Our school counseling core curriculum results report enables us to demonstrate program effectiveness while also identifying areas for program improvement. Specifically, the data from our school core curriculum results report will help us decide which lessons we should continue, adjust or discontinue and thereby help us deliver lessons more effectively. All three lessons addressed our behavior program goal.
71 second grade students participated in the “Handling Making Mistakes” lesson. This lesson taught students how to calm down after making a mistake by using positive self-talk and belly breathing. Perception data results showed gains in all five questions with the highest gain (5.8%) in question two “I can demonstrate deep belly breathing.” We believe this skill will help students to better manage their emotions before it escalates. The outcome data (for all three lessons) revealed an 11% decrease in the number of verified physical offenses in the 4th quarter.
77 fifth grade students participated in the “Handling Put-Downs” lesson. This lesson taught students to identify and learn strategies for handling put-downs. Perception data results showed gains in all six questions with the highest gain (90.6%) in question two “I can demonstrate the Calming-Down Steps.” We believe this skill will help students to manage their emotions more effectively when dealing with any type of put-downs or upsetting situations.
80 sixth grade students participated in the “Problem-Solving” lesson. This lesson was part of a two day lesson which taught students to analyze a problem, generate multiple options for solving a problem, and picking the best option. Perception data results showed gains in all five questions with the highest gain (138.4%) in question five “I know what ethical means.” Most students didn’t know what “ethical” meant prior to the lesson.
Perception data results showed gains in all three lessons (sometimes very high gains). We plan to use these lessons again due to students’ increase in understanding of the key concepts taught in the lessons. We will also review perception data results from our core curriculum results report to identify gaps in learning. Once identified, these gaps will be matched to the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors which will serve as a basis for selecting the curriculum from which lessons will be taught. Although the perception data gains were good, next year, we are going to try and teach lessons consistently in the beginning of the week so that skills can be reinforced throughout the week. For example, some second grade classes covered their lesson weeks before others.
We noticed after comparing the process data from our action plan with our results data, there were students who were absent from each grade level when the lessons were taught. Next year, we will track attendance more closely and consider putting students in small groups to teach them the material they had missed. We will continue to monitor incoming grade level discipline referrals to see if we need to reteach skills from the lessons. Students who receive two or more referrals for physical contact will be given a Tier 2 intervention such as check in/check out or small group. We will continue to collaborate with our teachers by collecting and sharing data to determine the effectiveness of the lessons.
The data from our core curriculum results report will also help us to collect data more accurately. To accomplish this, we will need to reword questions so that our students understand what they are being asked. Using “I know,” “I believe” and “I can” questions are sometimes confusing to our students as that is not the verbiage they use when speaking to others. There may be an element of cultural bias involved as the majority of students we serve are part Hawaiian and are not well versed in standard English. If students do not understand the pre/post survey questions we will verbally rephrase it. For example, one of the grade 2 survey questions says “After I make a mistake, I can manage my emotions.” If students ask for clarification, we will rephrase it by saying “After I make a mistake, I will not get mad.”
Although our outcome data results revealed an 11% decrease in verified physical contact instead of 15% as stated in our goal, we were pleasantly surprised to see the percentage decrease was close to what we had anticipated. We believe, in addition to the lessons being taught, the decrease can be attributed to the fact that teachers took more ownership of handling classroom situations instead of referring students immediately to the office.