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Section 1: Contextual Factors: Community, School, and Student

Diversity

Name of School: Cockrill Middle School

Geographic Location: North Texas

School System: McKinney ISD

Number of students: 1,241

Student/Teacher Ratio: 16.29/1

Percent of students on free/reduced % Economically Disadvantaged-


lunch program: 24.2%
Non-Educationally Disadvantaged-
75.8%

Learning Differences Student Enrollment by Program:


Bilingual/ESL 3.6%
Career & Technical Education 20.5%
Gifted and Talented 9%
Special Education-9.6%

Student Diversity 15.9% African American


20.8 Hispanic
54.2% White
0.8% American Indian
4.7% Asian
0,3% Pacific Islander
3.3% Two or More Races

Exceptionalities English Language Learners (ELL)-


2.4%
Students With Disciplinary
Placements- 0.3%
At-risk- 26.7%
Mobility-9.0%

Socio-economic status 18.9 Economically Disadvantaged

Grades served: 6th-8th

Estimated District Enrollment: 24,500


McKinney ISD is one of the fastest growing school districts in Texas. McKinney enrolls more
than 24,500 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, one
alternative campus and one early childhood education school. In 2014, McKinney was ranked No. 1
on the Best Places to Live in America per Money Magazine. McKinney is the Texas city to make the
on the Best Places to Live Top 10.
According to teachers, parents, and the student themselves, one of the
highest areas of concern at Cockrill Middle School is the amount of stress and
anxiety that the students experience on a daily basis. After several emails
from parents asking for help and seeing the effects of anxiety on my
students, I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to hold small
groups with 6th grade students who were referred by a parent or a teacher.

Students these days seems to experience stress at a younger age than


perhaps 10 years ago. They worry about their academic achievement, fitting
in, being well-liked by teachers and peers, excelling in after school activities
(which has significantly increased over the last few years), and these
stressors do not include the stress they feel at home.

According to an article on the Powerful Impact of Stress published in


the John Hopkins School of Education, the stressful moments in the day --
mom is running late and snaps at her son, the child takes it out on his
brother and forgets his homework -- trigger the cascade of reactions brought
on by the fight-flight response. Stress disorders can result such as: high
blood pressure, headaches, reduced eyesight, stomachaches and other
digestive problems, facial, neck and back pain. High levels of the major
stress hormone, cortisol, depress the immune system. A number of studies
found that high levels of cortisol are implicated in AIDS, MS, diabetes,
cancer, coronary artery disease, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's
disease (Lewis, p.4).
(http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/Keeping%20Fit
%20for%20Learning/stress.html)

After receiving a list of students who could benefit from small group
sessions on how to become a Worry Warrior (how to handle stress when it
arises, how to change our automatic narratives, techniques that can help
calm our anxiety, etc), I will develop and implement small group lessons
each week to minority male and female 6th grade students (during separate
sessions). I will provide small group lessons based on needs of the different
groups. Pre, mid, and post assessments will be given to determine the
effectiveness of the small groups.

Section II: Learning Goals and Assessment Plan:

Being a teacher for 15 years, I have noticed within the last few years that
many of my student's learning has been compromised due to the eternal stress
that they deal with. As I talked with my colleagues, we were all in agreeance that
the level of stress and anxiety that we were seeing in our students these days
had significantly increased from prior years. I began to notice physical symptoms,
as compared to previously just noticing emotional symptoms.Students began to
display a lack of concentration, headaches,stomach aches and they were
missing numerous days of school to anxiety symptoms.
It is alarming that the teen stress experience is so similar to that of adults.
It is even more concerning that they seem to underestimate the potential
impact that stress has on their physical and mental health, says APA CEO
and Executive Vice President Norman B. Anderson, PhD. In order to break
this cycle of stress and unhealthy behaviors as a nation, we need to provide
teens with better support and health education at school and home, at the
community level and in their interactions with health care professionals.
(http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2014/02/teen-stress.aspx)

My goal is for the groups I see is to gain a deeper understanding of the


effects of stress and anxiety and to learn how to become a worry warrior and
not let anxiety and stress rule their lives.
Objective and Learning Goals:

At the end of our sessions, students will be able to recognize the negative
effects of prolonged stress and anxiety on the brain, nervous system, and
their body. We will learn simple, yet practical stress management techniques
and learn what to do when we first experience anxiety.Our goal is to see
progress made in academic performance as anxiety and stress will be better
managed. Learning goals include:

Learning Goal 1: 6th grade minority students will gain a deeper


understanding of the effects of stress and anxiety as well as distinguish their
own personal stressors.

Objective 1.1: They will acknowledge their vulnerability to upcoming


stressors and make a plan to govern imminent situations.
Objective 1:2 Students will receive weekly guidance lessons that
specifically address how to handle stress and anxiety.

Learning Goal 2: 6th grade minority students will learn effective and
purposeful stress management techniques that can begin to implement as
an effort to reduce their stress and anxiety.

Objective 2:1: Students will help me research a variety of tools that they
can use to reduce stress. From those tools, they will explore 1 new method a
week and see if/how it worked.

Objective 2:2: The students and I will rate our efficient handling of stress
each week.

The students will meet weekly and discuss their weekly stresses;
academically, emotionally and physically (one student has a rare bone
disease.) Our guidance lessons will include safe/unsafe ways to handle
stress, coping mechanisms, taking care of oneself when a potentially hard
week is approaching (example: Quarter Assessments for each subject all in
one week), modifying the internal dialogue that takes place when we are
stressed, and so forth.

Pre-Assessment Plan: I will survey all of my students and see what they
identify as a main concern for 6th grade students.
I completed this survey at the beginning of the second semester. After there
was a high concern for stress and anxiety, I reached out to the parents and
teachers and asked for names of students who could benefit from weekly
small group counseling. After those name were given, an initial needs
assessment was given.

Mid-Assessment: We will rate our stress and anxiety weekly and monitor
our stress levels by graphing our results.

Post-Assessment Plan: Students will be given the prior needs assessment


and see if their need of stress/anxiety management is effective.

TExES:
Competency 001: Human Development

C. Recognizes the interrelatedness of developmental domains and ways in


which this interrelatedness may affect students behaviors

D. Understands the range of human developmental variation (e.g., typical


and atypical behaviors) and knows how to provide appropriate, effective
guidance and counseling services that are responsive to students
developmental characteristics and differences.

E. Understands students developmental characteristics and needs in


relation to educational and career awareness, planning and decision-making.

Competency 002: Student Diversity

A. Demonstrates an understanding of ways to create and maintain a positive


school environment in which diversity is acknowledged and respected.

B. Knows and applies strategies for positive, effective communication with all
students and their families.

C. Understands student differences (e.g., in relation to culture, economics,


gender, ethnicity, learning style) and knows how to provide a developmental
guidance and counseling program that meets the needs of all students.

G. Advocates for a school environment in which diversity is acknowledged


and respected.
Competency 003: Factors affecting students

A. Understands environmental, social and cultural factors that may affect


students development and learning and recognizes the relevance of these
factors for school counseling.
B. Knows how factors in the school (e.g., peer relationships, teacher-student
interactions, school climate) may affect students ability to succeed in school
and collaborates with school personnel to promote a school environment in
which all students may achieve success.

C. Demonstrates knowledge of factors in the home and community that may


affect students school performance (e.g., feelings of safety and security,
level of family support, impact of critical incidents) and recognizes the
effects such factors may have on students achievement.

D. Understands how societal factors and trends (e.g. media influences on


students, changing demographic and economic conditions, technological
developments) may affect what students need from a developmental
guidance and counseling program.

E. Understands how to promote students ability to cope with negative


factors and build on positive factors and influences in their lives.

Competency 004: Program management

B. Knows how to assess the needs of students in a school and plan a


developmental guidance and counseling program that is proactive and
reflects student needs.

C. Demonstrates knowledge of procedures for implementing a


developmental guidance and counseling program, evaluating the programs
effectiveness and modifying the program as necessary to meet the needs of
all students.

F. Knows how to serve as a consultant and/or coordinator to help students


achieve success in school and outside of school.

H. Knows how to organize personnel, resources and activities to meet


defined needs and objectives.
I. Knows how to apply research-based practice to improve the school
guidance and counseling program.

Competency 005: Developmental Guidance Program

A. Knows how to help students develop age-appropriate knowledge and skills


in the areas of self-confidence, motivation to achieve, decision making and
problem solving, interpersonal effectiveness, communication, cross-cultural
effectiveness and responsible behavior.

B. Applies knowledge of procedures for developing a guidance curriculum


(e.g., establishing learning goals and objectives, indicators of competence,
expected results and evaluative criteria).

C. Knows how to design, implement and evaluate developmentally


appropriate guidance instruction for students at different grade levels.

D. Knows how to work collaboratively with the school community to promote


the integration of the guidance and academic curriculum.

F. Demonstrates knowledge of appropriate resources, including technological


tools, to promote students development of skills and knowledge in the
developmental guidance curriculum.

G. Knows how to facilitate students ability to achieve their potential by


helping them set and attain challenging educational, career and
personal/social goals.

H. Demonstrates knowledge of how to teach small and large groups by


actively engaging students in the learning process.

Competency 006: Counseling

A. Applies knowledge of counseling and consultation theories, principles and


practices in a school community

C. Demonstrates knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of the counselor


in various counseling services.

D. Knows how to provide effective counseling to individuals and small groups


using appropriate counseling theories and techniques.
E. Demonstrates an understanding of group dynamics and productive group
interactions in various counseling situations.

F. Knows how to use counseling-related research techniques and practices to


address student needs.

G. Applies knowledge of how to coordinate resources for students within the


school and community.

H. Understands the use of prevention approaches (e.g. respect for self and
others, motivation, decision making, conflict resolution) and intervention
strategies (e.g. substance abuse, critical incidents, anger management) to
address student concerns.

Competency 009: Collaboration with others in the School and Community

B. Applies procedures for collaborating with others in the school and


community to implement a developmental guidance program, including a
guidance curriculum, that promotes students development in all domains
(e/g/ academic, career, personal/social) and helps students achieve in school
and outside of school.

C. Demonstrates knowledge of procedures for consulting with teachers and


administrators and others to provide professional expertise and enhance
their work with students.

D. Knows how to work and communicate effectively with teachers,


administrators and other professionals to promote positive change for
individuals, groups and the school community.

F. Applies procedures for coordinating resources for students within the


school and community.

Competency 010: Professionalism

A. Demonstrates an understanding of legal and ethical standards, guidelines,


practices and issues relevant to the role of the school counselor (e.g.
confidentiality, special populations, professional records, relationships with
students and others, and use of appropriate interventions)
B. Knows how to apply legal and ethical standards in various situations
involving students and others.

C. Knows how to be an effective advocate for a developmental guidance


counseling program that is responsive to all students.

Education Preparation Provider Competencies:

Competency #2: Learning Differences.


The candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse
cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that
enable each learner to meet high standards.

Competency #3: Learning Environments.


The candidate works with others to create environments that support
individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social
interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.

Competency #4: Content Knowledge.


The candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and
structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning
experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and
meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Competency #7: Planning for Instruction.


The candidate plans instruction that supports every student in meeting
rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas,
curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of
learners and the community context.

Competency #8: Instructional Strategies.


The candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to
encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and
their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Competency #10: Leadership and Collaboration.


The candidate seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take
responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families,
colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure
learner growth, and to advance the profession.