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RAMP Application

School Information

Our school has received the RAMP designation previously and is applying to Re-Ramp: No
Have you or another counselor(s) in your school received formal, in person training or coaching on the ASCA National Model or RAMP in the past two years?:
Does your school receive funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Program?: No
School Name: Herbert A. Ammons Middle School
School Address: 17990 sw 142 avenue Miami, 33177
School District Name: Miami-Dade County
School Twitter Handle: @AmmonsMiddle
School year RAMP application represents: 2016-2017
Number of students in district: 345,000
Grade Category: m
Grade levels served at school: 6,7,8
Number of students at school: 1,045
Number of certified staff at school: 48
Number of Full-time school counselors at school: 3
Number of Part-time school counselors at school: 0
Average number of students served by each school counselor: 350
School setting: Urban
Percentage of students identified as special education students: 2.9%
Percentage of students who receive free or reduced lunch: 50.2

Percent Black: 10%
Percent Hispanic: 71%
Percent White: 14%
Percent Native American: .2%
Percent Asian: 4%
Percent Other: 1.8

Names of other school counselors at school:
Suzanne Perlman - Trust counselor, 7th grade counselor Ronda Carey - 8th grade counselor, Student Services Chairperson

Names of other personnel:


Written Portions and File Attachments

1. Vision Statement
School Counseling Program Vision Statement:
HERBERT A. AMMONS MIDDLE SCHOOL COUNSELING DEPARTMENT VISION STATEMENT

The vision of the counseling department at Herbert A. Ammons Middle School is that all of our students are active, compassionate, life-long learners who are well-equipped to reach their highest standard of success. That they are knowledgeable, resilient and caring young adults who help to create a better tomorrow and a more peaceful world.


School Counseling Program Beliefs:
Herbert A. Ammons Middle School counselors believe that:

• All students have the capacity to learn.

• All students deserve classroom environments that are safe, nurturing and offer high-quality instruction.

• Educators have an essential role in the adult outcomes of our students by providing the foundation for their growth.

• A strong education will lead students to become active, globally- aware citizens who work to make the world a better place.

• Students flourish when their individuality is taken into account in the school setting and their unique talents are encouraged and celebrated.

• All students deserve to be part of a school environment/community that fosters intercultural awareness and is culturally compassionate.

• Each and every student has worth and dignity. The school counselors advocate for all students because they all matter.

• Each student can reach their academic, social/emotional and career potential when they are given high-quality, relevant instruction, that is supported by appropriate and timely interventions.

• All students have the right to a Comprehensive School Counseling program that provides evidence-based supports that are meaningful and appropriate.

• All students have access to a school counselor who assesses barriers to academic success and leads as advocate for positive reform to support success for all students.

• It is crucial for school counselors to collaborate with all stakeholders in order to meet the needs of each and every student.

• All students can learn to advocate for themselves and to be resilient when faced with adversity.

Through the development of personal, transitional, and academic skills, fostering motivation and school engagement, and setting long and short term goals, our students can reach a higher level of efficacy and increased self-esteem.

School Vision Statement:
The vision of Herbert A. Ammons Middle School is action through Global Awareness.


District Vision Statement:
DISTRICT VISION STATEMENT FOR MIAMI-DADE PUBLIC SCHOOLS

The vision of Dade-County Public Schools is to provide a world class education for every student.


Narrative: The vision statement of a school counseling program communicates the hope that counselors have for their students and reflects what students become in the future. Underlying any vision are beliefs that influence and guide its creation. We share a strong commitment to our students that was evident when we created our program beliefs. For example, beliefs that we all agreed on include that all students have the capacity to learn, that each one of them has worth and dignity, and that every student deserves school counselors that advocate for them. It was also very important to include our belief that all students deserve access to a Comprehensive School Counseling program that includes a preventative curriculum as well as meaningful, appropriate and evidence-based supports because they all matter. One other important belief is our appreciation for a person’s uniqueness. It is our belief that students flourish when their individuality is taken into account. Part of that uniqueness is the fact that we come from different cultures. For example, our district is the largest minority public school system in the country with students from all over the world. Valuing diversity is not only important but essential to us. We believe in the value of having a school environment that fosters intercultural awareness and is culturally compassionate. We believe that a strong education is one that leads students to become active, globally- aware citizens who work to make the world a better place. We want our students to feel propelled into action to solve problems and improve conditions in the world. These beliefs influenced the creation of our vision statement.

We began the process of creating our department’s vision statement by writing and reflecting on our individual beliefs. Our counseling team continued by meeting to consolidate those beliefs into a more representative initial set of beliefs, to present to our stakeholders for input. The strong collaboration that our counseling department has with the administrative team helped in developing our vision statement. After meeting as a department, we invited our Principal, Mrs. Costa, and our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Masso, to join our meeting and ensure that their values were also represented. We met two more times as a group with the Administrative Team to collaborate in the creation of our vision statement from our newly formed program beliefs. For example, during these meeting we envisioned our hope for the future of our students. Then we discussed our IB, district and school’s vision statements. The vision of our district is simply to “provide a world class education for every student.” The vision of our school is “Action through Global Awareness.” We created a vision for our program that incorporates that of the district and the school by reflecting two ideas. The first one is the idea of proving a strong, challenging education for every student. The second is making sure that our students become active learners who put their knowledge to work to create a better future and a more peaceful world. We proceeded by gaining valuable input from our advisory council and put the final touches on our counseling department’s vision statement. For instance, during our initial meeting we discussed our common desire for all of our students to be successful. But, when we addressed the Vision Statement during our Fall School Counseling Advisory Council, our community representative asked a very important question: “How do we define success for our students?” We acknowledged that success means different things to different people. This is why we included in our counseling program’s vision statement the phrase “to reach their highest standard of success”.

The vision statement drives the school counseling program by serving as the foundation upon which everything else is built. A vision statement is a snapshot of what our students would be like 5 to 15 years into the future, as a result of our comprehensive, developmentally appropriate counseling program. Empowered by a rigorous education, armed with the skills and resilience to tackle any barriers that may come their way, and endowed with a compassionate heart, we envision all of our students reaching their fullest potential and truly making a difference in their world. The challenge then becomes what kind of program and services you need to have to make that snapshot come alive. Based on our vision, we created a mission statement that reflects how we intend to make our vision a reality and guides the creation of goals that lead to the creation of programs and services to achieve those goals.

Attached Files:
2. Mission Statement:
School Mission Statement: The mission of Herbert A. Ammons Middle School is to engage students in developing their intellectual, emotional, and social talents while promoting responsible citizenship in a global society. Engaged in a holistic approach to education, students grow in intercultural awareness, becoming compassionate, independent, life-long learners.

School Counseling Mission Statement: The mission of the Herbert A. Ammons Middle School counseling department is to support all students in reaching their intellectual, emotional and social potential, while helping them to develop into responsible world citizens and life-long learners. Through participation in a comprehensive school counseling program, all students will have equitable access to responsive as well as preventative services, curriculum, and activities that are developmentally appropriate. The program addresses barriers, and helps build the skills and resilience that each and every student needs to be successful. The school counselors at Herbert A. Ammons advocate for equity and access to a rigorous curriculum, enrichment opportunities, and fairness and respect for all students.

Narrative:
With our vision in mind, we began the process of creating a mission statement for our student services department. It was a thought-provoking endeavor for we needed to align that vision to that of our district, our school and the IB program, while successfully incorporating the needs of every child. We met first as a student services team and came forward to examine all the different mission statements in order to ensure that we created a student counseling department mission statement that integrated all the others and reflected our beliefs. For instance, the vision statement of our school is simple “Action through Global Awareness”. Based on that vision, and the fact that Ammons is a schoolwide International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet school, we needed to create a school counseling mission statement that reflected our global perspective. As an IB school, Ammons boasts a rigorous program that offers an international education and includes rigorous assessments. Our program encourages students to become active, compassionate and lifelong learners who appreciate other people’s differences. We gathered input from different stakeholders in drafting our statement. We spoke with students from each grade, teachers, parents and the administration. Finally, we presented our final draft at the first meeting of our Student Services Advisory Council and voted to approve it. We then updated our counseling brochure to include our new mission statement.

Our counseling program reflects our commitment to addressing equity, access and success for every student. An important consideration was making sure that we included the word “all” to describe the fact that our focus as school counselors is not only responsive but preventative in nature; and that we hold high expectations and address the needs all of our students. This is also in line with our district’s mission to empower “all students”. Also, it was important to include in our mission that our program advocates for “fairness and respect for all students”. A vast body of knowledge confirms that inequity reduces educational outcomes and actually lowers the health of a society. This led our counseling team to see the importance of including fairness in the program mission. Fairness and equity are not just idealistic notions that are nice to have if one can afford them. They are the elements that help a society learn and stay healthy and balanced. Respect is another important component of our mission. Respect directed towards our students dignifies and strengthens them. Additionally, children learn to respect by watching us modeling that respectful behavior. In addition, we chose to include “intellectual, emotional and social potential” because our IB program takes a holistic approach to education. We understand the fact that a focus on academics alone is a disservice to our students and does not take into account the realities of the world that we live in and the need to focus on all of the developmental aspects of each student. In addition, the social and emotional aspects of a student’s life have great impact on their academic success. We added the dimension of “helping them to develop into responsible global citizens” because of our school’s mission to help students grow in intercultural awareness” and its vision of action as a result of that global awareness. It is not enough to give students knowledge, without giving them the ability to transfer that knowledge to solve real life problems and create a better tomorrow.

We want to ensure that every student receives long term benefits from participation in our program. In order to carry out our mission, we serve our students through a comprehensive and developmentally appropriate school counseling program that provides support for our students in many different forms. Through our core curriculum lessons, including our character development Values Matter and Digital Citizenship initiatives, individual counseling, small group counseling, crisis interventions, Peer Mentor program, academic advisement, and career planning initiatives, we address the needs of all of our students and to narrow the achievement gap. Part of our mission also becomes to equip all students with the necessary coping skills to tackle barriers that might otherwise prevent them from being successful later in life, and to foster resiliency in the face of adversity. This is accomplished through our preventative curriculum that is part of our comprehensive, and developmentally appropriate school counseling program, and through mentoring and guidance. We work together with all stakeholders, including not just teachers, parents and the administration, but also community leaders by building partnerships, in order to support our students and help to achieve our vision.

Attached Files:
3. School Counseling Program Goals:

Goal 1:
Attendance goal (Goal 1) By June 8th, 2017, our attendance rate will increase by 1% from 95.74% in the 2015-2016 school year to 96.74% or more in the 2016-2017 school year. Data source: Yearly attendance rate report for South Region, Herbert A. Ammons Annual and Quarterly Attendance Reports

  • Attendance
Goal 2:
Discipline goal (Goal 2) By June 8th, 2017, the number of discipline-based referrals involving disruptive behaviors, instigative behaviors and confrontations with another student” will decrease by 15% from 24 students in the 2015-2016 school year to 20 or fewer students in the 2016-2017. Data Source: Herbert A. Ammons Student Case Management System Executive summary for school year 2015-16

  • Behavioral Issues
  • Bullying
  • Relational Aggression
Goal 3:
Achievement Goal (Goal 3) By June 2017, the number of sixth to eighth grade students receiving a 1.5 or below GPA in one or more academic classes will decrease by 25% from 49 students at the end of the 1st semester to 37 or fewer students at the end of the 2ndth semester (final grade). Data Source: Herbert A. Ammons Annual/Quarterly Grade Reports

  • Academic Achievement

Narrative:
Goals are created to achieve the mission statement of an organization.
We sat with our department’s vision and mission to do the important task of setting goals for the 2016-2017 schoolyear. We asked ourselves what areas we felt were important to address. We studied the data and decided to create one goal each in the areas of academics, attendance and behavior. We sat down as a department and deliberated on what goals can be important steps in helping us carry out our mission. Once we had some ideas down, we met with the administrative team to collaborate, gather their input, and to gain access to additional data resources in order to drive our decisions. We studied our school’s School Improvement Plan (SIP), the Early Warning System Report (EWS), and attendance information from last school year. We also studied the Gradebook reports and consulted with the Leadership Team. We presented our goals during our first meeting of the School Counseling Advisory Council and gained their input. We later presented the final goals at our November 15th faculty meeting.

Rationale

Goal 1:

A comprehensive school counseling program supports our students by involving families, schools and community in helping all children to have meaningful learning experiences. Research has shown attendance to be the largest factor influencing a student’s academic success. We looked at our data, in particular the EWS (Early Warning System Indicators Report) and noticed that we had 15 students that had accrued more than 18 absences during the 2015-2016 school year and felt that we could certainly improve. We examined our Annual Attendance Reports and the Yearly Attendance South Region Report for the school year 2015-2016 and noted an attendance rate of 95.74%, an increase of .44 % over the previous school year. We decided on doubling our efforts for the school year 2016-2017 to an increase of 1% in the attendance rate over the previous year.

Goal 2:

For our second goal we were interested in reducing the number of discipline-based referrals involving “disruptive behaviors, instigative behaviors and confrontations with another student”. The data showed that in the 2015-2016 school year we had 24 discipline based referrals involving “disruptive behaviors, instigative behaviors and confrontations with another student”. The goal became to decrease the number by 15% to 20 or less such discipline based referrals by June 8th, 2017. Discipline incidents cause disruptions in the classroom that interfere with student learning and they work to break down the warm, positive environment that fosters the development of all of our students. We did not see a decrease in referrals for disruptive classroom behaviors, however instigative behaviors and confrontations with another student were eradicated.


Goal 3:

Our third goal became also our closing the gap goal. Ammons is an all-magnet, International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program, world language school. Being an IB school, students are required to keep a 2.0 GPA in their academic classes. Any student not already on probation with a D or F on the last quarter grade of the previous year is placed on academic probation for the incoming schoolyear. In addition, students with a D or F in their progress report receive individual academic counseling and, if they fail to show progress, are placed on academic probation and closely monitored. Free weekly tutoring is made mandatory for those students. Additionally, we convene a team conference with parents, student and his/her teachers to collaborate in the creation of an educational plan for success. Finally, the student who is still struggling is placed with an 8th grade mentor in January for further support. We chose students with a GPA of 1.5 or below because those students are not meeting the IB required GPA of 2.0, which is also one of the requirements to receive the IB Certificate at the end of 8th grade. A look at the data revealed 49 students with 1.5 or below GPA in one or more academic classes at the end of the first semester. We surpassed our goal since we were able to reduce the amount of students to 33 who ended the year with a 1.5 or lower GPA in one or more classes.

Goals are important because they guide our efforts in achieving our vision, and our mission of supporting all students in reaching their potential, while helping them to develop into responsible world citizens and life-long learners through participation in a comprehensive school counseling program that addresses barriers and helps them build the skills to be successful.

Supplemental Documents:
4. ASCA Student Standards Competencies and Indicators OR ASCA Mindsets & Behaviors for Student Success:

Attached Files:
  • ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors: Program Planning Tool View | Download
Narrative:
During the spring and summer of each school year, our school counseling team meets to identify and prioritize the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes we strive to demonstrate as a result of our comprehensive, data-driven school counseling program. This year, we began this process by reviewing our current school counseling program. We asked ourselves and each other the following questions: Is there a need to revise? Are there portions of the program that can remain? Has any state legislation been passed that will have an impact on our program? Is our school counseling program producing the desired results for students? We assessed our program by utilizing our most current academic, behavior, attendance data reports, our needs assessments and feedback we received from our advisory council and other stakeholder input. During this conversation the counselors shared their insights and perspectives. For example, Ms. Dobson explained that while our school data demonstrates we are meeting or exceeding district standards in academics, attendance and behavior, students who entered our school this year as well as our prospective students for the 2016/2017 school year demonstrate lower test scores and academic grades than in the past. As a team we talked about this shift and identified the primary cause as the change in eligibility criteria for entry in our school district’s magnet programs. In a districtwide effort led by our superintendent to provide equal access and opportunity to all students, acceptance in our school and other magnet schools is now handled by the district through a “lottery”. Initial entrance requirements still exist, but those requirements are now less stringent. In other words, we are no longer allowed to accept students in our program mostly based on grades, attendance and behavior, but must provide an opportunity for all students to attend. With this in mind, we all agreed it was critical to identify and address these gaps as quickly as possible.

As our meeting proceeded, we reviewed and discussed our interpretation of the meaning and best utilization of the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors, the Florida’s School Counseling Framework, and our most current data reports (promotion, discipline, attendance and needs assessments). We used this conversation as a springboard to further define how we conceptualize our school counseling program and deliver our curriculum. At the conclusion of this conversation, we all agreed that it is our belief that during the 2016-2017 school year we must focus our efforts on promoting producing students who possess the academic, social/personal and career skills and competencies that will ensure that they are compassionate, life-long learners who are well- equipped to reach their highest potential. Our next step involved a deeper dive as we began to identify and align standards that would have the greatest impact on student needs’ at Ammons Middle. As we examined Florida’s School Counseling Framework we noticed that is adapted from the ASCA National Model and, as a result, is designed to promote and enhance student achievement. We were confident that we could crosswalk the ASCA and Florida Frameworks to select competencies. For example, after careful consideration of our school counseling program vision, mission and goals we decided that M 4 should be addressed at all grade levels via Core Curriculum lessons. At the conclusion of this meeting we had utilized the ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors planning tool to develop a rough outline to provide the focus, direction and foundation for our classroom lessons, small groups and activities.

During our July school counseling team meeting, we reviewed our vision, mission and updated program goals to make final revisions to our ASCA Mindsets and Behaviors Planning Tool and to hold a conversation regarding how they serve as the foundation for core curriculum, small groups and closing-the-gap activities. We invited our leadership team (administrators, teachers, stakeholders) to join us. Together, our plan to provide high quality instruction/ intervention matched to student needs, skills and age emerged. We identified specific M & B’s that can be addressed at all three grade levels and used these to deliver our Core Curriculum lessons. Other curriculum we felt (based on data and feedback) would be best addressed through small group targeted interventions. For example, we selected B-SMS 6 as a match for our CTG counseling sessions/activities in that our ultimate goal was to remove barriers to eradicate the gap. As a result of this yearly process, we are confident that the implementation of our school counseling program is integral to our schoolwide effort to enhance educational success for all students.

Supplemental Documents:
5. Annual Agreement:

Attached Files:Narrative:
The process of creating Annual Agreements begins with reviewing critical data collected from students, teachers and parents at the end of the previous school year. Additionally, we examine attendance, administrative referral and Early Warning Indicator reports. Early Warning Indicator reports allow us to pinpoint students with two or more warning signs, including below grade level FSA test scores, excessive absences and behavioral referrals. Informed by data, a determination is made to develop the goals and select the curriculum and services that address the needs of our students and their families, that will support our Mission and Vision, and that will have the greatest impact on student achievement. The results are discussed with the School Counseling Advisory Council who provides further insight and feedback. Once the goals are outlined, each counselor develops their curriculum based on grade level needs. Programmatic content addresses academic, personal and social needs as well as career and community awareness. Additionally, each counselor decides what professional development activities will be appropriate to inform their delivery of services. Next, the annual agreements are discussed during a counseling department meeting and presented to the Principal for approval. During our meeting with Ms. Costa, our Principal, we discussed each counselor’s use of time and our rationale for it. We focused on our three main goals and the services that would allow us to reach those goals and improve the lives of all of our students.

We discussed how a review of our data, including student needs assessments, behavior reports, use of time data and visits to the office, led to the creation of the goals for the 2016-2017 school year. These goals guided decisions about use of time.

• Our behavior goal seeks to curve instigative behavior. Our use of time is spent on services and activities that address instigative behavior and bullying; and work to maintain a positive educational environment. For example, classroom presentations have allowed us to reach all students with bullying prevention information, and mediation, has proved helpful in helping students in conflict to develop peaceful resolutions. Counselors also use their time in the creation and delivery of school-wide campaigns that promote positive behaviors, such as Random Acts of Kindness Week, and Values Matter initiative; and through the infusion of the IB Learner Profile values.

• One of the most compelling rationales for what we do as counselors is imbedded in the drive to help all students achieve academic success. This brings us to our use of time in achieving our academic goal. Each grade-level counselor monitors the failure list each nine-week grading period. Time is spent in individual counseling and academic planning to help students set goals and develop strategies for academic success. Team meetings led by counselors, convene the student, parents and all his/her teachers to collaborate in developing a plan for student success.

• Our rationale for our use of time also rests on achieving our attendance goal. We recognize that students must attend school in order to learn. We devote time to meeting with students struggling with attendance issues and helping them and their parents with any barriers that they may be facing.

The decision about how to distribute duties among the school counseling staff was based on our role in the school as well as our individual talents. Students are assigned to counselors according to grade; and responsibilities are divided to take full advantage of the strengths of each counselor. For example, Ronda Carey is the Student Services Chairperson, eighth grade Counselor and Testing Chairperson. She is well-versed in the plethora of High School programs and the process of magnet applications, therefore suited for eighth grade counselor. She is also very organized and has the most tenure and experience in school counseling, hence the perfect head counselor. Suzanne Perlman is the Trust Specialist and seventh grade Counselor. She is also the Community Service Liaison. Due to experience and education as a licensed mental health practitioner, she is very effective in handling relational and other personal/social issues, which are very prevalent in 7th grade. Lisette Dobson, sixth grade counselor and Career Activities Liaison, is also in charge of implementing school-wide campaigns and leading the RAMP process. Mrs. Dobson possesses the skill set needed to support students and parents with the difficult transition into middle school. She enjoys character education; and her creativity helps when implementing schoolwide campaigns. The beauty of our counseling team is that we work cooperatively for the sake of all students, often consulting and collaborating outside of our assigned duties.

6. Advisory Council:

Attached Files:Advisory Council Members and Stakeholder Positions:
Ronda Carey (Counselor)
Lisette Dobson (Counselor)
Suzanne Perlman (Counselor)
Julia Bernarde (6th - student)
Naomi Zahid (7th - student)
Jaidon Green (8th - student)
Sofia Hussey (Parent)
Amy Charles (Parent)
Fabia Bernarde (Parent)
Mrs. Ruiz (Teacher)
Mrs. Browman (Teacher)
Mrs. Avila (Teacher)
Mrs. Raheem-Davis (Admin.)
Dr. Francisco Sauri (Admin.)
Maria Masso (Admin.)
Paul Baker (Community)
John Navarro (Community)

Narrative:
Our School Counseling Advisory Council was developed and serves as a representative group of stakeholders who review and advise the implementation of our school counseling program. Two years ago, our counseling team approached our principal with the idea of creating the council. At first she suggested that we could obtain input during faculty meetings. We explained the importance of having a group of stakeholders devoted solely to the improvement of the school counseling program. By reviewing the purpose of the council and discussing ways its members can contribute to the improvement of our counseling program, Ms. Costa began to understand how such a council would provide needed support and promote communication and collaboration that is critical to student success. We communicated our desire to be “RAMP- ready” by October 2017 and how such a council was an important component. Ms. Costa was supportive, and scheduled a meeting after school to define the purpose of the council, discuss ways to ensure representative membership, and outline agendas for each meeting. An email was sent to teachers, and details of the role and function of our council were presented during our next faculty meeting.


The formation of a council of stakeholders who contribute to the improvement of our school counseling program is essential to promote student achievement. However, it is imperative to select members wisely to ensure that the council reflects the demographics of the school. Our community representatives needed to be people that are available and willing to truly advocate for our program. We chose Paul Baker, one of our community partners, and Mr. Navarro, the general manager of our local Publix. Both are highly involved in our school activities and initiatives, and frequently offer input to improve our programs. In choosing the student members of the council, at first only the “model” students were suggested, then Mrs. Carey started the discussion that maybe those type of students will only tell us what they think that we want to hear. We opted to choose students that we felt would contribute frankly, mirror our demographics and represent all achievement levels. In an effort to address issues relevant to each grade, we invited students from each of the three grade levels. Teachers were also chosen to represent all three grade levels. An email was sent asking for teacher volunteers for the council, but did not get an immediate response. Two of the teachers volunteered during our next faculty meeting. The third teacher was invited based on her constant support of our program, and contributions during meetings. Choosing administration was more based on availability during the first meeting. However, one change made during the year was the addition of Dr. Sauri, our Assistant Principal in charge of discipline and attendance. We felt that his presence and input was essential.


The council guides our school counseling program by providing input from representative stakeholders to ensure that we are meeting the needs of all of our students. By presenting and discussing data with the group, we are able to make decisions about program goals that lead to the creation and or improvement of services to the students. For instance, the council reviewed and helped to refine goals for the year at the Fall meeting. Results of the student needs analysis were presented during the meeting. They shed light on our need to teach students certain foundational skills, more specifically organizational, time management and study skills. The student members on the council provided more specific information as to what had and had not worked for them in regards to this. It led to the creation of small group targeting study skills and the inclusion of organizational skills within our peer mentor program. Another example of how the School Counseling program incorporates the Advisory Council’s feedback is how we used the feedback of Mrs. Bernarde, a parent member, who had suggested during the Fall meeting to include more career exploration prior to 8th grade. We responded by expanding our career exploration curriculum with new college and career information to 6th and 7th grade students. Another parent member, Mrs. Hussey, added that it would help reduce anxiety if students in 7th grade were knowledgeable about High School requirements. We took that feedback and included, in our 6th and 7th grade curriculum, information about High School requirements and expectations; where previously we had only focused on 8th graders. The School Counseling Advisory Council has proven beneficial to improving and expanding our program.


7. Calendars:

Attached Files:Narrative:
Our school counseling team meets in the summer to create a preliminary annual calendar to organize the school counseling program. A student needs analysis survey and a school counseling program review stakeholder survey were conducted during the last week of the 2015-2016 schoolyear. Based on the results obtained, school outcome data, and input from the School Counseling Advisory Council, services and activities are prioritized and scheduled. Two weeks before the beginning of the school year, our counseling team met with the Principal, Ms. Costa to present the annual calendar and discuss any possible conflicts. During this collaboration session, Ms. Costa expressed her concern regarding the impact that the district testing schedule will have on our annual calendar. We explained the process we used to align our lesson with the district initiatives, to include the school testing calendar. Since a member of our counseling team is the school test chairperson, she was instrumental in ensuring that our school counseling monthly activities and events could be implemented without interruption. Our annual calendar serves as a plan of action that is used to create monthly and then weekly calendars. During the school year, the school counselors meet with Ammons’ administrators and leadership team regularly to discuss the implementation of scheduled activities. At times, this is accomplished through a scheduled meeting and other times more informally during a collaborative working lunch. We discuss any concerns, outline the implementation process, and coordinate the scheduling of monthly events. After the activities have been approved by the Administrative Team, which consists of the Principal, the Assistant Principal of Curriculum, the Assistant Principal of Discipline and the Magnet Lead Teacher, they are placed on the school wide calendar managed by our Activity Director. Placing the School Counseling events on the school wide master calendar informs the student body, parents and all staff. It further prevents any conflict of scheduling with other departments. As activities are confirmed, the School Counseling Calendar is simultaneously updated and circulated to the Administrative Team as well as the office staff. This informs the Administrators on the utilization of time by the counselors and keeps office staff in the loop so that they can advise parents, students and outside agencies on the availability of the counselors. Calendars are posted outside of the counselors’ offices and emailed to stakeholders.

In terms of our monthly school counseling calendar, a highly detailed calendar is created and printed at the end of the month for the following month, and covers all important school counseling program events, activities, and information. This calendar is distributed to every student, teacher and staff member and sent home to parents. Two versions of weekly counseling department calendars are created. The first is a public version that allows stakeholders to see scheduled counseling activities and events. The second is a private version that allows each counselor to keep track of meetings, activities and services provided plus students served. Currently, our weekly individual calendars are kept in our school agendas. We plan to move to an electronic version of calendars at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, making it easier to analyze our use of time and allow for more thorough documentation of activities and services.

At times there is a need to adjust the annual and weekly calendars based on information or situations arising during the year. For instance, when our Values Matter district initiative was updated and presented to us after the creation of our calendars, we met with the Administrative Team to schedule activities and plan the curriculum to meet the deliverables of the initiative. We prepared lunchtime activities and character lessons. In addition, when a “Start with Hello” district initiative was introduced in September, the district school counseling team suggested that we schedule a presentation for all students. Seeing a need, and in an effort to support our district, we enthusiastically accommodated this request by providing a “Sandy Hook Promise- Start with Hello” activity in which a guest speaker delivered a presentation on social isolation. This required changing and reprinting the monthly calendar for the month of October. Throughout the year, our counseling team is dedicated to keeping our calendars up-to-date and communicating to stakeholders when changes are made through the use of email, announcements, and reposting of calendars around the school as needed.

8. School Counseling Core Curriculum Action Plan and Lessons Plans:

Attached Files:Narrative:
Our school counseling core curriculum plan was designed to meet the academic, career and social/emotional needs of all of our students. It was created to be developmentally appropriate and preventative in focus. It was designed to carry out the mission of our school so that our vision, the outcome that we want for our students in the future, is realized.
The curriculum is systematically and sequentially delivered to all students. It is personalized and based on schoolwide data and a needs assessment of our stakeholders. Our scope falls under three main domains: Academic, Career, and Personal/Social. Each domain has a different focus. The academic domain focuses on providing the skills for learning and achieving school success. This includes setting goals and developing educational plans, and skills such as good note-taking, organization and time management. The personal/social domain focuses on interpersonal skills, self-care, and personal safety skills. This domain also focuses on gaining and using self-awareness to inform educational and career planning, and to navigate events of everyday life. Studies show that all school children show higher academic scores as well as improved behaviors in the classroom when school counselors deliberately teach social/emotional coping skills. The career domain focuses content on career exploration to develop college readiness and prepares students for the world of work. It also focuses on obtaining the knowledge to set career and personal goals.

Every school year our school counseling team surveys stakeholders to gather data that informs the creation of new support services; and leads to the improvement and refinement of our comprehensive school counseling program. Our Student Needs Analysis survey is completed by every individual student in homeroom during the last week of May. It includes 20 questions in a Likert Scale format in the three content categories: Academic, Personal/Social and Career. Results are compiled by grade and disaggregated by gender to advise the content of our core curriculum for the following schoolyear. Results of the survey conducted at the end of the 2015-2016 school year yielded the following results: This illustrates the percentage of 6th grade students who selected agree or strongly agree to the following statements:

¥ #3- To learn how to handle things that worry me: 40% males/49% females
¥ #12-To know more about possible careers and the working world: 38% males/ 46% females
¥ #15-To learn how to manage time better: 41% males/ 48% females.
¥ #16- To develop better study habits and test taking tips: 40% males/ 47% females.
¥ #17-To learn how to deal with academic stress: 40% males/48% females.
¥ #20- To learn methods of organization: 38% males/ 38% females.

Interestingly enough, the 7th grade students chose these same statements, but the percentage increased. For example, the percentage of 7th grade students who either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with statement #15- To learn how to manage time better, did so at a higher rate of 51% males and 57% females. It was true across the board. This showed us a desire across both grades to learn more about time management, organization, study and test-taking skills and the need to expand our career exploration activities. It also highlighted something that we became aware of through our assessment of office visits; which is the amount of academic stress that our high achieving students are under. Armed with these results and the results of our teacher and parent surveys, the input from our school counseling advisory council and other school-based data, we embarked on our journey to design our developmentally appropriate, sequential, and preventative, school counseling core curriculum. Delivery methods for instruction include counselor-led interactive lessons in the classroom, presentations to entire grade in assemblies, small group discussions, field trips and collaborative activities with teachers.

Process, perception and outcome data revealed that this past school year we were able to increase student achievement, improve attendance rate and strengthen college and career readiness skills. We were able to deliver our curriculum to 100% of our students, in spite of a comprehensive testing schedule which impacted our available time with students. We did have to make adjustments in terms of timing and location of services. In addition, there are a few things that we saw a need for that we were unable to tackle. One such issue is the issue of academic stress that was revealed not just through our end of year needs assessment but through our experience with visits to our office. Though we tackled this issue on an individual basis with responsive services, we plan to address it through preventative services in the near future.

9. School Counseling Core Curriculum: Results Report:
We conducted a result analysis of our core curriculum lessons in order to test the effectiveness of our delivered lessons. Our three included exemplary lessons were adapted from Common sense Media and selected because the content supports our Mindsets and Behaviors and learning goals; and the curriculum provides a comprehensive scope and sequence series of lesson plans designed specifically for 6th , 7th and 8th grade students. They are part of our unit on Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention and is run through Physical Education(P.E.) classes. Half of the students take P.E. in the first semester and the other half take it during the second semester. During our sixth grade orientation in August, all sixth grade students received a brief lecture and a brochure about the difference between rude, mean and bullying and when and how to report. We implemented this practice because our data showed early in the schoolyear that a large percentage of 6th grade visits to the counselor for bullying complaints were unfounded. This preventative measure helped to cut down such visits for conflicts that are not truly bullying and have contributed to a decrease in referrals due to instigative behaviors. It also ensures that all students, not just the ones that take first semester P.E., receive such information early on to maximize results. Next year, we plan to extend this practice to our students in 7th and 8th grade. At the same time, infusion of both Values Matter values and the IB Learner Profile characteristics, helped to decrease negative behavior and increase engagement in school. Each lesson was successfully delivered and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. We plan for next year (see artifact) to extend our lessons to all the Values Matter values through a collaboration with subject area teachers.

Collecting and analyzing process data provided evidence of student participation in the lesson and helped us answer the question “What did we do and for whom?” Our process data revealed that every sixth, seventh and eighth grade student (average of 350 participated in each grade) partook in lessons.

After a thorough examination of our pre- and post-test perception data, we determined that students showed a significant increase in knowledge and skills, demonstrating an increased understanding of how to create and promote responsible and respectful behavior. For instance, the perception data for the sixth grade lesson shows that students had a 29% increase in understanding the role of respect and responsibility when communicating online and a 51% increase in the skill of explaining how to help others become upstanding citizens. Perception data for the seventh grade lesson shows an increase from an average of 2.4 to an average of 4.0 on a 4 point Likert Scale in ability to explain the difference between an up-stander and a by-stander. Perception data for the 8th grade lesson shows a 53% increase in knowledge of three ways to avoid becoming a target of cyberbullying. We plan on using the same pre/post instruments because the data was strong. However, we will add a perception question about the difference between rude, mean and bullying. And, though we are happy with the MS and B that we targeted, we plan to add an additional behavior per lesson.

The lessons had a positive impact on student behavior as evidenced by outcome data. When compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the number of student behavioral referrals for instigative behavior and confrontations with other students across grades decreased. A deeper dive into the data revealed that we met our goal of decreasing inappropriate behavior in both online and face-to-face interactions.

A review of the results facilitated a reflection with the school counseling team that extended to our stakeholders. Teaching students to build positive relationships, as well as recognize, resist and report bullying/instigative behavior proved very effective. However, we recognized that a truly effective anti-bullying program must include developing the skills of teachers, administrators and community stakeholders to strengthen a school-wide preventive approach. Next year, we plan to do more direct staff development in this area, including our support staff who are in constant contact with students. In an effort to continuously close the achievement gap, we will continue to closely analyze our school data reports, the Early Warning System Report and, additionally conduct a deeper analysis of our Student Behavioral Referral Reports to determine if there are students in need of more personalized support. These students will receive targeted, responsive services through small group counseling sessions and follow-up monitoring.

School Counseling Core Curriculum Results Report

Lesson #1
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Behavioral Issues | Bullying | Conflict Resolution |
Grade Level Lesson Topic ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s)
6th Grade  Digital Citizenship: Respect and Responsibility Domain: Social/Emotional Mindset: M1 Behavior: B-SS-1
Start/End Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data) Implications
During the month of September 2016  (Term 1 P.E. students ) Second week in January 2017 (Term 2 P.E. students) All
6th Grade

248 Students


Physical Education Classes (Term 1 and Term 2)

60 to 85
minute lesson each class period
Perception data was gathered from entrance and exit tickets collected. Students responded to three pre- and post-test (yes/no) perception questions.

The results were analyzed and displayed on a graph (attached).

Pre/post test results:

1. Understand the role of respect and responsibility when communicating online.

Pre: 71%
Post: 100%
29% increase in knowledge

2. I can name at least three ways to create a positive online community.

Pre: 52%
Post:95%
43% increase in knowledge


3. I can explain how to help others become upstanding citizens.

Pre: 49%
Post: 99%
51% increase in skill
In the 2016-2017 school year the number of students with disciplinary referrals for “instigative”/bullying behavior (teasing, name-calling etc.) came down from 8 to zero. There were more referrals for disruptive classroom behaviors because of a handful of repeat offenders but not for instigative, bullying or confrontations with another student. The “Respect and Responsibility” lesson adapted from Common sense Media was selected because it supported our Mindset, Behavior and learning goals and the curriculum provides a comprehensive scope and sequence series of lesson plans designed specifically for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. It is part of our unit on Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention and is run through Physical Education(P.E.) classes. The lesson was successfully delivered during the beginning of both terms (1/2 students take P.E. 1st term and other ½ in the 2nd term) and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. At the same time, infusion of both Values Matter values and the IB Learner Profile characteristics, helped to decrease negative behavior and increase engagement in school.

Each lesson was successfully delivered and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. We plan for next year (see artifact) to extend our lessons to all the Values Matter values through a collaboration with subject area teachers.We were able to reach all 248 6th grade students during P.E. at the beginning of Term 1 and Term 2. This worked well and allowed us to see most of the students during P.E. We reached the rest of the students, those who must take Intensive Reading in lieu of P.E., through their intensive reading classes.

Perception data told us that students showed a significant increase in knowledge and skills, demonstrating an increased understanding of how to create and promote responsible and respectful behavior. We were happy with the questions that we used for the survey buy we will add a perception question about the difference between rude, mean and bullying. And, though we are happy with the MS and B that we targeted, we plan to add an additional behavior per lesson.

The lessons had a positive impact on student behavior as evidenced by outcome data. When compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the number of student behavioral referrals for instigative behavior and confrontations with other students across grades decreased. A deeper dive into the data revealed that we met our goal of decreasing inappropriate behavior in both online and face-to-face interactions.

A review of the results facilitated a reflection with the school counseling team that extended to our stakeholders. Teaching students to build positive relationships, as well as recognize, resist and report bullying/instigative behavior proved very effective. However, we recognized that a truly effective anti-bullying program must include developing the skills of teachers, administrators and community stakeholders to strengthen a school-wide preventive approach.

Next year, we plan to do more direct staff development in this area, including our support staff who are in constant contact with students. In an effort to continuously close the achievement gap, we will continue to closely analyze our school data reports, the Early Warning System Report and, additionally conduct a deeper analysis of our Student Behavioral Referral Reports to determine if there are students in need of more personalized support. These students will receive targeted, responsive services through small group counseling sessions and follow-up monitoring.



Attached Files:
  • Survey Instrument-6th grade lesson View | Download
  • Perception Data Graph-6th grade lesson View | Download
  • Core Curriculum Plan for Infusion of Values Matter and IB Learner Profile View | Download
  • Core Curriculum Results Report View | Download
Lesson #2
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Bullying | Conflict Resolution |
Grade Level Lesson Topic ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s)
7th Cyberbullying: Standing Up for Others Domain: Social/Emotional Mindset: M1 Behavior: B-SS-1
Start/End Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data) Implications
During the month of September 2016  (Term 1 P.E. students ) Second week in January 2017 (Term 2 P.E. students)  All
7th Grade

409 Students


Physical Education Classes
And Intensive Reading Classes

60 to 85
minute lesson each class period
Pre- and post- lesson perception data was collected.
 
Using a Likert Scale (ranging from 1 to 4-strongly disagree, disagree, agree, strongly agree), the students answered the following three perception questions:

The results were analyzed and displayed on a graph (attached).

Pre/post test results:

1. I can explain the difference between an upstander and a bystander
Pre: 2.4 average
Post: 4.0 average
1.6 average increase in skill

2. I understand what it means to be socially responsible..
Pre: 2.9 average
Post:3.8 average
0.9 average increase in knowledge


3. I know how to react when I witness a bullying situation Pre: 2.5 average
Post: 3.9 average
1.4 average increase in skill
In the 2016-2017 school year the number of students with disciplinary referrals for “instigative”/bullying behavior (teasing, name-calling,cyberbullying, physical forms etc.)/confrontations with another student came down from 8 to zero. There were more referrals for disruptive classroom behaviors because of a handful of repeat offenders but not for instigative, bullying or confrontations with another student. The “Cyberbullying:Standing Up for Others” lesson adapted from Common sense Media was selected because it supported our Mindset, Behavior and learning goals and the curriculum provides a comprehensive scope and sequence series of lesson plans designed specifically for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. It is part of our unit on Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention and is run through Physical Education(P.E.) classes. The lesson was successfully delivered during the beginning of both terms (1/2 students take P.E. 1st term and other ½ in the 2nd term) and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. At the same time, infusion of both Values Matter values and the IB Learner Profile characteristics, helped to decrease negative behavior and increase engagement in school.

Each lesson was successfully delivered and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. We plan for next year (see artifact) to extend our lessons to all the Values Matter values through a collaboration with subject area teachers.We were able to reach all 248 6th grade students during P.E. at the beginning of Term 1 and Term 2. This worked well and allowed us to see most of the students during P.E. We reached the rest of the students, those who must take Intensive Reading in lieu of P.E., through their intensive reading classes.

Perception data told us that students showed a significant increase in knowledge and skills, demonstrating an increased understanding of how to create and promote responsible and respectful behavior. We were happy with the questions that we used for the survey buy we will add a perception question about the difference between rude, mean and bullying. And, though we are happy with the MS and B that we targeted, we plan to add an additional behavior per lesson.

The lessons had a positive impact on student behavior as evidenced by outcome data. When compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the number of student behavioral referrals for instigative behavior and confrontations with other students across grades decreased. A deeper dive into the data revealed that we met our goal of decreasing inappropriate behavior in both online and face-to-face interactions.

A review of the results facilitated a reflection with the school counseling team that extended to our stakeholders. Teaching students to build positive relationships, as well as recognize, resist and report bullying/instigative behavior proved very effective. However, we recognized that a truly effective anti-bullying program must include developing the skills of teachers, administrators and community stakeholders to strengthen a school-wide preventive approach.

Next year, we plan to do more direct staff development in this area, including our support staff who are in constant contact with students. In an effort to continuously close the achievement gap, we will continue to closely analyze our school data reports, the Early Warning System Report and, additionally conduct a deeper analysis of our Student Behavioral Referral Reports to determine if there are students in need of more personalized support. These students will receive targeted, responsive services through small group counseling sessions and follow-up monitoring.



Attached Files:
Lesson #3
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Bullying | Conflict Resolution |
Grade Level Lesson Topic ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s)
8th Digital Citizenship: Turn Down the Dial on Cyberbullying Domain: Social/Emotional Mindset: M1 Behavior: B-SS-1
Start/End Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Surveys or assessments used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance, and/or behavior data) Implications
During the month of September 2016  (Term 1 P.E. students ) Second week in January 2017 (Term 2 P.E. students)  All
8th Grade

388 Students


Physical Education Classes and Intensive Reading Classes


60 to 85
minute lesson each class period
Perception data was gathered from pre- and post- test/lesson evaluation. Students responded to five pre- and post-test (True/False) perception questions.

The results were analyzed and displayed on a graph (attached).

Pre/post test results:

1. I know at least three ways to avoid becoming a target of cyberbullying.
Pre: 38% True
Post: 91% True
53% increase in knowledge

2. I can name three things a target can do to get away from a bully.
Pre: 45% True
Post: 95% True
50% increase in knowledge


3. I can explain how bullies/cyberbullies pick their targets.
Pre: 29% True
Post: 90%True
??% increase in skill

4. I can define four tactics to de-escalate online/offline cruelty.
Pre: 42% True
Post: 95% True
53% increase in skill

 
In the 2016-2017 school year the number of students with disciplinary referrals for “instigative”/bullying behavior (teasing, name-calling, cyberbullying, physical forms etc.)/confrontations with another student decreased from 8 referrals in 2015-2016 to zero in 2016-2017. There were more referrals for disruptive classroom behaviors because of a handful of repeat offenders who were disruptive in class,but not for instigative, bullying or confrontations with another student.
The “Turn Down the Dial on Cyberbullying” lesson adapted from Common sense Media was selected because it supported our Mindset, Behavior and learning goals and the curriculum provides a comprehensive scope and sequence series of lesson plans designed specifically for 6th, 7th and 8th grade students. It is part of our unit on Bullying/Cyberbullying Prevention and is run through Physical Education(P.E.) classes. The lesson was successfully delivered during the beginning of both terms (1/2 students take P.E. 1st term and other ½ in the 2nd term) and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. At the same time, infusion of both Values Matter values and the IB Learner Profile characteristics, helped to decrease negative behavior and increase engagement in school.

Each lesson was successfully delivered and, as evidenced by results, had a favorable outcome in process, perception and outcome data. We plan for next year (see artifact) to extend our lessons to all the Values Matter values through a collaboration with subject area teachers.We were able to reach all 248 6th grade students during P.E. at the beginning of Term 1 and Term 2. This worked well and allowed us to see most of the students during P.E. We reached the rest of the students, those who must take Intensive Reading in lieu of P.E., through their intensive reading classes.

Perception data told us that students showed a significant increase in knowledge and skills, demonstrating an increased understanding of how to create and promote responsible and respectful behavior. We were happy with the questions that we used for the survey buy we will add a perception question about the difference between rude, mean and bullying. And, though we are happy with the MS and B that we targeted, we plan to add an additional behavior per lesson.

The lessons had a positive impact on student behavior as evidenced by outcome data. When compared to the 2015-2016 school year, the number of student behavioral referrals for instigative behavior and confrontations with other students across grades decreased. A deeper dive into the data revealed that we met our goal of decreasing inappropriate behavior in both online and face-to-face interactions.

A review of the results facilitated a reflection with the school counseling team that extended to our stakeholders. Teaching students to build positive relationships, as well as recognize, resist and report bullying/instigative behavior proved very effective. However, we recognized that a truly effective anti-bullying program must include developing the skills of teachers, administrators and community stakeholders to strengthen a school-wide preventive approach.

Next year, we plan to do more direct staff development in this area, including our support staff who are in constant contact with students. In an effort to continuously close the achievement gap, we will continue to closely analyze our school data reports, the Early Warning System Report and, additionally conduct a deeper analysis of our Student Behavioral Referral Reports to determine if there are students in need of more personalized support. These students will receive targeted, responsive services through small group counseling sessions and follow-up monitoring.



Attached Files:
Are the 3 lessons submitted part of the same unit? Yes

10. Small-Group Responsive Services:
A Needs Assessment was conducted at the end of the 2015-2016 school year to inform the creation of small groups based on the needs of our student population. We compiled and analyzed the results over the summer and presented to the administration during a planning meeting in August. The goals of the coming year were also discussed. We looked at the mindsets and behaviors that we wanted to address, and which ones we wanted to target in small groups. A list of possible groups was generated. In addition, teachers were asked to nominate students. Finally, the counselors compiled a list of students in need of small group support, separated into categories as they counseled the students during the year. The students for the more academic groups, organizational skills and academic achievement, were chosen based on grades, including those on academic probation, as well as based on their participation in the mentor program. Students and parents were contacted and the groups were organized and announced in the Annual Calendar.

Rationale – Grief Group Evidence on the impact of childhood bereavement suggests that for some children there may be effects on concentration, attendance and educational attainment, that may be long term. Every year we see students experiencing such loss. Our focus on the whole child, with an emphasis on the emotional wellbeing of every student, helps to increase resilience as a protective factor. This is the focus of the first mindset M1, belief in the development of the whole self, which is a focus of both divorce and grief groups. We will continue, since the group was successful in teaching coping skills, normalizing feelings, providing peer support and helping students work through painful issues about loss and changes.

Rationale -Divorce Group Many of our students are children of divorce/separation. A vast body of research confirms that children of divorce have higher risk of developing academic, behavioral, psychological and social problems. The small group setting helped Ms. Perlman build protective factors in these students by helping them learn cognitive behavioral skills and coping styles to help them adjust and offered a supportive peer environment. We will continue to run divorce groups because data showed that they were effective and because the need for them is strong.

Rationale- Girl Group According to a vast body of research, the early onset of puberty is a time when girls see a drop in self-esteem, which is linked to depression and poor academic achievement, and a higher risk of developing poor body image. We also have our share of student suicide ideations. The majority seems to be females and self-esteem plays a large part. The additional pressure of being in a rigorous academic environment and the media are also factors. This group addresses ASCA behavior B-SS8 “Demonstrate advocacy skills and ability to assert self”. Additionally, through our student needs analysis conducted in May 2016, 30% of all students communicated a need for help with issues of self-esteem, specifically “to understand, accept, and like myself better”. By addressing this issue through homogeneous grouping it helped build a community of support where girls were free to express themselves. Simultaneously, an afterschool Women Empowerment Club was formed and run by one of our alumni and our 7th and 8th grade counselors. We saw a marked decrease in visits to our office for self-esteem issues and relational aggression among our female students.

Rationale – Organizational Skills Organization is an important foundational skill that is crucial for student success, especially in Middle School. Without organization, students do not learn the content as effectively and a lack of it has been found to affect a student’s satisfaction with school and post-secondary life. The six-session organizational skills small group ran two of the planned three times during the year with students from all three grades. This group addressed behavior B-LS-3 “Use time-management, organizational and study skills”. It was highly successful. However, we will discontinue it as a small group for next year. Instead, we plan to convert it into mini 30 minute sessions as core curriculum to all students during homeroom.

Rationale -Academic Achievement/College and Career Readiness This group focused on improving academic achievement and the foundational skills needed for college/career readiness. Students were chosen for this group based on being on academic probation and not meeting grade requirements for obtaining the IB certificate. This group addressed M4 mindset and B-SMS 5 “Demonstrate perseverance to achieve long-and short-term goals”. Next year we will cut session 5 because of time, and input received.

Attached Files:

Small-Group Results Report

Group Name: Academic Achievement /College and Career Readiness Group
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Academic Achievement | Career Development | College Readiness | Dropout Prevention |
Goal: In the 2016-2017 school year, the number of sixth and seventh grade students earning a D or F in one or more academic classes will improve their grades to C or better.
Target Group: Sixth and seventh grade students earning a D or F in one or more academic classes
Data Used to Identify Students: Herbert A. Ammons Annual/Quarterly Grade Reports (from Admin Reports in Gradebook)
School Counselor(s) ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s) Outline of Group Sessions Delivered
Lisette Dobson Domain: Academic
Development


Mindset: M 4


Behavior: Self-Management
Skills B –SMS 5 
Session 1: Creating a SMART Goal/ Develop a Roadmap

Session 2: Educational Planning for Middle/High School

Session 3: How to Succeed in Life

Session 4: School and WorkplaceSkills

Session 5: I Am Ready to Work
Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Data from surveys used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance and/or behavior data collected) Implications
Group 1:
6th grade: 3 students 
7th grade: 5 students 

Total Students: 8

Group 2:

6th grade: 4 students 
7th grade:4 students 

Total Students: 8


Group 3:

6th grade: 4 students 
7th grade: 3 students 

Total Students: 7


Total Number of students affected: 23
Entrance and Exit Ticket. Pre and post session evaluations consisting of six yes/no questions.

Questions:

1) I understand the academic requirements for promotion to the next grade level. (yes/no)

Average for 6/7 grade Groups 1,2,4:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 39 %
No- 61%

POST- TEST
Yes 100%
61% Increase in % of Yes responses

2) I know how to write my goals in SMART goal format. (yes/no)

Average for 6/7 grade Groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 9 %
No- 91 % .

POST- TEST
Yes 87 %
No- 13 %
78% Increase in % of YES responses


3) I can name at least four traits of success. (yes/no)

Average for 6/7 grade Groups 1,2,4:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 48 %
No- 52 % .

POST- TEST
Yes 100%
52% Increase in % of YES responses


4) I can explain the importance of following directions on job or school applications. (yes/no)

Average for 6/7 grade Groups 1,2,4:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 35 %
No- 65 % .

POST- TEST
Yes 100 %

65% Increase in % of YES responses


5) I can explain at least three ways to track my academic progress. (yes/no)

Average for 6/7 grade Groups 1,2,4:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 26 %
No- 74 %

POST- TEST
Yes 91 %
No- 9 %
65% Increase in % of Yes responses


6) I can identify the 21st Century Skills needed to be successful in school and work. (yes/no)

Average for 6/7 grade Groups 1,2,4:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 39 %
No- 61 % .

POST- TEST
Yes 96 %
No- 4 %
57% Increase in % of YES responses
In the 2016-2017 school year, the number of sixth and seventh grade students earning a D or F in one or more academic classes will improve their grades to C or better. Sixth graders chosen for the first group started the year on probation because they earned a D or F grade in one or more classes in their last quarter in 5th grade.

Group 1 (6/7 Graders)
Outcome Data:
Out of the 8 students. 5 improved their grades to C or better in all academic classes in their January 2017 report card.

Group 2 (6/7 Graders)
Outcome Data:
Out of the 8 students. 6 improved their grades to C or better in all academic classes in their third quarter report card.

Group 3 (6/7 Graders)
Outcome Data:
Out of the 7 students, 5 students improved their grades to C or better by their 4th quarter interim report.

Summary:

16 of the 23 students who had a D or F in one or more classes improved their grades to a C or higher.


This group focused on improving academic achievement and the foundational skills needed for college/career readiness. Students were chosen for this group based on being on academic probation due to getting a D or F I one or more classes. This group addressed M4 mindset and B-SMS 5 “Demonstrate perseverance to achieve long-and short-term goals”. We were pleased with targeting this mindset and behavior. The process data indicated that of the 23 students who were identified and invited to be members in the small group responsive services sessions, 100% participated. This indicates there was a strong need and desire for the formation of a college and career readiness skill development group. Sign-in sheets confirm that the groups were implemented in a timely fashion and as scheduled.

Perception data indicated that the goal of increasing student college and career readiness skills was clearly met. Students believe that at the conclusion of the small group sessions they acquired knowledge and skills essential for school and career success. Specifically, students reported that they learned and/or increased skills and strategies such as writing SMART goals, developing action plans, following directions (to name a few) which provided them with essential tools for success. We were pleased with our choice of perception questions and feel that they reflect the content well.

fter analyzing the data and reflecting upon the content of the lessons, we have decided to replace the fifth session. We feel that the material presented in that session would be more relevant for 8th graders and high school students. Instead we will include a session with organizational skills, which are critical foundational skills. In an effort to close the achievement gap it is necessary for the school counseling team collaborate with teachers, faculty, students and stakeholders, to promote an understanding of the need to teach/strengthen organizational skills crossed all subject areas and environments. Direct teaching of organizational skills is imperative to ensure all of our students are college and career ready. It will be our mission to support our faculty, staff and students (by providing resources and training) as teach organizational skills to their students/children and facilitate the understanding that such skills do not come naturally to all students. For a number of students staying organized is a challenge but one that can be overcome with teaching organizational strategies and providing ample opportunity for practice. These lessons are invaluable, not only in school but equally important in all aspects of life. Organization helps students perform well in school and stay on track at home.

Analyzing the perception data results promoted and deepened the school counseling team’s understanding of the importance of identifying college and career readiness skills that need to be introduced or strengthened and delivering targeted small groups sessions that will quickly teach and provide opportunity to practice newly acquired skills.
The outcome data collected from student report cards, grades and progress monitoring indicated quickly and clearly that any increase in 21st century skills benefited students. We will continue to monitor and support these students with academic counseling and other services.



11. Closing-the-Gap Results Report:
Goal: By June 2017, the number of the sixth to eighth grade students who have a D or F average in one or more academic classes at the end of the 1st semester will decrease by 25% from 21 students at the end of the 1st semester to 16 or fewer students at the end of the 2ndth semester (final grade).
Key Words That the Lesson Addresses:
Academic Achievement | College Readiness | Dropout Prevention |
Target Group: 6th, 7th and 8th grade students with GPA 1.0 or below in any class at end of 1st semester
Data Used to Identify Students: Herbert A. Ammons Annual/Quarterly Grade Reports (from Admin Reports in Gradebook)
School Counselor(s) ASCA Domain, Mindsets & Behaviors Standard(s) Type of Activities to be Delivered in What Manner?
Ronda Carey, Lisette Dobson, Suzanne Perlman Domain:Academic Mindset: M 2 Behavior: B- SMS 6 and B-SMS-1 Activities 1-5 consisted of small group activities/lessons delivered during homeroom time for 30-45 minutes. Each counselor was responsible for one group, so all three groups ran concurrently. Activities 1-5 were as follows:

1)Time Management
2)Planning/Study Skills/Organization
3)Setting Goals: SMART Goals Writing
4)Making Good Decisions
5) Academic Achievement and Understanding the Cumulative Record (Included activity on calculating GPA)

Activity 6 was assisted by Mrs. Perlman but run by our Lead Magnet Teacher, Mrs. Garcia. It was a private portfolio clinic in groups of 2 to 3 students to help the students be successful in completing their IB portfolio requirement.

In addition, Weekly progress checks took place on Friday mornings during homeroom:

Mrs. Dobson monitored progress of Group 1
Mrs. Perlman monitored progress of Group 2
Mrs. Carey monitored progress of Group 3


Process Data (Number of students affected) Perception Data (Data from surveys used) Outcome Data (Achievement, attendance and/or behavior data collected) Implications
Total Number of Students Affected is 21.

Group
One: 6th =3 students
7th = 4 students
Group
Two: 7th = 7 students

Group
Three: 7th = 4 students
8th= 3 students



As indicated by the comparison of pre and post test data questions listed below, students demonstrated an in increase in knowledge and understanding of strategies to increase student achievement.

Pre-post Assessment questions asked before the first lesson and after the last lesson five:

Questions:

1) I understand the value of my cumulative school record (yes/no)

Average results for groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 76 %
No- 24 %

POST- TEST
Yes 100%
24 % Increase in % of Yes responses

2) I know how to write my goals in SMART goal format. (yes/no)

Average results for groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 19 %
No- 81% .

POST- TEST
Yes - 95 %
77% Increase in % of YES responses


3) I can name at least four traits of success. (yes/no)

Average results for groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 33 %
No- 67 % .

POST- TEST
Yes – 90 %
57 % Increase in % of YES responses


4) I know how to manage my time effectively.

Average results for groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 29 %
No- 71% .

POST- TEST
Yes -81 %

52% Increase in % of YES responses


5) I can explain at least three ways to track my academic progress. (yes/no)

Average results for groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 33 %
No- 67 %

POST- TEST
Yes - 95%

62 % Increase in % of Yes responses



6) I know how to organize my IB Portfolio

Average results for groups 1,2,3:

PRE- TEST
Yes- 27 %
No- 73 % .

POST- TEST
Yes -100%

73% Increase in % of YES responses







Achievement
Comparison

The number of 6th, 7th and 8th students with 1.0 GPA or below will decrease

Data
Collected

Final Grade Reports

RESULTS:

Group One
(6th/7th grade)
Out of the 7 students: 3 students met their goal of raising their final grade to a C, and 1 improved a letter grade from an F to a D.



Group Two (7th Grade)
Out of the 7 students in the group, 3 met their goal of raising their final grade to a C.


Group Three
(7th/8th grade)
Out of the 7 students: 3 met their goal of raising their final grade to a C and 1 improved a letter grade from an F to a D.


SUMMARY:

9 out of 21 (43%) students improved their grade to a C or better in one or more academic classes. (The number of students with a D or F average in one or more academic classes at the end of the 1st semester decreased from 21 at the end of the 1st semester to 12 at the end of the 2nd semester).

Also, an additional, two students raised their grade from an F to a D at the end of the schoolyear. So, in all, 11 out of 21 students showed improvement as a result of our interventions.


The small group counseling activities helped close achievement gaps by bridging between what is taught in the core curriculum and the specific skills necessary for success in school and work.

Small groups were the chosen method of delivery because they are efficient and effective in helping students learn skills and grow in a supportive environment.

We are confident that our selection and screening process used for the formation of these groups had a positive impact on our process data. By targeting students based on data collection, screening/interviewing students for group membership and obtaining parent support, we documented (via sign in sheets and perception question responses) 100% student participation in both groups.

A comparison of pretest and posttest perception question responses revealed that students believe that as a result of the activities they gained knowledge, increased skills, and had a positive change in attitude. Outcome data shows that the delivery and content of our sessions had a positive impact in a large percentage of the students targeted.

We feel that this group was a success. Additionally, examining the outcome data, we noted that all of the students that ended up failing the course and most of the students that ended with a D average, had the same subject and the same teacher, which brings up the need to dive deeper into possible explanations, an opportunity for advocacy, and the chance to offer support to the student but also the teacher, since that was their first year teaching that 7th grade Civics course.

For 2017-2018, we will add a session in organizational skills which is a necessary foundational skill. In terms of mindsets and behaviors, we are in agreement that the ones chosen for this group are appropriate. We were happy with our method of data collection and the quality and relevance of the perception questions. We will collaborate to provide the 6th and 7th grade students in this group with intensified support as they move to the next grade level.
Moving forward, we plan to institute preventative portfolio mentoring sessions between our 6th and 8th graders facilitated by the History department, to assist in portfolio project completion. In addition, we will collaborate with teachers, administrators, and district colleagues to develop a plan to deliver school/college readiness activities that teach foundational skills such as time management, organizational and study skills to all of our students.

The school counseling team will lead a schoolwide effort to create a deeper college-going culture that will motivate students to succeed. The counselors will continue to work directly with students, in groups, in classrooms and in schoolwide activities to address academic, attendance and behavioral discrepancies existing among student groups.






Attached Files:Beginning in September, we analyzed our grade reports and gained input from our stakeholders to determine which subgroup of students would become more successful students provided with the proper intervention. The aim of students in our International Baccalaureate (IB) magnet school, is to graduate having attained the IB Certificate. Our graduation rate is 100% and our retention rate is 0%. However, in the 2015-2016 schoolyear, magnet data reports showed that 50 of our 8th grade students graduated our program without earning their IB Certificate. There are 5 basic requirements for the certificate (see artifact): an academic goal (C or higher in all academic classes), effort goal, conduct goal, community service hours, a community service research project and a graded portfolio of work from 6th to 8th grade with specific requirements. Data showed that most of the 50 students had earned their community service hours and completed all courses. But they lacked a C or higher in all of their academic classes. The Portfolio Grade Report showed that many of our 7th and 8th graders were also not meeting their portfolio requirement. We chose to target the 6th, 7th and 8th grade students with a GPA of 1.49 or below (D or F) at the end of the 1st semester, a subgroup of the 49 students we targeted in our academic goal.

Our counseling interventions consisted of 5 group activities carried out by
the counselor/group lead and one Portfolio-related intervention. These evidence-based activities included a time-management activity, because it helps you to become a more effective and successful student; and a study skills activity, because they help a student to retain more content in less time. Research asserts that students who learn how to study and are good time managers tend to be more self-directed, have more confidence and strive to learn more, leading to better performance. We also included a SMART goal activity, because goals help us define what we want and how to get it; a session on good decision-making skills; and, a session on calculating their GPA and learning the value of their cumulative record. The final activity was a small group portfolio clinic with our Magnet Lead Teacher, to ensure that they were on track and had the necessary knowledge to successfully pass their portfolio requirement. Small groups were the chosen method of delivery because they are efficient and effective in helping students learn skills and grow in a supportive environment.

Process data showed 100% participation for a total of 21 students. We were happy about the number of students and distribution of students in their groups. A comparison of pretest and posttest perception question responses revealed that students believe that, as a result of the activities, they gained knowledge, increased skills, and had a positive change in attitude. Outcome data shows that the delivery and content of our sessions had a positive impact in a large percentage of the students targeted. Out of the 21 students served, 11 students (52%) showed academic improvement. Nine of the 21 students (43%) fully met the goal with a final grade of C or better, while another 2 students raised their grade a whole letter grade. All (100%) of the students passed their Portfolio requirements for the year. We feel that this group was a success. However, examining the outcome data, we noted that all of the students that ended up failing the course and most of the students that ended with a D average, had the same subject/ teacher, which brings up the need to dive deeper into possible explanations, an opportunity for advocacy, and the chance to offer further support to the students and the teacher, since that was his first year teaching that 7th grade Civics course.

For 2017-2018, we will devote an entire session to organizational skills. In terms of mindsets and behaviors, we are in agreement that the ones chosen were appropriate. We were happy with our method of data collection and the quality and relevance of the perception questions. We will provide the 6th and 7th grade students in this group with intensified support as they move to the next grade level. We also plan to institute a preventative portfolio mentoring session between all of our incoming 6th and 8th graders, assisted by the History department, to aid in portfolio project completion. In addition, we will collaborate with stakeholders to expand our delivery of school/college readiness activities that teach time management, organizational and study skills to all of our students.

12. Program Evaluation Reflection:We are proud of our Counseling Team and the work that we are doing on behalf of all of our students. We have created and implemented a Comprehensive School Counseling program that provides responsive and preventative evidence-based supports that are meaningful and developmentally appropriate. Our program includes responsive individual counseling, group counseling, individual academic planning, a preventative core curriculum that is systematically taught to every student, and other support programs. Our counseling team embodies the qualities of leadership, advocacy and collaboration. We are agents of systemic change bringing about positive reform with the goal of academic success for all of our students. In addition, we are the heart of the school, and set the tone of positivity and can do attitude that is evident in our students.

Leadership

As professional school counselors, we are highly-trained professionals, whose main goal is student success. We provide leadership to those we serve, helping those doing poorly do well, and those doing well do even better. We are valued members of the leadership team, blessed to have a principal who values our profession. As the data experts of the school, we have gained the respect of our fellow educators. Data from Counseling Program Review by teachers conducted in May of 2016 and May of 2017 shows that our role is valued by our fellow educators. In addition, we are active members of our Curriculum Council, Grade Level Teams and EESAC committee. Being members of the Curriculum Council allows us interact and have a voice with those formulating key decisions. We lead Team Conferences that bring together the student, parents and all his/her teachers, as well as conducting trainings for the staff. Our positive leadership role is also evident through the creation of awareness campaigns that invite students to follow our lead. For example, Random Acts of Kindness Week is held in February. Lisette Dobson, presented the idea of “Kindness Week” to the Administrative Team to further enhance the atmosphere of comradery on the campus and to encourage simple acts of kindness. Among several activities, students conduct kind acts toward other students who then “pay it forward”. Kindness spread throughout our school and became commonplace amongst students and staff. We experienced fewer cases of bullying and fewer discipline referrals for confrontations with another student.

Advocacy

As school counselors at Ammons Middle, we advocate for equity and access to a rigorous curriculum, enrichment opportunities, and fairness and respect for all students. Advocacy involves, collaboration and leadership and leads to systemic change. We work to address and remove barriers that block individual students from developing academically, socially and emotionally. We also advocate for particular groups of students, program improvements, and our counseling profession.
For instance, one of our math teachers came to Mrs. Carey, our head counselor, about being afraid to stifle the learning potential of students progressing quickly through our blended-learning math program. She studied their history and set up meetings with students and their parents. A concern by administration was that encouraging students to move faster through the Math and Science courses would go beyond what the school could offer. Other concerns included what where alternative courses, how would they be tracked if outside of school, and if maturity and transition issues would exist. Mrs. Carey advocated for them by reaching out to the District Office of Advanced Studies to determine how to meet their needs. She was introduced to a Program called ACCEL, K-12 Academically Challenging Curriculum to Enhance Learning Options, which was a perfect fit. Mrs. Carey met opposition from administration. She had to present the findings of the program and convince them that this was in the students’ best interest. The program also had a commitment for parents as overseers of their child’s success, in the classes taken outside of the school. Mrs. Carey gained student and parental buy-in to take courses such as Algebra 2 Honors and Chemistry online through Florida Virtual School on weekends and afterschool. She advocated for a schedule with an elective that would allow the students to work on their advanced classes, while providing an elective credit. She was able to create a pathway for academically-advanced students to follow.

Collaboration

Our counseling team collaborates with teachers, staff and administration, parents and the community to support all students. Being able to form collaborative relationships begins with an openness for the ideas of others, promoting positive relationships, and the ability to communicate effectively. We have a solid relationship with our administrative team. Our principal has fostered a school culture that values the needs of the learners and change for the sake of those learners. For example, we worked together with staff members in improving the attendance rate. Our attendance rate increased from 95.97% in the 2015-2016 schoolyear to 97.79% in the 2016-2017 schoolyear, an improvement of over 2%, exceeding our attendance goal by 100%. We worked to ensure that all students and their parents understood the importance of school attendance and its effect on student learning. Our school nurse warned the grade level counselor when a student was experiencing outward signs of avoidance/anxiety. The attendance secretary kept counselors informed of attendance information. In addition, we sent out a newsletter outlining the benefits of school attendance with every student, in both English and Spanish, and provided counseling to students accumulating 3 or more absences. These students were monitored to ensure attendance and to offer support for any hindrance that they or their families were facing. If there was an issue that needed a home visit, our school social worker was called. Our assistant principal met with the parents of truant students. We worked collaboratively to bring about an increase in our attendance rate.

Systemic Change

As professional school counselors, we use our leadership, advocacy and collaboration skills in bringing about systemic change at our school. For example, we delivered training to all teachers on “How to conduct effective Parent Conferences” during a faculty meeting. The training was a result of data that showed expressed concerns from parents that our conferences were not meeting their needs. Parents vocalized that they were merely to complain about their child, causing them to feel that their input was not valued and contributing to a defensive stance rather than a collaborative one. The training provided teachers the tools and protocol to:
1. Come to the meeting prepared with evidence of student work;
2. Improve communication with parents to garner their support;
3. Help create a plan bridging home and school to help correct identified behaviors.
This has resulted in a systematic change in how we conduct Team Conferences and their effectiveness, which gained approval from parents and documented student improvements.

Another example of systemic change materialized when our TRUST Specialist, Susan Perlman identified the need to improve our delivery of services by providing training to all teachers and staff on “Identifying Troubled Behavior in Adolescents. The training provided guidelines to follow when observing troublesome behavior. This has resulted in a systematic change of timelier handling of cases. Students are more readily identified and directly routed to the appropriate counselor, instead of being sent to see an administrator. She identified a need and took steps to solve that need, bringing about systematic change.

All students in our school, inclusive of traditionally underperforming groups, are attaining growth and success, which is maintained over time in both academics and social behaviors. Results are in for the 2016-2017 school year that show improvement in learning gains in every category, especially the lowest performing 25%. We raised our already high Florida State Assessment test results. We maintain very high expectations of all our students. Every student in our school is part of our rigorous IB magnet program and must maintain a 2.0 GPA. A schoolwide grade analysis by quarter reveals that approximately 80% of the grades our students receive are As and B’s with only 35 students with a D or F grade at the end of the 1st quarter. Additionally, more students than ever are graduating with their IB Certificate. Our students are attaining growth and success, aided by programs such as our mentor program and supported by the belief that they can achieve.

Additionally, we have built a strong college-going culture throughout our school. This year, we expanded our career curriculum as a result of data that showed that students wanted to learn more about the world of work. Our preventative anti-bullying curriculum, partnered with the intentional teaching of character values/IB learner profile characteristics, has brought about a decrease in administrative discipline referrals in instigative behavior and confrontations with another student from 8 the previous year to none in 2016/2017. Our program is under constant review, and adjusted to meet the demands of the rigorous IB Magnet Curriculum and the needs of our students/staff. We use data to inform decisions, and leadership, advocacy and collaborative skills to bring about systemic change and improve the lives of all of our students. We love what we do and are proud of the fruits of our work.

Attached Files:
  • Outcome Data/Graph for Goal 1-Attendance View | Download
  • School Data Summary results 2015-16 to 2016-17 View | Download

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