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Mississippi Bend AEA
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Solution-Focused Elementary School Counseling Prog

For more information contact:

Director of Research & Development Division

Shane Williams
Educational Services Administrator
Phone: 563-344-6351

Area Nine Districts Served:

  • Davenport
  • Muscatine
  • Maquoketa


The purpose of the Solution-Focused Elementary School Counseling project is to create a learning environment where all students have equal access to a quality education.

Program Description & Goals

The project will demonstrate that by enhancing the role of a full time elementary school counseling position, influencing school improvement plans and building staff development, there is an ability to promote effective school change in three areas:

  1. Development of an expanded solution-focused counseling program that increases the asset development of all students, as evidenced by an increase in student attitudes.
  2. Development of a preventive counseling approach that will result in a decrease in disruptive student behavior.
  3. Facilitate a comprehensive student assistance program that will increase the math and reading proficiency scores that will enable the schools to be removed from the Title 1 Schools in Need of Improvement.

Within this project, there is an emphasis on school improvement in the areas of academic achievement while providing a foundation that builds an asset-rich environment for all students and families to improve the learning environment. The project seeks to provide comprehensive school-based supportive services for students, support a building wide solution-focused method of relating, and develop guidance curriculum that is evidence-based, developmentally appropriate, culturally sensitive and valued by staff.

The project includes 5 elementary schools in three counties with the Mississippi Bend AEA as facilitator. School districts include Davenport, Muscatine and Maquoketa. There are 3 control sites. Special projects are introduced and facilitated by the counselors that target special building needs. Some of these projects include programs that improve the school's response to behavior by students, preventative bullying programs, improving parent-school relationships, chronic attendance/tardiness issues, mentoring projects, development of professional learning communities (DuFour model), and a systematic pyramid of interventions for all students.

Data related to the goals of the grant is collected and analyzed. Some of this data is from ITBS testing, the Systems Inventory, Behavior Problem Checklist, attendance/tardiness, discipline referrals, student assistance teams, school safety inventories, and teacher and parent surveys.

The project results will be shared for potential incorporation into ongoing programs for all schools. Effective components of the 3-levels of intervention with the comprehensive guidance program will be disseminated to regional elementary schools and shared through the Iowa network for programs of excellence.

Certified Guidance Counselors Participating in Project:

Lory Aguero
Becka Jones

Beth Hillebrand

Dona Rushford
Tammy Murphy-Flynn

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