Counseling staff outlines efforts

FLINT TWP. — Extra counseling makes a different in student behavior and performance according to presentation by three Carman- Ainsworth Middle School counselors at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday night.

Marissa Bailey, one of three Middle School counselors, described weekly strategies they have used to improve students attendance, grades and behavior.

Theresa Williams, the sixth grade counselor, organized Friendship Group counseling sessions to teach conflict resolution and build positive behavior. Before and after statistics showed a marked decrease in office visits by students involved in the group, Bailey said.

Reduction of unexcused absences was a goal for a six-week Responsibility Group formed by Bailey, the seventh grade counselor. Students worked on team-building exercises, creative expression and more. Before and after data showed reduction in unexcused absences and improved grades for several students in the group, she said.

Wendy McCombs, the eight-grade counselor, focused on improving attendance. Her group showed a decrease in tardiness and in behavior referrals.

Bailey also described a Career Component counselors employ to get students to begin planning for college or post-high school careers. An event held in December was designed to help eighth graders prepare for the transition to high school. An annual Career Fair scheduled for April 20 will bring in several guest speakers including judges, doctors and other professionals to talk to students about careers.

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