The three classroom lessons all were designed to meet the counseling program goal to reduce discipline referrals by 20% during the 2014-2015 school year. While three lessons were highlighted, they were a part of a junior kindergarten through 5th grade conflict resolution unit based on Kelso’s Choices. Grades junior kindergarten through second grade received instruction on Kelso’s Choices during the months of October and March, while third through fifth received instruction during October and reviewed role play situations again in March. Classroom lessons that were highlighted were chosen to illustrate the variety of activities that are used in the counseling program to help students learn the concepts of the Kelso’s Choices program.
During the 2013-14 school year, Kelso’s Choices was first implemented at Fred Assam Elementary. Year-end data showed that the Jrk-2 students had understood and retained more information about the program than the older students. That data was used to change the 2014-15 program to add additional booster reviews for grades 3-5 in March for better retention. The 2014-2015 data showed that all grades had retained the information at the end of the year and expanded their knowledge from the beginning of the year. Discipline data at the end of the year had shown a dramatic decrease from the 2013-2014 school year.
Moving forward in 2015-2016, the counseling program will continue program implementation because data has shown this program to be effective. Since implementation, discipline referrals have declined 31% for 2013-14 and 53.5% for the 2014-15 year. Staff have reported students verbalizing that they will “try 3 things” when confronted with a small problem which is a basic component of the Kelso’s Choices program. Staff training was offered in the fall for educational assistants to observe a lesson in order to provide continuity, but only one staff member took advantage. This will be something to develop next school year so that consistency between all school staff increases and staff can help to reinforce the choices that students can use to resolve conflicts.