Simple Ways to Incorporate Data into your K-6 Counseling Program Part 2
Written by: Samantha Vidal
In part one, we reviewed a few easy strategies to utilize student choice data and self-report data to inform practices and share successes with key stakeholders. Now, let’s explore how to incorporate teacher feedback, group counseling pre/post tests, and attendance data into your school counseling program.
“Whether you are brand new, or a seasoned school counselor, incorporating data into daily programming can make a big impact.”
Teachers are experts in lesson delivery and classroom management skills. They know their students’ strengths and challenges, manage classroom dynamics, and differentiate instruction every day. Invite your teacher colleagues to give valuable feedback and help manage student behaviors during your next counseling lesson. They might not want to stay for all of your lessons (they deserve a break!), but they could maybe be persuaded to stay for one lesson. You can use this Teacher Paper Feedback Form so they can complete the paper before getting pulled away to something else or send this Teacher Feedback Online Form to fill out later. Use what works best with your staff!
Student Benchmark: 90% of teachers will rate a 3 or higher, indicating students learned the targeted skills.
Student Group: Grade 6 classroom counseling lessons, January 2023.
Number of Students: 350
Data Point: Teacher Feedback Form administered through Office365.
Pre-tests and post-tests can be quick, easy ways to determine if students retained information from your lesson or intervention. You can administer a pre-test and post-test to show an increase in knowledge or a change in perception. Or, you can conduct a post-test only to determine whether students met the learning objectives. Post-tests can also determine if a follow-up lesson is needed or if a student needs a higher level of intervention. For example, this Common Sense Media lesson about Digital Drama has a post-test that asks, “How confident are you in knowing how to de-escalate digital drama before it goes too far?” A student who answers, “I don’t feel very confident,” might need a follow-up intervention (think, small group) to practice these skills.
Don’t have time to distribute the post-test, but still want to gather some quick data? Ask students to put their heads down, close their eyes, and “Raise your hand if…” For example, this Common Sense Media lesson asks students, “Do you ever feel sad or mad when you use your devices?” as a discussion question. Have students put their heads down, close their eyes, and “Raise your hand if you ever feel sad or mad when you use your devices.” You can share this data with parents in your next newsletter!
Student Benchmark: At least 6/8 students will score a 3 or higher on the Worry Warriors Post-Test.
Student Group: Worry Warriors counseling group
Number of Students: 8
Data Point: Worry Warriors Printable Post-Test or Worry Warriors Post-Test Form
“Share your progress and celebrate your students!”
Attendance is a tricky area for our youngest students. We know that ultimately, parents are responsible for getting their kids to school on time. However, we also know that attendance seems to be higher on special days or for special events. How can you provide extra incentives for chronically tardy or absent students? Start by running a report to identify chronic absences or tardies from the previous school year so you can be proactive in the fall. Target those students who might need an extra incentive to attend school each day. Here are a few strategies I found to be successful:
Educate students on the importance of attendance for learning during a weekly lunch bunch group. Collect data using a pre/post test and monitor attendance data.
- Provide extra touchpoints (phone calls, notes, emails, etc.) for students and parents. Relationship building can make a big difference. Record your outreach efforts and see if attendance improves after this outreach.
- Start a weekend food program that requires attendance on Fridays for food pick-up and attendance on Mondays to return the reusable food bag to be refilled. Does attendance improve for these students after this intervention?
- Work with your transportation department and School Resource Officer to arrange late pick-ups for students truant or avoiding school. Do tardies and absences decrease after a few pick-ups?
Student Benchmark: 90% of students will have 9 or fewer absences for the school year.
Student Group: Attendance Counseling Group
Number of Students: 9
Data Point: PowerSchool Attendance Report
Whether you are brand new, or a seasoned school counselor, incorporating data into daily programming can make a big impact. Student choice data, self-report data, teacher feedback, group counseling pre/post tests, and attendance data should drive your programming and provide information to share with key stakeholders. Reflect on successes and learn from challenges. Share your progress and celebrate your students! You don’t have to do it all – but you can choose one strategy and try it now. You will grow as an educator and your students will grow as well-rounded citizens. You got this!