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Behavior Report Card Data
Now on to Day 12. Today we are looking at report card data. In my county that not only means a student's academic grades, but their behavioral grades as well. We have a behavior rating system with our report cards that asks teachers to rate students on academic skills such as work study skills needed to learn, social skills such as positive interactions with peers and adults, and self control such as demonstrating positive interactions in the school and classroom even in stressful situations. Students receive a rating of 1, 2, or 3. Receiving a 1 indicates the student is performing well and there is no problem. A rating of 2 indicates a student is experiencing some difficulty in this area. If a student receives a 3, there is evidence of serious behavioral concerns that need to be addressed with interventions.
As I examined the positive interactions data, I found my students were meeting the expectation of 80% across the board. However, 38% of my ESE students were not meeting expectations on academic skills, neither were 32% of my African American students, and 26% of my Hispanic students. I also saw an area of weakness with 29% of my males in grades 1, 3 and 4. Twenty-three percent of students struggling with self-control were 1st graders.
Now that I have some data I have direction. I think I will survey the teachers in grades 1, 3, and 4 using a Google form to find out which of my students in those grades are struggling with which specific academic skills. The Google form will allow me to sort students by need. So rather than do a generic study skills/academic skills group, with data from Google forms, I can design something more prescriptive.
Academic Report Card Data
Reviewing report card grades was an eye opener for me. I did not have the nice graphs I used for disaggregating the Behavioral Report Card data, so I went through page by page. Looking at names and grades, making note of whether students were ESE or gen ed, I was struck not only by the number of failing grades, but at some of the students whose names I found there. Something more has to be going on when you have students who have passing grades in every subject but one or two. This will require greater investigation on my part with teachers and with students. I feel as if I have been missing an important service element to my students and teachers. There is much I can do to help students achieve success. I know I still have data to disaggregate, but I believe the report card is where I will shine my flashlight and focus my goal for this challenge.
The Counselor's Role
How could I have not examined grades this closely before? I guess I felt this was the teacher's domain and no place to stick my nose. Besides, I already had enough to do, and some of it not even School Counselor related! But now I see I was wrong. If we as School Counselors don't get in the data and expose the academic, social, and emotional needs at our schools, that only we can meet, we will continue to be assigned inappropriate roles and duties. Data exposes the needs. School Counselors have to be ready with the solutions to meet those needs. Data driven school counseling is the way to develop a comprehensive school counseling program that fully utilizes the skills of the School Counselor allowing us to meet the needs of all our students.
Tomorrow is day 13! We will be disaggregating Early Warning System data (or whatever you call it at your school). This is the at risk population of students who are over age for their grade, have attendance, academic, or discipline issues, are an ESE or ESOL student, or have a level 1 or 2 on state standardized tests.
Have you been participating in the 21 Day Daily Data Challenge? If so please share how it is going on the Exploring School Counseling Facebook page or below in the comment section. I would love to hear what is happening with your Data Challenge. If you are wondering what the 21 Day Daily Data Challenge is all about, you can read more HERE.