The support personnel accountability report card sparc
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The Support Personnel Accountability Report Card (SPARC). Implications for training and practice Presented By Gail Uellendahl, PhD, Calif. Lutheran University Diana Stephens, PhD, Calif. Lutheran University Lisa Buono, MS, California Lutheran University

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The Support Personnel Accountability Report Card (SPARC)

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The support personnel accountability report card sparc

The Support Personnel Accountability Report Card (SPARC)

Implications for training and practice

Presented By

Gail Uellendahl, PhD, Calif. Lutheran University

Diana Stephens, PhD, Calif. Lutheran University

Lisa Buono, MS, California Lutheran University

Bob Tyra, Los Angeles County Office of Education


What s a sparc

What’s a SPARC?

  • Developed in 2001 by the California Department of Education and Los Angeles County Office of Education

  • Modeled from the School Accountability Report Card (SARC) in response to exclusion of Student Personnel contributions

  • Continuous improvement document

  • Tool to evaluate impact of entire family of student support services


What s a sparc1

What’s a SPARC?

  • An open source, public document to be shared with all stakeholders

  • Serves as a bridge between research and practice

  • Supports the new paradigm of school counseling as part of school-wide leadership and educational reform


Sparc

SPARC

Rather than answering “What do school

counselors do?” SPARCs help to answer “How

are students different because of what you do as

a coordinated student services program?” (Tyra)


The sparc process

The SPARC Process

  • Applications are submitted annually

  • Instructions and samples available on-line at http://www.sparconline.net/

  • Limited to one page (both sides)

  • Must complete all six categories

  • Written in clear, jargon-free language

  • Must include student results data and be tied to national standards

  • No more than TWO writing errors

  • Required input from principals

  • Required sharing of results with stakeholders

  • Applications are peer reviewed

  • Awards are given in several categories

  • SPARC is continuously improved based on applicant and scorer feedback


Impact of sparc

Impact of SPARC

  • 670 SPARC applications submitted since 2002

  • 369 schools have participated

  • 456 awards have been given

  • Increased stakeholder awareness of contribution of support services programs

  • Legislators more knowledgeable about impact of support services on student achievement


Impact of sparc1

Impact of SPARC

  • Provides a tool for implementation and evaluation of school counseling models

  • Increased inclusion of support personnel in school-wide accountability efforts

  • Increased consideration for the importance of student support services for school improvement and educational reform


A study of the 2008 sparc experience

A Study of the 2008 SPARC Experience

  • 235 SPARCs submitted

  • 137 awards given

  • 98 commendations

  • 29 First Steps

  • 53 Academy Awards

  • 26 Best in the West

  • 16 Diamond Best in the West

  • 13 Governor’s Trophies


Who participated

Who Participated?

  • 82 Districts

  • 23 Counties

  • 125 High Schools

  • 74 Middle Schools

  • 22 Elementary Schools

  • 1 Adult School

  • 13 Combination Schools

  • 5,953 Team Member Signatures


Procedures

Procedures

  • E-mails sent to 233 eligible participantsproviding a link to a web-based survey

  • Survey was available on-line for 27 days

  • Two follow-up email reminders sent to eligibleparticipants

  • 146 respondents (65%) participated in the study


Instrument

Instrument

The web-based Flashlight survey was created by members of the California Counselor Educator Research Collaborative (CCERC) and Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE)

Survey design:

  • 10 questions using a 5 point Likert scale

  • 2 multiple choice questions

  • 7 open-ended questions


Results

Results

Scale:

1 = Great Extent

2 = Good Extent

3 = Adequate Extent

4 = Somewhat

5 = Not At All

Findings Suggest:

Before the SPARC, there was adequate use of student outcomes data to evaluate programs. As a result of the SPARC process, there appears to be an increase in the collection of student outcomes data as well as in modifying student support programs.


Results1

Results

Scale:

1 = Great Extent

2 = Good Extent

3 = Adequate Extent

4 = Somewhat

5 = Not At All

Findings Suggest:

SPARC led to moderate systemic change

SPARC led to moderate action research at school sites


Results2

Results

Scale:

1 = Great Extent

2 = Good Extent

3 = Adequate Extent

4 = Somewhat

5 = Not At All

Findings Suggest:

Limited exposure to the SPARC in graduate programs


Additional findings

Additional Findings…

  • Participants who were exposed to the SPARC process in their graduate school programs were more likely to:

    • Collect student outcomes data

    • Use the SPARC process to modify programs

    • Use the SPARC process to inform systemic change


Further results

Further Results

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • 95 participants (65%) are members of the American School Counseling Association

  • 81 participants (55%) are members of the California Association of School Counselors

  • Participants reported membership in 34 other professional organizations


Results3

Results

52 participants (36%)

Provided examples of how their graduate education program prepared them to complete the activities required by SPARC


Results4

Results

84 participants (58%)

Identified AB1802 activities that were incorporated into their SPARC


Results5

Results

55 participants (27%)

Described action research activities that were planned or begun as a result of the SPARC process


Results6

Results

77 participants (53%)

Described reactions from the broader community


Results7

Results

73 participants (50%)

Provided additional comments about how the SPARC process has influenced their student support programs and activities


Implications

Implications

SPARC

  • Is a useful tool for assessing the impact of school counseling and other support programs on student outcomes

  • Encourages the use of student data for school improvement

  • Places school counselors at the center of school-wide assessment and leadership


Implications1

Implications

  • Serves as a vehicle for informing stakeholders

  • Encourages the incorporation of “action researcher” into the professional identity of school counselors

  • Can contribute to the assessment of school counseling models


Recommendations

Recommendations

School Counselors

  • Start with what you are already doing and begin collecting data

  • Use AB1802 activities to collect and assess student outcomes data

  • Compare outcomes between those served and those eligible but not served

  • Present findings to stakeholders

  • Submit a SPARC!


Recommendations1

Recommendations

Counselor Educators

  • Introduce SPARC in both academic and field courses

  • Nurture skills and create assignments that include action research

  • Require action research during practicum and field studies


Recommendations2

Recommendations

  • Collaborate with school districts on accountability efforts and write grants to link theory with practice

  • Conduct in-service workshops for professionals who did not receive training in accountability

  • Coordinate educational experiences with Teacher Preparation and Educational Administration/Leadership programs


The support personnel accountability report card sparc

“If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could better judge what we do, and how we do it”

~ Abraham Lincoln


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