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Shining the Light on Research, Student Outcomes and Creating Action Plans . Karyn Holt, M.A. and Dr. Erika Joye, PhD and 208-664-8250 and 303-489-0647. Today’s Objectives.  Review Current Research  Upcoming WhyTry Research Goals

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shining the light on research student outcomes and creating action plans

Shining the Light on Research, Student Outcomes and Creating Action Plans

Karyn Holt, M.A. and Dr. Erika Joye, PhD and

208-664-8250 and 303-489-0647

today s objectives

Today’s Objectives

 Review Current Research

 Upcoming WhyTry Research Goals

 How to Advocate for Your Program to Key

Stakeholders by Targeting and Reporting Outcomes

research review

Research Review

WhyTry as a Recommended Practice

General Self-Efficacy, Achenbach System

Student Resiliency

Motivation and Internal Locus of Control

GPA and reduction in Failure Rate

Graduation Rates

research base for whytry
Research Base for WhyTry

In a randomized control group study of 40 students, grades 9 through 12, in an alternative school, using WhyTry for 22 sessions over an 11-week period. School records and one scale from the Behavior Assessment System for Children Statistically significant results for the treatment group included decreased absences from school, improved locus of control, and improved attitude toward school and teachers (Gee, 2003).

research base for whytry5
Research Base for WhyTry

In a 2003 longitudinal study of 192 high school students, 114 participated in the WhyTry program and 88 in the control group. Students were enrolled in a class that met once a week for one semester. Students who completed the WhyTry program showed an improved grade point average, fewer absences, and increased levels of graduation than did students in the control group (Bushnell & Card, 2003).

research base for whytry6
Research Base for WhyTry

An evaluation of the South Los Angeles Resiliency (SOLAR) project, results in a pre/post test showed that elementary students who participated in the WhyTry? Intervention had significantly higher scores on a measure of student resiliency, a positive change in trying to succeed, a decreased desire to be mean to others, an an increase in asking for help.

Students also had significant improvement in grades.

research base for whytry7
Research Base for WhyTry

A program evaluation in Orlando, FL of outcomes for 32 students in grades K – 5 revealed that after participating in WhyTry showed that students had significantly lower emotional and behavior problems as reported by teachers and primary caregivers as on the Behavior and Assessment System for Children - Second Edition (Mortenson, B. P. & Rush, K. S., 2007).

research base for whytry8
Research Base for WhyTry

In a 2008 quasi-experimental study of 78 youth ages 12 to 18 receiving residentially based services, 42 participated in the WhyTry program and 36 in the control group. Students in the WhyTry group showed significant increases in scores on a self-efficacy measure.

This study also found significant decreases in internalizing problems, social problems, attention problems, rule breaking behaviors, aggressive behaviors, and externalizing problems as rated by teachers on the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment.

Students in the WhyTry group reported significant positive changes on the syndrome scale for anxious/depressed, social problems, thought problems, internalizing problems, externalzing problems, and total problems (Baker, 2008).

web resources
Web Resources
  • Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning
  • Intervention Central offers free tools and resources to help school staff and parents to promote positive classroom behaviors and foster effective learning
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
program evaluation process data
Program Evaluation: Process Data
  • Process Data: What was done for whom?
    • Who received services?
      • Ninth graders? Students at risk of failing?
    • What did they receive?
      • Curriculum intervention? Small-group intervention?
    • When did they receive it?
      • All year? Twice? For 30 minutes?
    • Where and How was it provided?
      • In the classroom? After school?
program evaluation process data12
Program Evaluation: Process Data
  • Process data alone does not tell us whether or not the student is different (in behavior, attitude or knowledge) as a result of this activity.
  • Coupled with results data, process data can help identify what factors may have led to success in an intervention.
program evaluation perception data
Program Evaluation: Perception Data
  • Perception data measures how students are different as a result of an intervention through pre-post tests and surveys.
    • Did students gain competencies?
      • Every 10th grade student completed an pre-post test.
      • 85% of 6th graders identified the steps in the goal setting process.
    • Did they gain knowledge?
      • 87% of 9th graders demonstrated knowledge of how to manage their defense mechanisms.
    • Were there changes in their attitudes or beliefs?
      • 86% of students believe they can impact change in their behavior.
program evaluation results so what data results
Program Evaluation: Results “So WHAT” Data - Results
  • Results data is the proof that the intervention has or has not influenced students’ behaviors. An intervention may occur, students may know the information, but the final question is whether or not the students are able to utilize the knowledge, attitudes and skills to affect behavior.
  • Attendance, behavior and achievement data are all results data.
data to examine and disaggregate usually readily available
Data to Examine and DisaggregateUsually Readily Available

Graduation Rate Discipline

By Gender/ Classroom/Gender

Ethnicity/SES Types of Problems

AttendanceGPA/Class Rank

Absences/Tardies By Gender/

Grade Level Ethnicity/SES

Retention RatesDropout Rate

By Subject Area Grade Levels

Grade Level Gender, Ethnicity…

Gender, Ethnicity… Reasons Why

action plans 2 types
Action Plans- 2 Types
  • Planned Guidance Curriculum
    • Structured developmental lessons
    • Designed to assist in competency attainment
    • Provides EVERY student the knowledge and skills in 3 domain areas (A, C, P/S)
  • Closing the Gap
    • Data driven-where are your gaps?
    • What must be in place to ensure equity and access to achievement for all?
  • Results Reports - “How are students different as a result of the Program?”
closing the gap action plan sample
Closing the Gap Action Plan Sample

Target Group selection is based upon the following criteria: some examples are grades, attendance, behavior such as referrals, suspensions, etc.

Target Group selection is based upon the following data: Selected based on performance in remedial math and reading classes and willingness to participate in the intervention class

results reports
Results Reports

See Handout:

Clover Park School District

Woodbrook Middle School Intentional Guidance Results Report

advocacy pieces
Advocacy Pieces
  • Calendars
  • Board Presentation
  • Present the program to school staff or parents/guardians
  • Websites:
  • Discuss Program in Newsletters
    • Discuss Opportunities
    • Discuss Results
  • Peer teaching Peers and Caregivers
  • Master calendar
  • Monthly or Weekly calendar
  • Published
  • Ensures planned activities are completed
  • PR tool
reporting and presenting data
Reporting and Presenting Data

Why is the presentation being given?

  • Give a status report -- here’s where we are
  • Examine the effects of practices and programs– here’s what we’ve been doing and how it makes a difference
  • Influence the direction of change– here’s what we’d like to see happen
  • Monitor progress– here’s our progress toward our goal

Building Accountability Into Your Career Development Program, 2005, Tim Poynton, Center for School Counseling Outcome Research

what is whytry
What is “WhyTry”?
  • Uses metaphor and visual analogies
  • Overarching question: “Why try in life?”
  • WhyTry uses specific language to connect kids with life
example tearing off labels
EXAMPLE – “Tearing Off Labels”
  • Question: Have you ever been given a negative label based on your actions?
  • Discussion You can ‘tear off’ your negative labels and let people see the ‘real you’.
  • Challenge: Don’t live up to negative labels. Identify and focus on your strengths to help you find the “REAL YOU”
rational and process
Rational and Process
  • Many students were not successful in other classes.
  • Those students were referred for WhyTry
  • 10 kids were selected
  • Research based WhyTry Curriculum implemented
  • Daily 50 minute sessions for 9 weeks (one quarter)
results data
Results Data


5 students - increased. (4-16 more days)

4 students - No change (was not a problem area)

1 student - decreased

Data compared from Sept thru Jan/Feb thru May

more results academic
More Results……Academic


7 students – increased GPA

(range .02 – 1.63 pts.)

3 students – decreased GPA

(range .33 – 1.26 pts)


2 students – improved (0 F’s)

6 students - no change (0 -1 F )

2 students – decreased (1 -3 F’s)

and more results behavior
…And More Results….Behavior

Office Referrals

4 students. reduced

(range 1-5)

3 students – same (0-1 ref)

3 students – increased

(range 1-4)


3 students decreased

6 students – same (no susp. before, during, or after)

1 student suspended during program, none after.

perception data
Perception Data


“I think this program could help me”6-YES


“I learned more than I thought I would?” 8 – YES 1 - NO1- IDK


“I believe these skills will help me in the future” 8-YES 1- NO 1-IDK


“I believe I have the skills I need to be successful”

8 students reported HIGH CONFIDENCE


“I will use the skills I have learned”

9 students reported HIGH CONFIDENCE

group activities early in whytry






ME !!





final group activity
Final Group Activity
  • Kids worked together
  • Accepting help from others
  • Took turns
  • Offered suggestions
  • Reached out to each other
  • Students improved in their target areas (acad/att/beh).
  • Students were able to self-reflect more accurately.
  • Teachers saw multiple levels of change in daily classroom behavior/effort.
  • Most students requested ongoing support after class ended.
recommendations for next year
Recommendations for Next Year
  • Begin intervention class first quarter.
  • Provide a plan for follow up.
  • Incorporate Student Success Skills during follow up sessions.
  • Offer the class to a greater number of students throughout the year.
additional resources
Additional Resources
  • ASCA National Model (Bowers & Dahir, 2002)
  • Education Trust
    • Education Watch, The Education Trust Community Data Guide
  • American Student Achievement Institute
  • Love, Nancy (2002) Using data, getting results. Norwood, MA: Christopher Gordon Publishers.
    • 1-800-934-8322
  • “Families, Schools, and Communities Partnering for success” March 2003, OSPI
  • Massachusetts Urban Guidance Leaders. November 1, 2002
  • The Use of Data to Effect Change, Hatch, Trish 2004
  • Action Plan and Results Report, Suzie Sarachmann, Clover Park SD, Woodbrook Middle School, 253-583-5460 ext 4650,