Rick Schneider Middle School
A CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT DOCUMENT SPONSORED BY THE TEXAS SCHOOL COUNSELING ASSOCIATION.
CATEGORY 1: PRINCIPAL'S COMMENTS
School safety, planning, social/emotional lessons, and our students' well-being have never been more critical than they are currently in public schools. At Schneider Middle School, we believe that the positive, personal connections adults make with their students can prevent much of the crisis and tragedy we have all seen too much of in the news lately. The comprehensive school counseling program at Rick Schneider Middle School includes social/emotional student lessons to help our students make better and safer choices when they are in crisis. Our Counselors also meet with teacher teams during their Professional Learning Communities to better equip our teachers on needed skills to help students who are in crisis or have undergone past trauma. In these small group settings, teachers are able to discuss specific situations and develop the necessary skills to help students while our Counselors facilitate these discussions.
CATEGORY 2: SCHOOL COUNSELING ADVISORY COUNCIL
RSMS School Counseling Advisory Council Members
Kristin Still, Principal
Cory Carter, Assistant Principal
Oziel Chapa, Assistant Principal
Danielle Knight, School Counselor
Maricela Escamilla, School Counselor
Lakesha Carter-Malveaux, Teacher
Trey Jones, Teacher
CATEGORY 3: SCHOOL CLIMATE & SAFETY
In order to strengthen the school climate and safety at Rick Schneider Middle School, the counseling team actively promotes, employs, and trains teachers on the curriculum of Conscious Discipline. The goal of Conscious Discipline is for teachers, students, and the entire school culture to become a safe haven of cooperation, constructive problem solving, and academic success. Through “Spartan Shout-Outs,” the faculty and staff reinforce encouragement. Spartan Shout-Outs are affirmations celebrating anyone on campus for their kindness or helpfulness. The shout-outs are a reminder that we are all in this together, and it teaches our school family to value each other through acts demonstrating gratitude.
Self-regulation during early adolescence can be difficult to navigate. Students are not always able to handle their upset, and they are likely to respond to an event or situation emotionally or even physically. Sometimes these emotions can demonstrate types of behaviors that mirror bullying because they take their feelings out on others. Every October, the Counselors organize lessons and activities for Anti-Bullying Week. The purpose of our Anti-Bullying Week is to encourage students, staff, and families to work together to stop bullying and cyber bullying and to put an end to hurtful behaviors. The students kick-off Anti-Bullying Week by participating in a lesson to first learn about the four types of bullying, and the difference between bullying and conflict. Throughout the week students also learn about bystanders and the harm it can cause to not speak up for others who are afraid to use their assertive voice and stand up for themselves. Students complete kindness challenges throughout the week which guide the students to choose kindness and helpfulness over being hurtful. One of the final activities completed was a bullying survey. The survey was completed by students, and its purpose was to see whether they see bullying as a major problem at Schneider.
The survey results are from 322 responses from 5th and 6th grade students.
Is there a bullying problem at our school? Do you feel most students are bullying others or is it just a few students?
The results show that over half of the students who completed the survey did not believe we have a bullying problem at our school, and over eighty percent of the students felt like only a few students are bullying others. This data shows that based on the lessons, activities, and bullying procedures we have in place, the majority of our students feel safe from bullying or other hurtful actions that can affect climate.
The role of the School Counselor in Schneider’s safety plan is to support the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of all students. When our Counselors work with a student, they also collaborate with all stakeholders to help the student feel safe and connected. During times of crisis, the Counselors along with the rest of the administration team and our emergency response team follow emergency response plans to ensure safety for all. The role of the School Counselor in the district’s crisis plan is to serve on the district's Crisis Counseling Team. They receive their assignments from the Associate Superintendent for Administrative Services.
CATEGORY 4: STUDENT RESULTS
GOAL # 1 STATEMENT
Our counseling team will increase the number of fifth and sixth grade students eligible to attend a motivational incentive events at the end of each grading period by 15% during the 2018-2019 school year. This goal will be implemented through the following:
culture and climate lessons with staff that includes Tier 1 behavior intervention training
conscious discipline lessons and strategies for students and staff
Planning incentive events that appeal to our age group and demographics
Students Eligible for Incentive Events
GOAL # 2 STATEMENT
Our counseling team will assist in increasing attendance of all fifth and sixth graders from 95% in the 2017-2018 school year to 97% during 2018-2019 school year. This goal will be reached through the following interventions:
Throughout the year, students will earn rewards on random days for attending school.
Referral groups (students who reach 15 absences) discussing the importance of being in school and identifying social service needs
Truancy Prevention Referrals
Attendance by School Year
School-wide attendance data will be monitored throughout the year on a daily basis. Student attendance percentages from the 2017-2018 school year will be compared to this school year’s attendance. The RSMS School Counseling Advisory Council will use the data to determine if the attendance interventions are successful and if needed, will revise the interventions to support the needs of our students and families more effectively.
Our school chose the first goal because one of the ways we build a positive school climate is by highlighting student achievement in all areas (academics, behavior and attendance). The counselors will implement programs and activities such as culture and climate lessons, Conscious Discipline strategies, Tier 1 behavior interventions, and counseling groups to minimize student misbehaviors and catering to the individual needs of our student body and staff. With these interventions in place, the counseling program will have a positive impact on the school’s climate, leading to higher student success and therefore increasing the number of students eligible for incentives.
The second goal was selected because attendance is important to student success and building a unified school culture. By using attendance incentives, students will be more motivated to attend school and develop a positive attitude toward school. With a focus on school attendance, students begin to understand the importance of school, which reduces the risk of students dropping out later in their educational career.
Both of these goals are important to promoting a safe and positive school climate. By increasing the number of students eligible for the incentive events and increasing attendance rates, students develop a sense of belonging and safety in their school leading to higher academic achievement. Counselors monitor attendance on a weekly basis and provide individual and group counseling to students with excessive absences as well as provide social service referrals and support for families in need.
CATEGORY 5: MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS
Schneider’s counseling department initiatives and interventions attributed to the decrease in the percentage of students with two to five behavior referrals. In one school year, the percentage dropped from 12% of students down to 6.58% of students, which was a 46 percent decrease. The percentage of students with six or more office referrals dropped by 80 percent as well! The counselors played a large role in this achievement by providing individual and group counseling to students with a history of behavior problems as well as coaching teachers to implement positive behavior interventions in the classroom. Counselors trained teachers and staff to see misbehavior as a call for help and provided strategies to replace unwanted behaviors. In addition, counselors planned motivational incentives to encourage students to meet their academic, behavior, and reading goals and give them an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments.
Another counseling initiative to improve school climate was the implementation of a school club program. 100% of all students were given the opportunity to participate in a club of their choice. Students and staff were given a survey, and results showed that 95.5% of staff felt that student clubs improved the school culture and wished to continue the program. One staff member stated, ”Clubs worked for us! It definitely improved relationships with teachers and students and offered students something positive to look forward to during the school year.”
Counselors offered six to eight sessions of group counseling for various topics throughout the school year including trauma recovery, healthy coping strategies, self-harm, emotional and impulse control, ADHD, cancer support, and body image. Due to the implementation and positive feedback of group counseling sessions, both counselors were asked to present our group counseling strategies and implementation process with district counselors.
CATEGORY 6: COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS AND RESOURCES
Rick Schneider Middle School is grateful for the partnerships we have solidified within our community. These partnerships help our students’ academic, personal, social, and career development.
CATEGORY 7: PARENT COLLABORATION
Parents who have children at RSMS have different ways of staying informed and connected to the campus. Our School Counselors share information to parents through a variety of sources such as Remind 101, Skyward Family Access, our campus website, Facebook, Twitter, Class Dojo, Instagram, and printed flyers and newsletters. RSMS promotes parent participation throughout the school year. Parents are invited to monthly “Coffee Chats,” on a variety of topics.