What Should You Share with Your School Counseling Advisory Committee?

It’s finally here, the end of the school year and the final advisory committee meeting.  Now is the time to reflect on the program and determine what is essential to continue for next year and what should be eliminated.  What worked and what didn’t?  An advisory committee will help make these determinations, but what exactly should you share with your committee? 

What information am I sharing with my School Counseling Advisory Committee?

I’m sharing an overview of my program through stories and numbers.  I will reveal the total number of class lessons I’ve taught along with the topics of the class lessons.  We’ll discuss the five groups I conducted and the impact on student outcomes.  We’ll review the total number of “minute” meeting completed and the data that those meetings yielded.  We’ll also look at the number of mentors connected to students and the barriers we faced this year along with potential solutions for next year.  I’ll also share a pie chart of how my time over the course of the year was spent and how my time aligns with ASCA standards, which isn’t too shabby considering it’s my first year at this school and I’ve built the program from the ground up (70% Direct Support & 30% Support/Non-Counseling Tasks). 

We’ll review the total number of individual sessions I’ve had over this past year along with my most frequent session topics in a pie chart with behavior, attendance, and friendship taking the most substantial portion of the pie.  I’ll share the data on bullying and friendship squabbles and then, I’ll share how my program has helped cultivate a safe school environment by revealing the number of restorative circles, restorative classroom meetings, and bullying class lessons conducted.  

What am I still debating on sharing?  

I’ve spent much time debating the merits of including my data on the suicide and threat assessments I’ve conducted throughout the year.  I don’t want to induce panic by sharing the specifics of this information, but it’s also a large (time-consuming) portion of my work and reveals just how reactive I’ve needed to be this year and what needs addressing.  Perhaps I won’t share specifics; maybe I will instead share the overarching threads associated with those particular data points. 

The majority of my students who have made threatening statements against themselves or others did not have an intent to harm anyone.  At this young age, most children have not yet learned how to articulate their emotions and desires appropriately, which is why I want to make social and emotional education a priority next year.  You might be wondering what they’re saying that is so concerning.  Some students might say, “I’m going to kill you” instead of saying, “I’m furious with you right now, and I need some time to myself.”  An assessment reveals the real intent of the students’ statement, and then we work on replacement phrasing that fits the speech of a child and accurately conveys their feelings.  It is this highly reactive environment which has my brain whirling with ideas for improvements for next year. 

What am I hoping to improve and change next school year?    

I’m hoping to use Sanford Harmony’s social and emotional curriculum to help my students learn to identify and communicate their emotions appropriately.  I will also propose using our school’s morning news channel as a medium to allow students to teach their peers the best methods for reducing anxiety or curbing anger through a weekly news feature.  Additionally, I will propose an enhanced career day, the initiation of a second language teaching club, and my admittance into the leadership and PBIS committees. 

I’ve carefully selected the members of this group to be representative of the population I’m serving, so I’m hopeful they’ll have ideas on additional services, groups, or gaps in my programming that I haven’t noticed.  Once I have their feedback, I’ll send out my end of year survey to all the parents and teachers to see how else I might be able to improve the programming for next year.  The time I spend reflecting and planning are invaluable for helping me increase student outcomes.