We selected three core curriculum lessons to determine the effectiveness of our program. These lessons, comprehensive in scope and developmentally appropriate for students in grades 8 and 9, were chosen due to their relationship to our core curriculum goal, ASCA mindsets and behaviors, as well as our vision and mission. Multiple data sources, including perception, process and outcome data, were used in order to not only determine the effectiveness of these lessons, but also to make decisions about future programming including improvements needed in areas such as delivery, content and data collection. Although our core curriculum goal and reported lesson plans are for 9th grade, our core curriculum is also delivered to all 8th grade students. Because our curriculum goal is focused on credits earned, we are reporting out our results for 3 exemplary lessons from the 9th grade curriculum.
Process data was collected for each lesson. On average, 425 students participated in the three lessons. All 3 lessons were delivered through 9th grade core classrooms during 55 minute sessions. We work closely with teachers who provide us the opportunity to use their classes to deliver each lesson. The support we receive from our staff is a huge factor in our success as a program. After each group session for lesson #3, we then met with each student individually for 2-7 minutes, depending on the need of each student, to review their 4 year plan and answer any specific questions or have a more individual discussion about graduation requirements, academic options and their post-secondary goal. Our process data, attendance for each lesson, revealed that 98% of ninth grade students partook in the three lessons.
Perception data was also collected for each lesson. Lesson #1 resulted in a 66% average increase in knowledge, attitudes and skills as measured by the pre/post survey administered to students. Lesson #2 also resulted in an increase of knowledge, attitude and skills with a 26% average increase. For lesson #3 we utilized the 4 year plans completed by 9th grade students as a survey tool for data collection and compared them to the plan they completed in 8th grade (2016/2017 school year) to see the growth in their knowledge and skills related to this lesson. The following conclusions were deemed from analysis of the 4 year plan: 64% of students indicated that they have a career goal for the future compared to 22%; 76% of students identified a post secondary plan compared to 65%; and 91% of students selected a sequence of courses leading towards their postsecondary and career goal compared to 22%.
School wide data was used to determine the impact the lessons had on student achievement as evidenced by outcome data. When compared to the 2016-2017 school year, the number of students deficient in credit decreased. At the end of the 2017/2018 school year, 33 (433 total) students were deficient in credit after 9th grade, decreasing from 34 (413 total) students during the 2016/2017 school year. We also analyzed behavior data by looking at office discipline referrals for this year and last. We noticed a decrease in ODRs in November and December which was directly after our lesson on healthy relationships. We feel this lesson allowed students more awareness in how to effectively communicate resulting in less conflict.
Although results show our core curriculum has made a positive impact on students and their academic achievement, we do feel our data has given us information on areas which we can also improve our program. Due to the large number of students needing to be reached, while also keeping the planning and activities individualized, we had made adjustments from the 16-17 school year to include the 2-7 minute individual meetings for the 4 year planning. We found this to be very beneficial in making sure students were given the necessary time to complete a well thought out plan aligned with graduation requirements, career interest and goals. We also believe we could utilize our career exploration program to a deeper level by incorporating some of the career exploration the students completed at Brownstown Middle School the years prior, better aligning the mindsets and behaviors from 7th to 8th grade. In continuing each lesson, we do, however, believe we should make some changes with data collection and analysis, especially in regards to perception data. We will plan to include more direct questioning, including questions regarding credits earned and knowledge of the number of credits needed to graduate, and graduation requirements.