment data (new student group). The 9th grade success group was created to attempt to reduce the number of students retained during their freshman year, which was tied directly to a school improvement goal for the 2017-2018 school year. The new student support group was created in response to enrollment data which reflected large numbers of new students enrolling at Lee-Davis before the start of a school year. The group was created in an attempt to acclimate this group of students to a new environment, which is associated with M3: sense of belonging in the school environment from the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors.
Students in the new student support group were identified by including all new student enrollments to Lee-Davis; this included 36 new students which were divided into 4 groups based on gender and grade level. Students in the 9th grade success group were identified after quarter 1 grades were released. Any students failing 3 or more classes after quarter 1 were added to our list of students to include in group. Students who received special education services received lesson plans through their Academic Resource 9 classes; students who did not receive special education services were placed into a small group and received lessons through a series of small group lessons.
The anxiety/stress management group, which was outlined in detail in the Small Group Results Report, was created primarily due to homebound data from Fall 2017 and the steady increase in students leaving class to come to the counseling office as a result of anxiety-related concerns. During the fall 2017 semester, 43% of students receiving homebound services were due to anxiety disorders. Lesson plans were created in direct relation to B-SMS 7 in the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors to impact student ability to demonstrate effective coping skills when faced with a problem. B-SMS 7 was targeted and improved by 41% based off perception data where participants identified at least 6 coping strategies for anxiety/stress. Students self-reported a 7% increase in ability to manage anxiety, which directly impacts M1: a healthy balance of social/emotional well-being.
In order to identify potential students for this group, teachers were sent a Google form where they were able to anonymously recommend student names to counselors; counselors also recommended student names based off of individual meetings. Counselors called in each individual student who was recommended in order to give information on the group and ask whether they would like to participate.
In analyzing the data from the pre/post tests given to students participating in the anxiety group, we saw an increase in understanding of anxiety and a decrease in the number of students missing school because of anxiety. These results indicate that conducting anxiety groups can directly impact student attendance, which suggests that future groups conducted on this topic will positively impact students. In areas that we did not see as much of an increase in understanding (example: how to manage anxiety), we plan to alter lesson plans to increase the impact of the lessons. The school counselors also hope to conduct additional anxiety groups to involve a larger percentage of our population.
All school counselors conducted lessons for the new student groups as well as the 9th grade success groups. The anxiety group was conducted by Karen Cole and Emily Garcia; this decision was made based off of indicated interest and time constraints.
Group Name: Anxiety/Stress Management
Goal: By the end of a 5-session Anxiety/Stress Management Small Group, 100% of students will show improvement of their understanding and management of anxiety and stress.
Target Group: Grades 9-12
Data Used to Identify Students: Teacher and Counselor referrals
Outline of Group Sessions Delivered: Session 1:
Procedure: Welcome and Introductions - each person share their favorite (color, type of music, weekend activity, etc) and why
Explain the group purpose and an overview of how things will work
Have students do the Pre-test
Discuss group expectations and review contract - members sign
Show video to introduce topic of types and triggers of anxiety
Discuss anxiety/stress - types and causes
Types: Social, Test, Performance, Panic, OCD, PTSD
Causes: Change, Other people (attitudes, behavior), Situations/Events, Our thoughts about things/situations
Draw the outline of a person and identify parts of the body where we feel anxiety
Discuss things we can control vs. things we cannot control - how this contributes to anxiety and stress
Draw two circles (inner and outer) and discuss:
Inner - things I can control
Outer - things I cannot control
Cloud Activity - handout (See Resources at end of document)
To do: During the next week, pay attention to times that you feel really anxious and note:
Where am I?
Who am I with?
What is going on?
Provide each member a journal to write notes in during the week; ask them to bring it to our next meeting
Check in regarding how the previous week went and what the members noted regarding their times of anxiety. Point out similarities and differences and how they tie into what we discussed last week.
Use rock and play-doh to contrast things we can control or change (play-doh) and things we cannot (rock). Explain that when we cannot control or change a situation, it is important to learn helpful coping strategies.
Explain that today we will learn about Mindfulness & Relaxation, ways that we can help our body to calm down during times of high stress, anxiety, or panic.
Define mindfulness and discuss how it can be used
Breathing (Star example) (See Resource list at end of document)
Relaxation - video, music, muscle tensing and relaxing
Grounding exercise (see Resource list at end of document)
Breathing exercise - use video to guide
Discuss gratitude and its role in helping us to be mindful
Introduce Mindfulness apps - phone
To do: During the next week, use mindfulness and/or relaxation at least once per day and see what happens. Record notes in journal.
Check in regarding how the previous week went , especially in regard to their practice using mindfulness and relaxation.
Balloon Activity - give each member a balloon and ask them to blow it up as large as they can get it. Ask them what would happen if they kept on blowing. How is this like us when we hold in our feelings?
Ask members who are their “go to” people when they need support.
Discuss the importance of having a few people that we can confide in and be real with
Brainstorm who they might be
Discuss other ways of getting out our powerful feelings so that they do not build up and cause us or others pain
Worry Box or Jar
Decorate a worry box
To do: During the next week, practice deliberately talking to others about concerns, fears, hurts, etc. (especially if this is a little hard to do). Also, use the worry box to “get out” emotional stuff that may cause anxiety or stress.
Check in regarding how the previous week went , especially in regard to sharing feelings with others and using the worry box.
Explain that today we will be talking about how our thoughts have a lot to do with our anxiety and stress levels.
Obsessive thinking (give examples)
Negative self-talk (give examples)
Discuss - how might these behaviors cause us anxiety?
Provide basic information on CBT -
Negative messages vs. Truth
How to challenge and crush negative messages
How to replace them with positive/realistic messages
May be helpful to give a friend or family member permission to help you identify when you are operating as if you are listening to negative messages
Discuss Coping Statements for Anxiety handout
Keep it Positive Worksheet
Have members write 3 encouraging statements to him/herself on an index card to carry with them during the next week.
To do: During the next week, practice using positive messages to replace negative ones. Ask a friend or family member to help you do this.
Check in regarding how the previous week went, especially in regard to using positive messages to replace negative ones.
Explain that today we will be talking about what we have learned in our group meetings and how we might apply these coping strategies to current or future situations
Read a few scenarios that involve anxiety or stress and discuss productive ways to handle them; ask group members to think of other scenarios and possible ways to handle them
Explain the importance of self-care and ideas for how to practice it
Complete Self-care Plan
Activity - Each member will decorate an envelope and group members will write an encouraging note to place in each person’s envelope. Discuss possible ways that encouragement of members might continue beyond this last session - social media, texts, etc.
Post-test on google
Process Data (Number of students affected): 9 students
5 sessions of 45 minutes each
Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used): Multiple choice responses:
Times feeling anxious/stressed per day:
6 of 9 students indicated decrease in # of times anxious per day - 66% decrease
Number of days missed from school from anxiety:
2 students decreased # of days missed - increased attendance by 22%
Likert scale average responses:
Ability to manage anxiety:
Pre: 3 Post: 3.2
In the past month, anxiety affected focusing:
Pre: 3.5 Post: 3.2
Identify the different types and causes of anxiety/stress
Pre: 3.5 Post: 4.4
Defining mindfulness & how to practice:
Pre: 3.2 Post: 4.3
Identify 5 productive strategies for dealing with powerful negative feelings:
Pre: 3 Post: 4.8
Understanding thoughts affecting stress/anxiety:
Pre: 4.1 Post: 5.2
Identify at least 6 coping strategies for anxiety/stress:
Pre: 3.2 Post: 4.5
Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data): Attendance-
Student absences related to anxiety will decrease
When comparing attendance for the month before group was held (March) and the month during group being held (April), 5 of 9 students decreased the number of days they were absent (55.5%). During May, the month after group was held, 3 of 9 (33.3%) members maintained the improved attendance.
Implications: The data revealed that improvement was made in 100% of survey questions by comparing pre and post test responses.
Attendance was improved for 5 of 9 students (55.5%), when comparing attendance for the month before group was held (March) and the month during group being held (April). During May, the month after group was held, 3 of 9 (33.3%) members maintained the improved attendance. Attendance was analyzed using attendance data, which differed from the self-reported data from the pre & post test where only 2 students identified decreasing the number of missed days from school.
An email was sent to teachers and staff asking for referrals of students they believed would benefit from an anxiety/stress management group. 34 students were referred and the counselors met with each student individually to discuss the possibility of attending group. From the 34 referrals, 9 students returned signed permission forms from their parent/guardian(s).
The counseling team is satisfied with the perception data collected due to 100% participation and identified improvement in all areas.
Behavior B-SMS 7 was targeted and improved by 41% based off perception data where participants identified at least 6 coping strategies for anxiety/stress. Students self-reported a 7% increase in ability to manage anxiety, which directly impacts M1: a healthy balance of social/emotional well-being.
In the future, more follow up regarding permission form status would be beneficial to increase the number of students able to participate in the group. Also, opening up participation to student self-referral, as well, by completing a needs assessment with students interested in participating, would help increase the number of students eligible to participate.