Saturday, December 10, 2011

Awesome Responses - Please Continue!

One of the responses I received about my research gave me some insight into my project. I had not seen anyone else’s research touching on the same subject as mine did. This response gave me some perspective into my research from their experience with the same program being conducted on their campus. The time allotted for meetings seem to be positioned during the same time frame on their campus as it is on ours. We have to work around the schedules given with little time to conduct meetings of this kind. One of my concerns reflected the students acting as student ambassadors between meetings. This kind of confirmed my concern in needing to encourage the actions of our ambassadors and completing documentation for the student ambassador actions.
A second response gave encouragement for the project but also suggested positions to take in the discipline portion of the research. The suggestion was to conduct a teen court using prosecutors and attorneys with peer juries handing out appropriate discipline. I feel this is something to look at in the future under the AP direction. We have a PALS mediation group that is conducted by students under a facilitator along with implementing Second Step program over bullying. This suggestion has made me consider the use of data from the PALS mediation group to help in determining if SSA is making a difference in their mediation program as well. I may also conduct a survey with the PAL Mediators who are students on campus to see where they believe the major concerns on campus are. These students deal directly with their peers and issues on campus and can give a great insight on where we need to concentrate our efforts. I would like more feedback on my research as we go so I can consider adjustments to make the program successful. THANK YOU

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Action Research Plan SSA

Draft Action Research Plan
Goal: To reduce the amount of mistreatment between student peers while reflecting an increase in student attendance and positive school climate so in return decreasing office and counselor referrals.
Action Steps(s):
Person(s) Responsible:
Timeline: Start/End
Needed Resources
Training Family Group Facilitators

Safe School Ambassador Trainer
11-17-11 to
SSA Trainer, Tools and Handouts. SSA Web page. Family Group Meeting Guidelines.
Have a record of all that were trained.
Training Student Ambassadors

Safe School Ambassador Trainer
11-17-11 to
SSA Trainer, Tools and Handouts. SSA Web page.
Have a record of all that were trained.
Conduct Bi-Weekly Family Group Meetings.

Family Group Facilitators
Continuous till end of year. MAY 2012.
Group meeting format. SSA Web page. Action Logs
All Facilitator and Student Ambassadors’ attendance. Meeting Logs.


Family Group Facilitators, Julie Buchanan, School Counselor.
Week of 12-5-11
Survey Monkey and input from Family Groups.
Collect Survey results and compile information to implement into program.
Identify Common Issues of Concern

Family Group Facilitators, Student Ambassadors.
Continuous till end of year, MAY 2012.
Surveys from faculty and Student Ambassadors input.
Come to a consensus on the identified target issues.

Collection of Action Logs

Family Group Facilitators, Julie Buchanan
Continuous till end of year, MAY 2012.
SSA formatted logs.
Compile information from the logs
2nd Survey
Family Group Facilitators, Julie Buchanan, School Counselor.
End of the 3rd 9 Weeks. March 2012
Survey Monkey and input from Family Groups.
Collect Survey results and compile information to implement into program. Compare surveys.

Review Previous Data
Julie Buchanan, Counselor, Administration.
11-30-11 and again May 2012.
Previous Data for Office/Counselor Referrals and Attendance Reports, ISS Logs and Alternative placement reports.

Take data to compare to current data accumulated.
Compile Data

Family Group Facilitator, Julie Buchanan, Counselor
Bi-Weekly through the end of the year, MAY 2012.
All information collected from all the Family Group Facilitators.
Desegregate data. Compare to prior school year and quarterly for current year.

Family Group Facilitators, Student Ambassadors, Counselor and Administration.
Continuous to end of the year, MAY 2012.
All data collected including previous surveys, action logs, and counselor
/administrator recommendations.
Continuous through the end of the year, MAY.
Presentation of Data
Julie Buchanan, Counselor
End of Year, MAY 2012.
All desegregated data.
Give findings from the research.

This is my draft action research plan for increasing student attendance and decreasing office and counselor referrals by giving a group of students, who have clout with their peers, the tools and skills needed to prevent, de-escalate and stop mistreatment among their peers. Collecting the data accumulated at desegregating it so see what impact it is making.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Seventy percent of our student body is considered at risk which classifies my school as Title 1. A large portion of our students are in need of assistance at school and at home. Our student’s parents are usually not home when their children get there and they are normally gone or asleep when our students are getting ready for school. Many of our students are being raised by their older brothers and sisters who are not much older than they are. In my school the mistreatment amongst peers is very evident and even at times more evident to the students in the school but out of sight of the teachers. The Safe School Ambassadors program (SSA) will focus in on the students who have more clout with their fellow peers and train them to use nonviolent communication and intervention skills to prevent, de-escalate and stop mistreatment among their peers. This will hopefully decrease AP/Counselor Referrals as well as decrease the tardiness to classes and Truancy percentage of our student body.
My target will be 70 students who will go through the SSA two day training and continue through the year in small family groups lead by two family facilitators (Staff Members). The student ambassadors will target the whole student body over a period of eight months.
Sample Selection
The faculty has been asked to give recommendations to the counselor of students they feel have a major impact on our student body. These names that are given are then looked at by the counselors, family specialist, ISS monitor, and our administrators. Seventy names are decided on to participate in the student ambassador program. Once the two day training has taken place then the family group facilitators select their group of seven to ten students who will reside in the family group for the remainder of the year. These groups will meet on a bi-weekly time frame.
Sample Size
Starting out small to see if the program makes an impact is kind of where my school has started. The data collected from this group of seventy students should give us a better insight as to the students concerns on our campus. Knowing the culture of our students and getting feedback from them as their fears should help us to make a better decision to help our student’s climate and feeling of safety. We would like to administer this program to the whole campus but it is too early and costly at this time to do so. Mini “cliff note” version assemblies to show our whole students body are being worked on at this time. Eventually we want to have all the students trained in the SSA strategies but for now the sample size is on a lower scale.
Research Description
The student ambassadors will be placed in a family group of about seven to ten students. These family groups will be run by family group facilitators. They will conduct a bi-weekly meeting with these students and document information given within the group time. The information given is strictly confidential to the group unless the facilitator has to act according to law and notify the appropriate people. The student ambassadors are notified of this during their very first meeting so not to have any surprises when some information has to be released to the appropriate people. They are also notified of the confidentiality policy as well. The student ambassadors have to keep an action log of any situations they took the role of an ambassador in. These logs state the situation, what actions the student took and what the outcome was with the situation. This will be the data I will use to narrow down the tardiness, AP referrals and counselor referrals. This should also enlighten us about any other situations being conducted on the campus that we are not aware of or have not been able to catch in the act. We hope to also decrease the amount of truancy’s on our campus to where the students want to come to school.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Insight Into My Action Research

The purpose of my action research is to glance into the roles that students play with their peers. I will be taking an "inside out" approach, which harnesses the power that students have to change things from within and puts them at the center of the solution. The students are typically the first responders on the scene of mistreatment and violence, and can intervene in ways adults can't. While adults may make and enforce the rules at school, students create and maintain the social norms that allow peer mistreatment to happen. As a result of implementing the Safe School Ambassador program, I will be looking for a reduction in violence, mistreatment and tension among students. I will also be looking for a reduction in tardies, truancies, AP referrals and Counselor's referrals.

The significance of my proposed action research study is to try and alleviate the number of referrals to the Assistant Principals office and also to the Counselor's office for mediations. To build student pride within the school setting. To make the students feel safe at school so they want to come to school. The data collected from my research hopefully should assist in giving some insight to our administrators and counselors validating the core focus of the state of affairs on our campus with our student body. To delve into the main concerns that our students are expressing is a major priority. The student ambassadors will fill out action logs of situations where they used the tools given to them and what the outcome was to using those tools. These logs should give some insight on student referrals, situations occurring on campus and also student's reasons for truancy and tardies.

I have learned over the course of this week that action research is strongly needed in the school system. Many things have to be taken into consideration, like student confidentiality, but the accumulation of data and collaboration to come to a viable solution for many issues on the campus is needed.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Educational Uses of Blog's

Now days many administrators are using blog's to communicate with their staff. One on one meeting are always better for learning but when that is not possible the blog is the next best thing. Administrator's can use blog's to help aleviate frustration for some teachers. Blogging about helpful strategies and the how to's can be very helpful for a quick reference. Blog's can also be helpful in building morale within the staff. The blog's are also used to reflect on responses given in the blog prior to that day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Action Research Uses

Action research is an inquiry used to focus on the concerns of the practitioner, and engages practitioners in the design, data collection, and interpretation of data around their question.(Carr and Kemmis 1986) Action inquiry is meant to create questions which lead to theories. These theories create research and collaboration to investigate possible problems. Once the problems are determined then implimenting action strategies to incite possible change and evaluating their effectiveness. The key goal of action research is intended to bring about change of some kind. The use of collaboration from multiple parties of interest makes for more informative data  to build stronger strategies and ideas for improvement or to better understand what works. The use of action inquiry can be used in many ways within the schools. From the biggest issues like safety of all students in our school, building the morale of the faculty, working on wellness initiatives for our students and faculty, and attendence rates to the small issues like which side of the hallway to walk down or what stairwell should be used and in what direction. I feel that the collaboration of many will help to create change that everyone will embrace and uphold. The action research is a tool to help organize and build the steps to making changes effective.