What good is the data you’re collecting as a high school counselor if you’re not sharing it with anyone? You’re running a data-driven program! It’s time to shout it from the mountaintops for all of your stakeholders to hear it!
Here are 4 valuable places to share your compelling school counseling data with your stakeholders so that they are aware of all of the good things you’re doing!
1- Share School Counseling Data at a Student Support Team Meeting
Our school counseling team was part of a Student Support Team and a Data Action Team (which are similar meetings with different names, so I’ll group them together for ease of explanation) where we discussed data, numbers, and common trends by grade level and caseload.
When you’re speaking data, you’re speaking your administrator’s love language. Their ears perk up. When you have data to share, your administrators are ready to listen.
Wondering where to start? Think like a detective or an investigator. Look for trends in your academic data (failures, passes, certain subject areas, or specific teachers), attendance data (students who are missing a lot of days, commonalities between students who aren’t attending school), and behavior data (certain times of the year, places in the school, types of issues/actions, grade levels of students, demographics of students).
There are so many places to dig up data in your school without you having to lift a finger to survey anyone!
When you can bring all of your counselors and administrators together in one room, you’ll have more eyes on your school counseling data and more people to help disaggregate and make sense of it.
You’ve done the leg work, so now it’s time to share. I can’t tell you how many times asking one question as we leaned into numerical data has fueled an entire initiative at our school!
Your data is informing your practice and your initiatives. You are also able to show how students are different because of what you’re doing. You’ve GOT to share this information with them!
2- Share School Counseling Data at a School Counseling Advisory Council Meeting
If you’re not already hosting a few school counseling advisory council meetings throughout your school year… why not? It’s the perfect place to round up your data and share it with some of your committed stakeholders!
There are easy ways to incorporate data sharing into a school counseling advisory committee meeting! At the first meeting of the year, plan to share your school counseling department’s SMART goals for the year. The school counseling data sharing will easily fall in line after this.
Whether you plan to host 2 or 3 advisory committee meetings throughout the year, you can plan for it/both to follow up on the goals. If you just have a second meeting at the end of the year, you’ll share your results from these goals for your department. If you’re hosting two meetings, give an update at the meeting in the middle of the year, and summarize your school counseling data at the end-of-year committee meeting.
Share process data: think of these like your hard and cold facts like how many students attended an event, how many classroom lessons you did, or how many students finished a small group that you ran.
Share perception data with quotes from students, pictures of events or initiatives you hosted related to your goals, or stories from your school counseling team. Perception data really helps answer the question of how students are different because of what you do as a school counselor. When students answer questions like “I know…,” “I believe…,” or “I can…,” you’ve got some insight for your perception data. (I like to work these phrases into post-test or post-surveys when I have students giving feedback for me.)
Share outcome data with graphs, charts, or visuals. You can print these out and give to attendees as handouts or project them on a screen. You’re using this data to show the results of your goals! Think of this like a before and after test to show the effectiveness of your school counseling intervention.
3- Share School Counseling Data at a Faculty Meeting
After you’ve done a “Beginning of the Year Presentation” and your faculty is familiar with what you do as a high school counselor and what your program’s goals are, you’ll want to follow up on how those goals and initiatives are going.
I find sharing (even to the point where you feel like a broken record) to be a really helpful way to gain trust in your building with your faculty stakeholders. You don’t even have to take up too much of your staff’s time with your updates! Think about what you like when you hear a presentation…
Keep it short and sweet. Hit the highlights. Keep it interactive. Ask them questions. Show pictures, and share anecdotal stories of your students’ successes. Don’t talk just to fill time, but give them the compelling numbers and stories that they need to celebrate student growth WITH you!
If your principal or your other administrators don’t seem like they’re hearing this information when you present to the larger crowd, maybe you need to schedule some time for them to drop into your department meeting or set up a time to bring the two groups (counselors and administrators) together to have a share session about your recent data.
4- Share School Counseling Data on a Bulletin Board
Once you’ve got the data, show it off! Don’t overthink it! Give it a title and share the most compelling school counseling data that you want others to hear.
To get people interacting with your bulletin board, use QR codes! Stakeholders can hold up their camera app on their phones and be taken anywhere on the internet! Make a video of you sharing your department’s goals, explaining school counseling initiatives, or talking about student growth! Bring them to your website with an explanation of the small group you ran or the career fair you hosted.
This bulletin board doesn’t have to live in your lobby or hallway forever… you can always replace it with something else when it’s not relevant anymore!
When your stakeholders can recognize that your school counseling data is closing major gaps in your students’ attitudes, knowledge, and beliefs, they will be in full support of what you’re doing! Data is one more huge tool to help you advocate for your role as a competent, effective, and efficient high school counselor! Don’t miss the opportunity to share this incredibly helpful information and get others on board for student growth.
Collecting school counseling data can seem intimidating, but it definitely does not have to be. Download this free High School Counseling Data Collection Guide to help you brainstorm places to start collecting data in your school!