Friday, November 2, 2012

Data! Data! Data!

Accountability is one of the most vital parts of a successful school counseling program.  It is also one of the most threatening topics for school counselors who are new to it.  I have used data in some ways in the past (such as pre and post self evaluations for students), but I've never really kept track of it the way I should.  This year, our state has changed our standards to be more aligned with the ASCA national standards.  Thus, there is more of a focus on data.  On Monday, the elementary school counselors in my county got together (all day) to talk about our new standards and how we can use data as part of our programs.

Being the only counselor at my school, I was feeling intimidated by the task, but I'm always up for a challenge!  The more I learned about using data, the more I realized that it totally aligns with what my school is already doing through Response for Intervention and Tier!!  A huge lightbulb went off in my head and I definately feel less threatened.  Right now, I'm putting in place an action plan on how I can use data so that it will work for me.  I'm planning on taking baby steps, but I've created a data notebook and here's what I have so far:

1.  I'll be using google documents to create pre- and post- evaluations to be completed by teachers for students who will be in skill building groups (such as self-esteem, self control, anxiety, anger, etc.)  The forms are so easy to create and I really love that when teachers fill out the form, it puts it in a spreadsheet for you (then you can create graphs if you want too!).  I think this will be a valuable resource for me. 

2.  I will be using Leadership grades to monitor progress.  As I've already shared, we are going through the Leader In Me process.  Therefore, we made the school decision to change our "citizenship grade" to a "leadership grade."  I will use this to monitor how much students in my self control group grow.

3.  Calendars!  I keep a yearly, monthly, and daily calendar, all of which I will be saving in my data notebook.

4.  Activity Logs.  In my previous post I shared that I am monitoring my daily activities in a log, all of which will be included in my data notebook. 

5.  Parent Involvement.  I am excited to announce that I will be starting "Coffee with the Counselor."  I have read about several other schools (such as Tabitha at Scrapbook of a School Counselor) who are using this as a non-threatening approach to parent involvement.  I will document this with sign in sheets as well as evaluations. 

I am sure that there will be many more ways that I will learn to use data in my school counseling program, but I am so excited to begin these ideas now so that I can watch my students grow and so that I can grow as a school counselors as well!

What are some ways you use data in your professional school counseling program?

No comments:

Post a Comment