School Counseling PRoBE
Project Brief

Smithville High School

Tara Bishop, Wendy Howard, Jessica Larson, Jennifer Northcutt, and Kristin Smith

School Information and Demographics

Smithville High School...

...serves students in grades 9-12. located in a rural/small suburban location.

...serves predominately Caucasian students. (94.3%)

...has a 96.28% overall graduation rate.

School Mission Statement

Smithville High School's mission is to develop responsible, successful citizens who make positive contributions to a changing global society.

Counseling Department Philosophy, Beliefs, Mission, and Vision


The Smithville High School Counseling Department believes that:

  • All students can learn and grow.
  • All students have the right to grow in a safe environment.
  • All students deserve a support system or an ally.
  • All students should be supported by a quality school counseling program that utilizes qualitative and quantitative data.


The Smithville High School Counseling Department operates under the philosophy that all students can be successful, and that full implementation of a comprehensive counseling and guidance curriculum can provide students with opportunities to learn and grow in a safe, supportive environment.


The Smithville High School Counseling Department’s mission is to contribute to the development of responsible citizens by providing students with direct and indirect support in the areas of personal and social needs, academic needs, and career planning. The department utilizes the resources and support of building faculty and staff, administrators, family members, and community members to ensure that each student has the opportunity to become a productive member of society. The Smithville High School Counseling department works daily to increase students’ development of skills in order to become a successful adult.


The Smithville High School Counseling Department seeks to develop students who, upon completion of high school, are proficient in the necessary personal, social, academic, and career planning skills that are required in order to become productive members of society.

Developmental Appropriateness


  • Students are beginning to consider their future, many are dealing with more complex relationships that may involve sexual intimacy and many may have strained family relationships as they are striving for more independence (Vernon, 2009).
  • Anxiety can be an issue for students within this stage (Vernon, 2009).
  • Activities are still appropriate to use with this age group as maturity levels differ as do learning styles
    • Role plays
    • Imagery exercises
    • Writing about their own experiences is more beneficial than reading about how others have dealt with their issues (Vernon, 2009).

This developmental information was crucial to us as we developed the lesson. Students at this level are likely to experience stress, and to internalize it, therefore not effectively coping with it. We utilized technology and had the students up and out of their seats, based on what we know about working with adolescents and how they learn best.


I: Identify the Need

Students within the Smithville High School would benefit from an intervention based upon addressing their personal/social needs. By doing so, students will be able to understand their emotions better, learn how to deal with their feelings and as a result, students will be able to interact with their peers in a way that will promote school safety.

D: Describe using SIMS model

  • 2012-2013 school data for Smithville High School shows that disciplinary action taken in relation to fighting has recently increased from 3 to 6 incidents, which is a 50% increase.
  • A need for intervention in regards to the ASCA Personal/Social domain is in order.

S: Student Population

  • Sophomores
  • As the sophomore population was included within this 2012-2013 data obtained we feel their inclusion is justified.
  • An intervention may have a longer impact within Smithville High School as this class will remain within the building for the next two school years.

I: Intervention

  • Our proposed intervention is to implement a lesson plan to a classroom of 10th graders.
  • The lesson plan will focus on identifying positive and negative stressors, analyzing stressful situations, and developing positive coping strategies for handling stress.
  • The lesson allows time for students to do some self reflection and collaborative group work in order to meet the objectives.
  • The goal is for students to find healthy techniques to execute when experiencing stressful life circumstances.

M: Measurements

  • Existing data for Smithville High School showed an increase in the number of fights (50%) last school year.
  • The needs assessment indicates that students are struggling with anxiety and short tempers due to not being able to handle stressful situations in positive ways.
  • Pre and Post Surveys will allow us to assess how much knowledge the students were able to obtain from the intervention. It will provide data for a percent of change, and hopefully the overall school data will change in a positive way in regards to school fights.


The setting of our project will be within the Smithville High School which is the only high school within the Smithville R II School District. Smithville High School is considered rural and consists of grades 9 to 12.

E: Existing Data Collection

From the Smithville High School District Report Card 2013 data on DESE:

  • 813 students, 94.3% are white
  • 0.6% suspensions and 0 expulsions
  • 96.28% overall graduation rate
  • 1.2% drop out rate
  • 44.8% attend four year college
  • 25.2 % attend two year college
  • 4.3% enter technical school

From administrative data presented to the school board last spring:

"The number of fights increased from 3 to 6 incidents this school year" (Heslinga, 2013).

A: Analyze Data

The following charts show the Needs Assessment data:

S: Summarize Data and Findings

  • Issues within Smithville High School were on the decrease from the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school year (drug and alcohol incidences decreased by 88%, tardies declined by approximately 10% and truancies declined as well.)
  • However, fighting increased from 3 fights to 6 which equates to a 50% increase. While this number of incidents may seem small, it should be noted that Smithville High School is a smaller high school with a student population of approximately 800 students. Any number of incidences of fighting is an area of concern as should this number continue to increase, the school climate and safety of students could be affected.
  • Based on the existing data, we tailored our needs assessment around the personal/social domain of the ASCA and Missouri standards.
  • Findings: 57% of students have difficulty dealing with feelings of anxiousness or short-tempers, 36% have difficulty developing a positive self-image and 21% have difficulty resolving conflict.
  • Based on this data and the existing data, we decided that focusing on dealing with feelings of anxiousness and short tempers would be beneficial for these students.
  • By addressing these topics within our lesson plan, we feel that we can impact the incidences of fighting within the school as students who are better able to cope with these feelings may be less inclined to exhibit physical aggression.

Our Conclusions and Recommendations

Below are the graphs that represent student growth based on Pre-Survey and Post-Survey results.

Process, Perception, and Outcome Data

Process: Fifteen 10th grade students participated in one thirty minute guidance lesson on stress management at Smithville High School.


  • Needs assessment data indicated that 57% of the participating 10th grade students from Smithville High School need help handling feelings of stress.
  • Percentage of students who felt they could handle stress in positive ways went from 40% to 60% after implementing our intervention.
  • Students were able to correctly identify positive and negative types of stress more accurately after the intervention.
  • On the pre-test, 73% of students identified that they were able to cope with stress in positive ways; this changed to 100% of students after our intervention.


The outcome data for our intervention will be seen in the 2013-2014 Annual School Report Card Data and on Smithville’s Discipline Report. If our intervention was successful, the number of school fight incidents will have decreased. As a group we have decided that in order to have more of an impact a unit would need to be implemented on stress and conflict, not just a thirty minute lesson.

Based on this data, the group concludes that our lesson was effective in meeting the following objectives:

  1. Identify positive and negative stressors
  2. Analyze stressful situations
  3. Develop and discuss positive/healthy ways to cope with stressful situations.

Our recommendation for the school counselors is as follows:

  1. Continue to go into the classroom and administer interventions on stress. (We suggest an ongoing unit to be administered to all grade levels).
  2. Form a stress management group to address more significant needs.
  3. Utilize an advocacy tool to increase the number of students who seek support from their school counselors.

Based on the response from students, as well as the data, we felt that the students would benefit from the above mentioned interventions.


Heslinga, C. (2013). Smithville R-II school district program and data evaluation. Smithville, MO.

Kidshealthvideos. (2013, January 3). Teens talk about stress [Video file]. Retrieved from

Mills, H., Reiss, N., and Dombeck, M. (2008). Types of Stressors (Eustress vs Distress). Retrieved from

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (2014). Smithville high school report card. Retrieved from

Vernon, A. (2009). Counseling children and adolescents, 4th edition. Denver, CO: Love Publishing Company.

White, M.G. (2014). Lesson Plan: Ways to Manage Stress. Retrieved from

White, M.G. (2014). Lesson Plan: Recognizing the Signs of Stress. Retrieved from

Our Lesson...

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