How to Collect and Share Data for Your Small Groups [Episode 114]


Here's What to Expect In This Episode:

You’re ready to start using small groups in your high school, but you need to be able to measure their effectiveness and have something tangible to show for your endeavors. The key to success is to plan to collect and share small group data from the start.
If you have resistance from admins or fellow high school counselors, data can be highly compelling to show the value of utilizing small groups. The data you collect can shape their perspective, proving that small groups are worth the effort. It’s just a matter of being consistent with your data collection plan and sharing those results with your colleagues.
In this episode, I’m sharing how to collect small group data effectively, how to share the data collected to show its value to your fellow staff, the different types of data you can gather, the value of collecting perception data, and how to get teachers’ involvement in the process.

Topics Covered in This Episode:

  • How to collect and organize your small group data
  • The different options for sharing the data collected
  • How to use pictures as perception data to show the value of your efforts
  • The four ways small group data collection benefits your counseling role

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Read the transcript for this episode:

Since we talked about examples of small groups that you can be running in your high school last week in Episode 113, I thought this week, we could narrow in on data collection for those small groups. Because I don’t want you to dive in headfirst without a plan or a data driven mindset to show some results for what you’re doing.

Data is extremely compelling and worth collecting for your small group endeavors. If your admin has been slow to let you run small groups or hesitant that they’re valuable at all, data collection is what’s going to change their mind. If you have a team of other high school counselors who don’t want to change their ways and help you run small groups, maybe the data you collect will help to start shaping a new viewpoint for them, that it is indeed worth it to run these.

If your teachers are hard pressed to let you borrow their students for small groups from their precious educational time. And I’m not being sarcastic. I know that that educational time is precious. But you have to convince them that your time with students for small groups is also valuable. We’re going to talk strategies for that as well.

Collecting the data is part one and sharing the data out is part two to making all of this successful. If you need some ideas, before we get started on where you can even look for general data in your school, I want you to download a freebie that I’ll link in the show notes with 49 places to find data that’s already there in your school. You just need to uncover it and use it.

This is not small group counseling specific, but I think if you’re dabbling in data, and it feels kind of scary, this could be a really good resource for you. Go to to grab that High School Counseling Data Collection Ideas Guide. Print it out and hang it somewhere in your office where you can reference it. It’ll be really handy as you dream of stepping into the data guru role you were destined for.

Now it’s time to talk about using data to measure effectiveness in your small groups, and then promoting that out to change people’s perspectives of what you’re up to as a high school counselor.

You got into this profession to make a difference in your students lives. But you’re spread thin by all the things that keep getting added to your to do list. I can’t create more hours in the day, but I can invite you into my Counselor Clique, where you’ll finally catch your breath. Come with me as we unpack creative ideas and effective strategies that will help you be the counselor who leaves a lifelong impact on your students. I’m Lauren Tingle, your High School Counseling Hype Girl, here to help you energize your school counseling program and remind you of how much you love your job.

So how do you collect data in a small group, there are a few different ways and let’s talk about it. First of all, I have a small group data spreadsheet in my TPT store. That’s a quick addition to any small group you’re running even one that you’ve created yourself. And this will help you grab that important information that you want to hang on to and then share out. It’s an Excel spreadsheet that measures the individual and overall averages that students are evaluating themselves on. And then the percentage change for the beginning of the group until the end of the group.

So even if you’re not a numbers person, listen here. If you’re not a mathematician or a statistician, I give you spots to put in the before and after rating scales from their pre and post test. Then, I give you another tab that you can add in your questions from your pre and post test, just so that you can see all of that data summarized on one page. This is really helpful for when it comes time to share your results out.

Next, I want you to collect some perception data for your small groups. This can be as easy as an open ended question on the post test like what have you learned about yourself during this group? Or what is something you could change to help yourself find more success in your academics in the future? Just something that a student has to reflect on and give words to as an answer.

I love using some conversation cards to pass around and have them share this out verbally in the group setting. You can just jot down some notes on this and this can be some of your perception data. The reason students are academically different or behaviorally different because of what you’ve taught them to implement.

Is it a goal of yours to get some small groups up and running at your high school? Are small groups for tasks that just keep getting pushed down on your to do list and never make it to your actual calendar and then out into the world? I want you to check out my curated podcast playlist just for Small Group Counseling.

The episodes featured cover topics like overall benefits of small groups, partner buy in, student buy in, facilitation tips and more. Head to to put this playlist in your Spotify lineup and get inspired to run some small groups this year. That’s .

Now let’s get back to the episode. Another way to gather some data for your small groups that you might not have thought about is if you have pictures or permission to grab some picture throughout your intervention. This can be a great way to show off some of that perception data.

I did an attendance and a mentoring initiative once where each week that a student won the challenge for the week, I snagged a picture of them with their adult mentor in the school building with permission of course I use this photo as evidence and encouragement for the students and staff each week. I’d send out an email with the winner for that week and a short little blurb. I also use those pictures at faculty meetings and school counseling advisory meeting. So I was really able to repurpose them.

At faculty meetings, it really helped put faces to the program that was happening behind the scenes that maybe faculty and staff had forgotten about. I am certain that this softened teachers to wanting to be part of the initiative the next time around, because they can connect stories and experiences with the attendance and mentoring initiative that we were rolling out.

At our Advisory Council this gave our partners some buy in as to what we were doing. It made our project memorable, not just another attendance initiative that the school was doing. But it was something that was built on relationships, and they saw that through the pictures.

And lastly, don’t forget about the stories that teachers could share as some of your really powerful perception data. When adults in your building are sharing student success stories, these are so powerful. You can get quotes from teachers by asking them to hit reply to an email, by pulling a response in a survey or just by talking to them. Ask them how a student changed in their classroom because of the work you were doing with the student, either individually or with your group.

If you have a teacher who’s especially excited get them to share in front of everyone at a faculty meeting. This doesn’t even take up that much time, but you’re getting to tap on someone else to share something more compelling than you ever even could. You’ll continue to build trust in your building as teachers add to the validity of what you’re doing with your counseling initiatives.

I really don’t want you to overlook collecting data when you’re doing small group interventions. It really helps your small groups serve four huge purposes. 1. Meeting tier two needs in your school for your students, 2. Measuring your interventions effectiveness, 3. Advocating for the work you’re doing and 4. Adding some spice back into your counseling program if you feel like you’re in a rut, or you’re not getting to work with students as much as you would like.

There are really no reasons you should skip over data collection when you’re running your small group counseling sessions. If you’re looking for more places to incorporate data collection and data sharing that’s not just related to small groups, I want you to head back and check out episode 42 of High School Counseling Conversations, where I talk about using data but without getting to a place where you’re overwhelmed or overthinking it.

I think it’ll be really helpful for you just to get to a place where data collection and data sharing feels approachable instead of overwhelming or just like it’s one more thing you have to do as a high school counselor. Remember to grab that small group data spreadsheet, if you’re wanting to pair something really quick and easy with small groups you’re already running or starting to run. I’ll see you next week for a fun guest episode that I think you’re really going to love. Bye for now.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode of high school counseling conversations. All the links I talked about today can be found in the show notes and also at Be sure to hit follow wherever you listen to your podcast so that you never miss a new episode. Connect with me over on Instagram. Feel free to send me a DM @counselorclique. That’s CLIQUE. I’ll see you next week.

Connect with Lauren:

Cheers + Happy Listening!

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