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Early Transitions for Vulnerable Children: Helping Elementary Students and Families C.O.P.E. Kelsey Augst, M.Ed. & Patrick Akos, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Early Transitions for Vulnerable Children: Helping Elementary Students and Families C.O.P.E. Kelsey Augst, M.Ed. & Patrick Akos, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Early Transitions for Vulnerable Children: Helping Elementary Students and Families C.O.P.E. Kelsey Augst, M.Ed. & Patrick Akos, Ph.D.

2 Why are transitions important for elementary school counselors?  Proactive effects on students/families  School counselor expertise  ASCA National Model  2 critical transitions  Into kindergarten  From 2 nd to 3 rd grade  Structure of presentation  Developmental and Ecological Challenges  Risk Factors  C.O.P.E.

3 Transition to Kindergarten “The transition to kindergarten is fundamentally a matter of establishing a relationship between the home and the school in which the child’s development is the key focus or goal.” Pianta, 1999

4 Developmental Challenges “At preschool they read to you, in kindergarten you learn how to read.” (Perry, Dockett & Tracey, 1998, p. 6) Cognitive Social Physical

5 Ecological Challenges  Basis of reward system changes (Entwisle & Alexander, 1999)  Student focus on rules and consequences (Dockett & Perry, 2001)  Differences in environment  Home  Preschool  Kindergarten

6 Implications for All  Advocacy  District:  Kindergarten Transition programs  School:  Class lists  Opportunities for parents/students to visit prior to first day  ASCA National Model  Management System  Delivery System: Classroom Guidance

7 Risk Factors  How Many?  Parent and teacher perceptions  Who?  Familial background  Limited English Proficiency  Emerging or existing disabilities  Contextual Factors  Preschool attendance  Lack of social interaction

8 C.O.P.E. Closing the Gap Action Plan Contact Person Intended Effects on Academics or Behavior ASCA Student Competency ASCA Domain/Standar d Type of Activity to be Delivered in What Manner? Resources Needed Projected Number of Students Impacted Evaluation Methods Project Start/End Date School counselor Collaborative, strengths-based educational group counseling to impact parenting for children deemed at risk in order to build successful transitions PS:A1.4 PS:A1.11 Personal/ Social : Acquire Self- Knowledge Parent Psycho- Educational Groups, breakfast sessions over the year Breakfast, group session plans, resources for parents At risk kindergarten families that volunteer to participate Pre/Post test for parents Throughout the year School counselor Outreach to students identified as having academic/ behavioral difficulties in kindergarten transition PS:A1.1 PS:A1.6 PS:B1.2 A:A1.2 A:A1.5 Personal/ Social: Acquire Self- Knowledge, Application of self- knowledge Academic: Improve Academic Self-Concept Kindergarten group counseling, weekly sessions for 8 weeks Session plans and resources for individual sessions “At risk” kindergarten students (14 students) Pre/Post survey to kindergarten teachers October -November School counselor and ESL teacher Promote information about kindergarten readiness and registration to parents who do not speak English as their primary language A:A1.2 A:A1.5 A:B1.4 A:B1.5 Academic: Improve Academic Self Concept, Improve Learning Newsletters translated in Spanish, information sessions provided in Spanish Spanish translator, easily accessible community location to hold information/registr ation sessions ESL kindergarten families (approximately 22% of rising Kindergarten population) Parent interviewsApril - September

9 Kindergarten Conquerors

10  Research-Based Best Practices  Results  Reflections

11 2 nd to 3 rd Grade Transition Video taken out for student privacy

12 Ecological Challenges “The focus in academics shifts from learning to read to reading to learn, learning to write to writing in a formalized format, developing problem solving strategies to solve multi- step problems, and moving from non- standardized assessments to standardized testing.” (NCDPI, 2007)

13 Implications for All  Facilitate communication between second and third grade teachers  Advocate for vertical curriculum planning  Inform parents of expectations of students in third grade (compared to previous grades) and encourage appropriate parental support  Provide classroom guidance to teach skills  Consult with teachers on providing emotional and social support for students  Identify struggling students early

14 Risk Factors  How Many?  Data  Who?  Struggle with independent reading  Low math confidence  Contextual Factors  Parent involvement

15 2 nd to 3 rd Grade Transition Closing the Gap Action Plan Contact Person Intended Effects on Academics or Behavior ASCA Student Competency ASCA Domain/ Standard Type of Activity to be Delivered in What Manner?Resources Needed Projected Number of Students Impacted Evaluation Methods Project Start/End Date School counselor Collaboration among grade levels as older students mentor/tutor at risk second grade students A:A1.1 A:A2.2 A:A2.4 Academic: Improve Academic Self- Concept and Acquire Skills for Improving Learning Peer tutoring and mentoring program, weekly sessions for 6 – 9 weeks Peer mentors, meeting space, activity materials, peer mentor training sessions At risk second grade students (14 students) and peer mentors (16 students) Pre and post test, 2 nd quarter grades compared to 3 rd quarter grades, teacher observations February – April (3 rd quarter) School counselor Small group counseling opportunity to provide outreach to struggling learners and teach skills in order to improve student success A:A1.5 A:A2.3 A:B1.3 A:B2.1 Academic: Improve Academic Self-Concept, Acquire Skills for Improving Learning, Improve Learning, Plan to Achieve Goals “Superstar Student” small-group counseling, weekly sessions for 7 weeks Group plan and materials Third grade students who are non- proficient on Pre- EOG in math or reading Pre-EOG scores, EOG scores;, pre/post test on skills September-November School counselorIndividual counseling for students at risk for a difficult transition in order to promote individual strengths, build self- confidence, and create academic plans A:A1.1 A:A1.3 A:A2.4 A:B2.1 A:B2.3 PS:A1.10 Academic: Improve Academic Self- Concept, Acquire Skills for Improving Learning, Plan to Achieve Goals Personal/Social: Acquire Self- Knowledge Individual counseling sessions Academic plansAt risk third grade students Pre-EOG scores, EOG scores, progress reports September- November

16 Math Masters  Research-Based Best Practices  Results  Reflections

17 Math Masters: A Peer Helping Program  Video taken out for student privacy

18 Contact Information  Kelsey Augst Hilburn Drive Elementary School, Wake County  Patrick Akos University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Augst, K., & Akos, P. (2009, February 9). Primary transitions: How elementary school counselors promote optimal transitions. Journal of School Counseling, 7(3). Retrieved March 3, from


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