Using Your School Counselor to Impact Student Achievement. Gail M. Smith and Dr. Julie Hartline Georgia School Counselors Association

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1 Using Your School Counselor to Impact Student Achievement Gail M. Smith and Dr. Julie Hartline Georgia School Counselors Association

2 Yesterday s Services vs. Today s Program Guidance Counselor Reactive Services provided to a few students Impact measured via feelings and perception Ancillary role to school improvement process School counselors in isolation GSCA Advocacy Committee (2010) Professional School Counselor Proactive/Data-driven Services Provided to ALL students Impact measured via achievement data Essential role in the school improvement process School counselors as school leaders

3 School Counselor Training Master s level preparation in school counseling Career awareness and development Group and individual counseling Delivery of classroom guidance curriculum Legal and ethical standards Multi-cultural counseling Methods of research in education Assessment interpretation Data-based decision making Collaboration, Advocacy, and Leadership Completion of practicum and internship in school settings Hartline, J. & Smith, G. (2012)

4 School counselors are uniquely qualified to address the academic, career, and personal/social developmental needs of students from Pre-K to 12 th grade. Academic: Study skills, time management, test-taking skills, organizational skills, learning styles, etc. Career: Awareness, Exploration, Development, College and Workforce Readiness, etc. Personal/Social (Soft skills): Working in groups, following rules, goal-setting, work ethic, decision-making skills, etc. Hartline, J. & Smith, G. (2012)

5 How school counselors address student needs within comprehensive programs Direct Services to Students (Face to Face Interactions with Students) Indirect Services for Students (Communications on behalf of students) School Counseling Core Curriculum Individual Student Planning Responsive Services Referrals, Consultation and Collaboration Provides developmental curriculum content in a systematic way to all students Assists students in the development of educational, career and personal plans Addresses the immediate concerns of students Interacts with others to provide support for student achievement Recommended 80% or more Program Planning and School Support Foundation, management and accountability of the program and school support Includes planning and evaluating the school counseling program and school support activities 20% or less ASCA. (2012)

6 Equity and Access for ALL Students Delivery of Core Curriculum Specialized Interventions Individual Support Small Group & Closing the Gap Delivery of Responsive Services Delivery of Individual Student Planning Curriculum (Classroom Lessons/Advisement) Gail M. Smith (2009) School Improvement

7 Core Curriculum Standards based Academic Achievement Career Exploration Personal/Social Growth Developmentally appropriate for Pre K-12 Tied to the school improvement plan Can be cross-walked with teacher standards Delivered through Classroom Guidance Lessons Group Activities GSCA Advocacy Committee (2010)

8 Individual Student Planning Ongoing systemic activities to assist students individually in establishing personal goals and developing future plans Examples: Advisement Annual Parent Conferences Portfolios GSCA Advocacy Committee (2010)

9 Responsive Services Activities to meet students immediate needs: Individual Counseling Small Group Counseling Crisis Intervention Agency Referrals Consultation Peer Facilitation GSCA Advocacy Committee (2010)

10 What is the reality for Georgia s students? Use of Counselors in the Absence of a Comprehensive Program Guidance Curriculum Intentional Guidance Individual Support Julie Hartline (2011) Specialized Interventions Responding to the needs of a few

11 Outcomes for students within comprehensive school counseling programs More likely to Stay in school Apply to college Enter the workforce with the necessary skills to succeed Less likely to Drop out Fail Misbehave Hartline, J. & Smith, G. (2012)

12 Georgia s school counselors are ready Since 2004, 84 Georgia school counseling programs have received national recognition from the American School Counselor Association for being exemplary programs, which represents 17% of the schools recognized in the nation. Since 2008, Georgia has had seven top 10 finalists and two National School Counselors of the Year. Hartline, J. & Smith, G. (2012)

13 Georgia s Funding and Ratios Elementary Middle High 2013 (School Counselors earned based on FTE excluding SWD, ESOL, Remedial, and Gifted segments.) 2014 (School Counselors earned based on FTE excluding SWD, ESOL, Remedial, and Gifted segments.) (School Counselors earned based on FTE excluding Remedial and Gifted segments.) 450 (Includes SWD & ESOL) 450 (Includes SWD & ESOL) 450 (Includes SWD & ESOL) 2016 (School Counselors earned based on FTE for ALL populations.) 450 (Includes ALL students) 450 (Includes ALL students) 450 (Includes ALL students) RECOMMENDED BY EDUCATION FINANCE COMMISSION AND MANDATED BY HB283 Hartline, J. & Smith, G. (2013)

14 Georgia s Support for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs HB 1187 (A+ Reform Act) State Board Rule Georgia Code HB 283 (Title 20 Clean-up Act) Senate Resolution 617 House Resolution 552 Hartline, J. & Smith, G. (2013)

15 Why would your school want a comprehensive school counseling program? Increased Student Achievement Reduced Discipline Referrals Improved Attendance Higher Graduation Rates Lower Retention Rates GSCA Advocacy Committee (2010)

16 School Counseling Program Data Collection Process (Numbers Impacted) Perception (Pre/Post & Surveys) Outcomes (Achievement, Attendance, or Behavior) ASCA (2012)

17 Examples of Perception Data What do students think they know, believe or can do? 100% of eighth-graders can identify three career interests 89% of students demonstrate knowledge of promotion/ retention criteria 92% can identify early warning signs of violence 93 % of fourth-graders believe fighting is not an appropriate method of solving problems 69 % of all students report feeling safe at school ASCA (2012)

18 Examples of Outcome Data - THE ULTIMATE GOAL Achievement Attendance Behavioral Promotion rate increased from 88 to 94% Attendance increased from 91 to 95% Discipline referrals decreased by 30% ASCA (2012)

19 Setting School Counseling 1. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Time Bound) 2. Reflect school data 3. Align with SSP Program Goals Example: By the end of the year, the number of discipline referrals will decrease by 20%. ASCA (2012)

20 90% of the failing seniors who attend a conference in the spring of will pass all required classes. 92 students (84%) implemented the intervention plan designed at the conference. 88 students (81%) believed the conference helped them to pass. 95 students (87%) would recommend having a conference for to others Total 93 85% 25 Total 5 6% Total 10 9% Passed Failed Passed & Failed 108 Conferences P/T/S T/S P/S S P P/T CHS School Counseling Program ( )

21 80% of the students in the Why Try Groups will be on track to graduate in 4 years by the end of the year 9 students (100%) were able to identify barriers to learning 8 students (89%) indicated their behavior or performance changed because of the group. 9 students (100%) would recommend participation in a Why Try Group for their peers Passing Passing Passing Passing 1 All nine students were promoted to senior status and were on-track to graduate at the end of the year. 9 Weeks 1st Semester 2nd Semester CHS School Counseling Program ( )

22 99% of the first time freshmen will have a 4 year plan and be informed about graduation requirements. 9 (2%) Four Year Plan Outcomes Completed Plan Incomplete Plan 517(98%) CHS School Counseling Program ( )

23 Number of Freshman Mediations Decrease freshman discipline referrals related to conflict by 50% for the year Pre/Post Surveys for Conflict Resolution, I-Messages, & Problem Solving Lessons Freshmen Use of Peer Mediation from 2007 to % Increase 33% Increase Intervention implemented 20 70% Increase 34 38% Increase Year 50 6% Increase 23 59% Decrease CHS School Counseling Program ( )

24 Decrease freshman discipline referrals related to conflict by 50% for the year Discipline Referrals related to Conflict for Freshmen from 2007 to 2011 Verbal altercation Fighting Harrass-ment Profanity at student Aggression Threat/ Intimidation Overall 466% increase from 2010 to CHS School Counseling Program ( )

25 What can you expect from the 21 st century professional school counselor in a comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program? Julie Hartline & Gail M. Smith (2011)

26 ADVOCACY LEADERSHIP COLLABORATION SYSTEMIC CHANGE GSCA Advocacy Committee (2010)

27 Campbell Career Center Usage Full Implementation of Comprehensive Program CHS School Counseling Program ( )

28 CHS School Counseling Program (2011)

29 Instructional Leaders are Essential to the Success of Comprehensive School Counseling Programs Without you, school counselors may strive, but they will not thrive. ASCA (2005)

30 Questions

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