We found small group counseling to be an effective intervention to support our vision, mission and ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. The School Counseling Department utilized data such as the achievement, attendance, and behavioral data as well as input from teachers, parents, students, and administrators to identify the needs of students who may need additional support to be successful in the school environment. The School Counseling Department also created a staff and students needs assessment to provide additional support for targeted groups. After analyzing the data we received, we decided on which topics would provide support to our annual school counseling goals. Each of the topics implemented was clearly selected to target areas to decrease student retentions, attendance, and discipline. The School Counseling Department utilized the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors to drive the content and skills would like for each group member to possess at the conclusion of each lesson. For example, our goal to reduce the number of students retained by 40% was targeted by providing an intervention group that addressed study habits, organizational skills, and goal planning. The School Counseling Department incorporated lessons that focused on social-emotional learning, character building, and empathy which aligns to our targeted ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. The action plan was developed to address the developmental needs of students by analyzing the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors. The counseling team collaboratively discussed with stakeholders the age-appropriate skills for each grade level. Furthermore, to support our discipline and attendance goals, we delivered small group interventions for students who received 15 or more absences during the previous school year and to students who received more than 3 major referrals. These small groups encompassed goal setting, time- management, restorative practices, academic planning, and social-emotional learning.
The School Counseling Department incorporated the ASCA Mindsets when establishing the perceptions and outcome data. The Counselors found it essential to ensure that the mindset reflected the knowledge and skills of each group member. Ms. Harris facilitated a small group of whose focus was to reduce the number of students retained as well as reduced the number of students who failed one or more courses in ELA or Math. Ms. Harris was able to utilize the information given to her at her School Counselor Kick-off. She provided five group lessons on goal setting, overcoming barriers, time-management skills, and organization, accountability partners and developing good study habits. The small group consisted of 3 small groups. Group One targeted 7 students, group two targeted 6 students and group 3 targeted 8 students. The lessons ranged from September 2017- November 2017 with a group or individual follow-up as needed throughout the year. The results were reported after summer school had concluded and it indicated that we were close to meeting our goal to reduce the number of students retained by 40% from 8 students to 3 students. The results reported that there was a reduction of four students during the 2017-2018 school year and therefore we will repeat this group for next year with some revisions. Analyzing the results report allowed for the counseling team to take a closer look at the importance of the ASCA Mindset and Behavior indicator B-LS 3, the use of time management, organizational and study skills in the way we deliver our small group and core curriculum to provide students with the necessary skills to be successful as an earlier intervention. Some of the recommendations for next year will include adding another social-emotional lesson to the curriculum to deepen the understanding of different experiences that may cause students to not be successful in school and additional collaboration with parents.