The CVHS core curriculum directly supports the CVHS counseling mission, vision and goals, and is aligned with the ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors. The three lessons chosen for a thorough review were: 9th grade Stress Reduction, 10th grade SOS, and 12th grade Financial Aid. The review was used to determine effective delivery of lessons, accurate collection of data, targeted ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors, effectiveness of core curriculum lessons and implications for improvement. Perception and outcome data was analyzed and implications were shared with the CVHS Leadership Team and the SCAC. The school counselors led the delivery of lessons to approximately 18 classroom periods per grade, averaging around 500 students per grade level.
(REVISED) The 9th grade lesson focused on teaching students healthy ways to cope with stress, thus directly or indirectly having a positive effect on both GPA and school attendance rates. Outcome data revealed an increase in 9th grade collective GPA, from a 3.44 (first semester), to a 3.5(second semester). In addition, 9th grade students maintained a 96.6% attendance rate. While perception data revealed 22% of students felt more confident in their ability to manage stress following the lesson and 92% of students understood that managing stress is important for their overall health, supporting our targeted mindset and behaviors (see implications section), we noticed inconsistencies in the pre-post survey design that limited our ability to fully measure the effectiveness of the lesson. For example, we were surprised to see a 7% increase in students who identified avoidance of schoolwork and feelings (9.2) as a positive coping strategy. This led us to wonder whether the students didn’t understand the question or if the school counselor did not properly teach the concepts. We also realized that the survey failed to measure the degree to which students acquired effective coping skills for stress. To modify the lesson, we plan to provide students with a worksheet where they can identify at least 3 positive coping skills to use when dealing with stress. We will also review the surveys and lessons to ensure that they better measure the degree to which students are acquiring the mindset and behaviors selected for the lesson.
(REVISED) The 10th grade lesson focused on teaching students the signs of suicide and depression and ways to seek help to prevent low academic achievement and absence from school. Outcome data indicated that students collectively raised their GPA from a 3.44 (first semester) to a 3.53 (second semester) and attendance rates of 10th grade students maintained at 96.1%. There was a significant change in student help-seeking behavior as a direct result of the lesson, as 42 of 510 (8%) of sophomore students requested to speak to a school counselor about depression and suicide, allowing for immediate assistance and parent involvement. Perception data indicated students gained knowledge and had a change of perception (9.5) in all but one area surveyed (See implications). The SOS lesson is a district mandate for 10th grade students. It has proven to be an effective screening tool for at-risk students and it supports our chosen Mindset, M 1. Student feedback indicated the lesson video is outdated and needs to be replaced. Updates to the lesson materials, which reflect current high school students’ life experiences need to be added for next year, as do current information and statistics on teen depression and suicide.
(REVISED) The goal of the 12th grade lesson was to increase student FAFSA submission rates by 10%, thus reducing the financial barrier to attend college. The initial FAFSA lesson was given in September 2017 with another follow up lesson in February 2018. After the first lesson, students indicated greater knowledge and a change of perception in all areas relating to college financial aid. (9.8) The California Student Aid Commission Race to Submit data indicated that CVHS surpassed the goal of increasing the FAFSA submission rate by 10% and were the highest in CUSD, as well as higher than all schools in the two neighboring districts. However, there is still a gap between the students who reported they wanted to attend college (86.9%) and students who submitted a FAFSA application (63%). We also saw a gap between the percentage of students submitting a FAFSA and the percentage of students completing the FAFSA. Next year our goal will focus on completion rates instead of submission rates. Additionally, next year CUSD will implement the new California Assembly bill No. 2015 requiring all California high schools to instruct students, through classroom lessons, how to properly complete a FAFSA.