In order to provide equal access and equitable program to all students, the counseling department relies on lessons to ensure all students are receiving information that will aid in their academic and social/emotional success. While Loudoun County Public Schools tasks each specific grade level to teach a specific lesson each year, the TMS counseling department expanded on this to ensure we addressed all academic, behavior, and attendance concerns within our school.
Discipline data and perception data provided by students drove the counseling department to implement school wide lessons that addressed conflict management and bullying. Data from the previous school year indicated that referrals were high, specifically in bullying. In the 2016-17 year, our school saw 11 referrals related to bullying.
Collaborating with grade level teachers, lessons on conflict management and bullying (ASCA Mindset M1, and ASCA Behaviors B-SMS7, B-SMS9, B-SS2, B-SS3, and B-SS5) were presented school wide, with 6th grade getting additional lessons on bullying. While we did see a significant drop in bullying referrals (1 bullying referral for the 2017-18 year), our overall referral data remained consistent. Our referrals from Q1 to Q4 for 7th (42->39) and 8th (43->39) dropped slightly, our 6th grade (27->56) referrals increased from Q1 to Q4. In order to further lower discipline referrals next year, the counseling department will do more individual work with students who are receive multiple referrals, as well as continue with whole school lessons.
Our school uses MAP data, as well as SOL data to help our teachers recognize gaps in student learning and tailor lessons to meet all students needs. The school counseling team sought to pinpoint what barriers might affect students academic achievement regarding English and Math. Data from our post assessment given to student at the end of the 2016-17 year indicated that students struggled with confidence in their academic ability, thinking positively when faced with difficulties, advocating for themselves, as well as managing stress. This data, coupled with MAP and SOL scores, drove the counseling department to address these needs through whole school lessons. Tying this in with our school improvement plan, counselors looked at outcome data specific to our English Language Learner (6th: 34 students, 7th: 23 student, 8th: 20 students) and Special Education (6th: 53 students, 7th: 55 students, 8th: 34 students) population across grade levels.
Data showed that not only did students indicate that they felt more confident in their abilities academically and were able to better bounce back when things go wrong, students also increased their skills and understanding regarding English and Math. Both perception and outcome data support the counseling departments continuation of these lessons.
To further increase student academic achievement, counselors collaborated with FACS teachers to present career lessons (ASCA Mindset M1,4 and Behaviors B-LS1, 4, 5, 7, B-SMS3, B -SS1, 5, 8, 9) to all 7th grade students. They were presented over two days with two career development units. Students learned about Holland’s Typology and how his/her own skills and interests can assist the student in identifying a job where their interests and talents can be most found. The goal was to expose students to career options and post-secondary/training that would be needed to achieve their identified career. Outcome data indicated that students academic achievement increased after receiving lessons that addressed their future. Of the 78 students tracked, 44.6% (35) of students increased grade between ½ a letter grade up to 2 letter grades, 27.7% (21) of students earned the same grade in both classes (no change in grade), 22.9% (17) of students lowered grades from ½ a letter grade up to 3 letter grades difference, and less than 5% (5) of students didn’t take both classes.
Based on the data for the graduating class of 2022, this cohort had twenty sexual harassment referrals during the 2016-17 school year. During the 2017-18 school year, this cohort received the sexual harassment lessons (ASCA Mindset and Behaviors; M-1, B-SMS 1/2/7/9/10 and B-SS 2/4/5/8/9). As a result of the lessons, data shows there were three referrals, post training, which is a 64% reduction from the previous school year.
Based on this significant drop in behaviors we can have determined that we will provide this presentation to 7th grade rather than waiting until 8th grade. We will revisit aspects of the presentation in our transition to high school presentation completed in May of 8th grade to serve as a reminder.