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.

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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.

Creating Pre/Post Tests in School Counseling

I recently got the textbook, The Use of Data in School Counseling by Trish Hatch. Chapter 7 is all about creating pre/post tests. Hatch (2014) uses the A-S-K method to measure how much students are learning.

A=Attitude Questions- Attitude questions measure student opinions and beliefs. Many of these questions use a Likert Scale. Examples of attitude questions:

  • I believe watching fights is a lot of fun. Strongly agree…strongly disagree
  • Compared to high school classes, I think college classes will be.. A lot harder…a lot easier
  • I believe kids who report bullying are snitches. strongly agree….strongly disagree

S=Skills- Creating skills questions is more difficult than creating knowledge and attitude questions. When measuring skills the respondent may be asked to answer a “What would you do scenario?” Other ways to answer skills questions are role play, complete a job application, locate a missing part to a planner, or write a goal. A knowledge question may be “what is the GPA required to move on” while a skills question may be to figure out the GPA when given a set of grades. Examples of skills questions are: Continue reading