She then met with a group of interested EFC staff which included PE teachers, assistant principals, and other staff on site to provide them with a training on the basics of running a social skills group. Sitting down with each adult individually, Marianne was able to learn more about what types of issues, students and age groups they were most excited to work with. She was intentional around supporting them to feel more connected to the work by getting to know what their values were and what they were most interested in.
Next, Marianne revisited the data from her Social Emotional Screeners. She made sure to assign facilitators to grade levels and group topics that would resonate for them. Tailoring activities to the topics of the groups was another way that Marianne supported the adults with their new initiative. And they were off!!
Midway through the first group cycle, Marianne brought her team of adults together to provide problem-solving, consultation and connection. She also started getting input from the team on what they’d like to do for their next cycle in order to keep the momentum going on their new tier 2 initiative.
In addition to providing social skills groups to 100 students in the first 6 weeks, other benefits of Marianne’s approach include:
- Increasing the number of adults these students have a close connection to on campus
- Increasing the diversity of social skill group facilitators
- Increasing the capacity of the school to meet emerging needs of students without requiring new funding and without hiring more specialists
- Creating a broader supportive network for struggling students during free time such as lunch and recess
Marianne is just getting going with the progress monitoring and outcomes measurements that we use for tier 2 groups. This will include gathering SDQ and collecting Social Emotional Screener data toward the end of the year to see if students involved in the tier 2 cycles showed improvement in any of their challenge areas. We’re also eager to hear how the facilitators feel after their first year of providing social skills groups with Marianne’s counsel. So far, this has been a big win for the students and school community of Achieve!
What about at your school? Is there an opportunity to build the capacity of others and leverage your own expertise to have a broader reach while building campus connections? Leave a comment below if you have thoughts or questions about how you might do this at your school.