ESSENTIAL DATA TOOLS FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS

If you stumbled across this post in May or June, it's your last month of school! That's why I'm sharing essential data tools you can use to wrap up your school year and plan for the future. Reading at another time? No worries, you can use these all year long.

Essential Data Tool: Behavior Surveys

I love behavior surveys! They are such a great way to widen your lens on how your students are applying what you’re teaching them in counseling. Getting parent and teacher perspective is essential to creating a comprehensive data report.

  • How do I use them? Send these surveys to parents and teachers to assess how the student's behavior is changing as a reflection of the skills they are working on in counseling. It is important to survey both parents and teachers to see how the student's behavior differs in the home and school setting.

  • Who do I use them with / When do I send them? Send these out to parents and teachers before and after groups and individual sessions to track student progress. (Do not send after each session but before and after 6-8 weeks of sessions.)

  • Pro tip: Try creating a Google Form for your behavior surveys so you can simply send a link instead of worrying about papers getting lost in a black hole backpack!

Check out my behavior survey templates here.

For more details on how to use behavior surveys, listen to this podcast episode where I interview a special guest and real-life counselor.

Essential Data Tool: Self-Assessments

I’ve been using self-assessments for years! They are so simple to create and yield big time results when it comes to measuring students progress as a result of your services.

  • How do I use them? Have students answer the self-assessment questions then record their data. If you’re working with younger students you can survey them by asking them the questions directly and writing down their answers. For virtual learning, send out a digital Google Forms version.

  • Who do I use them with / When do I send them? Send these out during the first and last session of groups and individual sessions to track student progress. You can use them with any students who you are seeing in groups or individually.

  • Pro tip: If you're passing them out to a small group have the students get clipboards and go to a private spot of the room. This way they feel comfortable giving honest answers!

Check out my self-assessment templates here.

Essential Data Tool: Data Walls

I’m newly on the data wall train and I am loving it! I’ve always used End of the Year Reports, but this is essentially a break down of then End of the Year Report where you can zoom in on facts and figures you want to highlight about your school counseling program.

  • How do I use it? Create charts and graphs showing services provided and student progress data then cut and paste them on to a bulletin board to showcase your program's progress.

  • Who do I use it with / When do I use it? You use the data wall kit to display student growth and program progress. I recommend doing this at the end of each quarter, semester, and definitely at the end of the year!

  • Pro tip: Hang your data wall in a high traffic area so parents, teachers, and admin can get eyes on it! Or you can make a virtual data wall to display on your school website.

Check out my Data Wall Bulletin Board Kit here.

Essential Data Tool: End of the Year Report

Like I said, I am a tried and true End of the Year Report fan! This report has been a game changer in my career and I’ve seen it help so many other counselors transform their counseling programs as well.

  • How do I use it? Gather all of the data you’ve collected throughout the school year (self- assessments, behavior progress monitoring, parent/teacher feedback, etc) and organize it in charts and graphs to show a summary of services provided.

  • Who do I use it with / When do I use it? You use the end of the year report to showcase all of your data. Use this report at the end of the school year to show your principal and team how many students have been impacted by your counseling services.

  • Pro tip: Don't forget to include data about how your time was spent throughout the year (ex: trainings/meetings/PD attended). This will come in handy as you advocate for your role and discuss assigned non-counselor related duties.

To learn all of the ins and outs of using and end of the year report check out this episode of School Counseling Simplified where I interview another school counselor as a special guest!!

Y'all have heard me wax poetic about this thing for years, that's because it's simply the best. Check out my End of the Year Report template here. You can read more about exactly how to create one here.

Essential Data Tool: Parent/Teacher Feedback Surveys

I’ve always loved doing a needs assessment at the start of the school year to determine what services to provide, but parent/teacher feedback surveys take it even a step further. Talk about being proactive and preventative!

  • How do I use them? Send surveys to parents and teachers to find out what they think went well with your program, what could be improved, and if they accessed the services you offered.

  • Who do I use them with / When do I send them? Survey parents and teachers at the end of the school year to get feedback on your counseling program.

  • Pro tip: Include 3 types of questions to make sure you're covering your bases. (Rating Scale - "How often did you access this service?", Yes/No - "It was easy to make a referral.", Open ended - "What can be improved?")

Are you feeling inspired to tackle data collection after this post? Get everything you need to get started with my Data Tools Bundle.

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