Collecting Longitudinal Data in School Counseling

In March I went to the Evidence Based School Counseling Conference in Kentucky. I was lucky enough to go to a sectional that talked about keeping longitudinal student data in binders. I really like this way to collect data and I imagine that I will use these binders when I am a school counselor. Each grade level has it’s own binder. It’s up to you what information you put in the binder, but, the presenters say they put this in each of the binders:

  • Calender (Yearly & Monthly)
  • Grade Meeting Minutes
  • Tier 1-Classroom Lesson Plans
  • Tier 2-Small Group Lesson Plans
  • Tier 3-Individual Counseling Materials
  • Student Information Sheet
    • One sheet per student, includes information about student (name, who student lives with, special education, groups they’ve been in, interventions that have been used with them, and additional comments.

If you were to use these grade level binders in your counseling program you could adjust the sections for whatever you thought were helpful. Personally, I like that each grade has a binder where I could put small groups and classroom lesson plans that I use with that grade. In addition, I think it would be helpful to have a sheet for each student where I could keep track of interventions used (successful or not) with certain students.This way I would be able to pass the information along to the middle school so they know what has worked in the past to help certain students. I wouldn’t keep individual counseling notes or any confidential information on the sheets that I pass onto the middle school.

I know that there has been a push to storing information electronically and I’m sure there would be a way to keep this information online if you wanted. Personally though I appreciate having physical copies of my groups and classroom lessons plans as well as the student information sheets that I will pass on to the middle school.

Eagle Speaks

Eagle speaks is a data driven program that was developed to help students connect to adults within the school. A survey was given to students asking if they have an adult they trust to talk to with a personal problem. The students that answered “no” on the survey were put into the Eagle Speaks program.

The students in this program were assigned a staff member in the school to check in with on a daily basis for 8 weeks. Every morning during the announcements, the students went to their adult buddy and they talked for a few minutes to build a connection.

The second part to this program was the raffle. The students were given a raffle ticket each time they checked in with their adult. The students dropped off their raffle tickets in guidance (prizes were awarded each week.)

This program was a huge success! The students were surveyed at the end of the program to see if they had an adult they could trust to talk to with a personal problem, if students still did not have someone to talk to, they were put in individual counseling with the school counselor.

I can’t wait to expand this program in a school that I work in.

Red Ribbon Week

At the middle school where I am interning my co-intern and I created activities for Red Ribbon Week. Every day during Red Ribbon Week we had announcements and we said what the dress up day was and also a fact about Red Ribbon Week. Here were the announcements:

Friday 2/20 Next week, starting Monday, will be Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon week is where students at Shattuck Middle School pledge to be drug free. Next week, we will be having activities, contests and dress up days to celebrate being drug free! On Monday, we are going to team up against drugs, so wear your favorite team apparel! All throughout the week the class who has the highest percentage of students who participate in dress up days will win a prize!
Monday 2/23Today is the first day of Red Ribbon week where we pledge to be drug free. Thank you to everyone who dressed up today! Tomorrow, we are remembering to “Lei (spelled L-E-
I) off drugs by wearing Hawaiian apparel.” Did you know that 92% of Shattuck Middle School students have not tried marijuana?
Tuesday 2/24Our future is so bright we don’t need drugs, so tomorrow wear neon to show your school
support! Did you know that 97% of 7th graders and 8th graders have not taken a prescription drug to get high?
Wednesday 2/25 Did you know that 95% of Shattuck middle school students have not smoked a cigarette in the last month and 91% have not taken a drink of alcohol? That’s great because cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer and alcohol can do serious and permanent harm to your liver. Tomorrow’s theme is “Neenah Rockets for a drug free America.” Please represent with
your Rocket wear or red and white colors so we can continue to celebrate being drug
Thursday 2/26 Today is the final day for Red Ribbon week and did you know that 92% of Neenah middle school students have never used an inhalant to get high? Inhalants can be damaging to brain cells and do permanent harm even after only one use!Thank you for making Red Ribbon week such a success with all of your school spirit. Please continue to commit to being drug free to complete your path to mental wellness!

We also had a homeroom activity where students had to complete a quiz about drug use in middle school. As a class, students had to answer questions on the quiz. There were multiple choice questions that asked students to guess the percentage of students in their middle school who haven’t tried smoking, drinking, prescription drugs, etc). These were great discussion questions because students often thought that everyone in the school was using drugs or drinking alcohol. There were also two short answer questions for students to practice refusal skills.

In the homeroom, students colored iPods and wrote something they enjoy doing on it. The iPods were hung on the wall with a banner that says “iTune out drugs and choose this instead.”

ituneRed Ribbon Week was very successful and it was fun planning all of the activities for the students to do. We had a raffle for the students who participated in the dress up days and we were able to give out prizes.

Service Learning in Malaysia

I had the great opportunity to travel to Malaysia with 10 other counseling students over winter break. We went on cultural experiences and the best part was that we were able to work with refugee children and teenagers. In Malaysia, refugee children are not able to go to the public schools. There are organizations that help these children and keep them off the street. We had the opportunity to serve at a children’s center in the morning and in a teen center in the afternoon. It was a great experience and I will remember the children forever! It is amazing how much you can learn from someone without speaking the same language. We taught the kids games, they taught us games it really was a meaningful experience.

When I reflect back on my trip and the kids I met, I am constantly grateful for the things I used to take for granted. I never once had to think twice about going to public school and this is something that these children are unable to have. I am very grateful to have this experience and I know I will be back in Malaysia someday soon!

ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for student

ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success*

*From ASCA

  • The 35 mindsets and behaviors describe knowledge, skills and attitudes for students to achieve success in college and career readiness.
  • They are aligned with specific standards from Common Core
  • Can be used to access student growth and help counselors plan activities
  • ASCA Mindsets

Mindset Standards:

  • Psychosocial attitudes or beliefs students have about themselves that relate to academic work.
  • Examples of Mindsets:
    • Self-confidence in ability to succeed
    • Sense of belonging in the school environment
    • Positive attitude toward work and learning

Continue reading

3rd Grade Family Change Small Group

I am beginning to facilitate a small group for students who have gone through a family change and don’t have a mom and dad living in the same house. I leave the group open to children who have divorced parents, single mom, parents never married, one parent in jail or other unique situation. I included my outline of sessions to be delivered as well as the pre and post test that I use.

Purpose/Goal of the Group: Students will learn that they are not the only ones with a unique family situation. Students will also learn healthy ways to cope with the family change while increasing his or her self-image.

Participants: Participants were identified by the results of a survey. To participate in the group, parents had to sign a permission form.

 Time and Length of Group: Ten 3rd grade students will meet on Thursday’s at Lunch (11:55-12:35) for five weeks. Continue reading

EZ Analyze

EZ Analyze is a free tool that school counselors can use to keep track of and disaggregate time spent by school counselors. EZ Analyze allows school counselors to generate reports on the time spent with students individually, in groups or summarizing a school counselor’s time in general. The time tracker uses a complex excel document to help school counselors keep track of their time. The time tracker is downloadable for free from: http://www.ezanalyze.com/tracktime/. The time tracker allows you to put in students names and notes to allow the school counselor to keep track of time spent with him or her.

The time tracker is aligned with ASCA standards which allow the school counselor to see where his or her time is being spent. The time can be broken up into direct student services (individual student planning, responsive services, and school guidance curriculum) or indirect student services (parent contacts, meetings, collaboration, “fair-share responsibilities”, and curriculum development). By categorizing time spent in different areas, EZ Analyze can generate graphs that break down the amount of time spent in direct and indirect student services. Here is a picture of the front page of EZ Analyze:

EZAnalyze

You can see that you are able to track time with students (both individual and group sessions). You are also able to track how you spend your time during the day. It is also possible to formulate a variety of reports and graphs that quickly allow a school counselor to see how his or her time is being spent.

studentTracking

This is what you see when you put in an individual or group in order to track the time spent. The reasons are aligned with ASCA (Individual student planning, responsive services and school guidance curriculum).

EZ Analyze is completely free tool that can help school counselors in a variety of ways. It is very user friendly and can be saved on a flash drive in order to keep students’ information private.