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Small Group Curriculum

Name of Group: AWOL Group


Focus of the group: Lake View High School is a neighborhood school where the average
student attendance is 90%. This is low attendance according to CPS, who considers good
attendance at 93% or higher. The data also shows us that 50% of the students who are
absent are considered to be clinically truant. The sophomores in particular have a low
attendance rate, which is 91%. This small group is meant to target sophomores whose
average daily attendance individually is between 80%-89.99%. The purpose of this small
group is get a better understanding about truancy and to develop strategies to help those
students improve their attendance at school.
Goal: The goal of this small group is to help students develop strategies to be more
motivated to increase their attendance.
Number of Student: There will be between 8-12 students in this small group.
Sophomore school counselors will refer students to this small group.
Grade Level: This group is available to sophomores only. The group is structured to help
sophomore students receive personal attention and supportive services to help them
improve their attendance rate.
Number of sessions: There will be total of 4 sessions that will meet once a week. The
group will meet every Tuesday from 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. during their lunch period
starting on October 18, 2016 and ending on November 8, 2016.
Mindsets
3) Sense of belonging in the school environment
Behavior: Learning Strategies
4) Applying self-motivation and self-direction learning
Behavior: Self-Management Skills
1) Demonstrate ability to assume responsability
Behavior: Social Skills
2) Create positive and supportive relationships with other students
Adult Leader: Licensed professional school counselor, who is familiar with solutionfocus therapy in a small group.
Materials:
Informed Consent Form
Group Agreement

Pens/Pencils
Behavior Contract
Pre-test and Post-test
Description of the Group:
Session 1: what is truancy?
The first session will begin with the introduction of the group members; the school
counselor will explains the rules of the group, norms, and informed consent. The school
counselor will administer the pre-test truancy to establish a baseline for each student, as
well as explain the purpose of this group, including the groups frequency and duration.
The school counselor will talk briefly about what truancy means and what Lake View
H.S. considers students who are clinically truant. Students will share their personal
thoughts about what the school counselor had said and share their personal reasons for
being absent from school. The school counselor will distribute behavior contracts and
explain the purpose of this contract. The group will negotiate the behavior contract and
will each sign their own copy. The students will be asked a scaling question, on a scale
of 0-10, with 10 meaning you no longer have an attendance problem, where are you right
now?
Session 2: what are your reasons for missing class?
The school counselor will open the session by checking in with each member by asking
about his or her progress in following the behavior contract. The group will discuss if
theres a need to renegotiate the behavior contract. The school counselor will explain the
importance of attending school and what is considered an excused absence. The group
will have a discussion on what was discussed at the previous session and if any new
thoughts that have come up since then. The school counselor will use motivational
interviewing as an approach to help the students develop motivation for change. The
students will explore ambivalence by discussing the pros and cons of truancy. To help the
students identify their own solution for their attendance problem, the school counselor
will asked the students questions that will encourage them to identify exceptions to their
problem (identifying the resources students are not aware of).
Session 3: How can you improve your attendance?
The School counselor will begin the session by checking in with each member about his
or her progress in following the behavior contract. The school counselor will engage the
students in a conversation about strategies to increase attendance and the importance of
attending school, e.g., support system and using previous strategies that have worked in
the past. The school counselor will also ask the Miracle Question, to help the students
identify their own solutions to help them decrease their absences from school. The
students will write down possible solutions and then share them with each other. The
school counselor will re-emphasize the long-term consequences of not attending school
regularly. The school counselor will teach the students assertiveness training to help them
develop the abilities to handle peer pressure that may influence them for missing class.
The students will practice assertive training through role-playing. Lastly, for next session,

the students will be asked to identify a classmate/friend that can provide them with
support and the encouragement to attend school.
Session 4: How can you maintain good attendance?
The school counselor will begin the session by checking in with each student about his or
her progress in following the behavior contract. The students will discuss what strategies
they have used over last week to help them come to school and share what else they have
learned over the past few weeks about truancy and the importance off attending school.
The school counselor will explain that each student will develop different strategies,
depending on what works best for them. The school counselor will talk to the students
about the termination process of this small group. The students will have a conversation
about their feelings and thoughts about ending this group. The students will be asked a
scaling question to show them how they have changed since their first session , on a
scale 0-10, 10 meaning you no longer have an attendance problem where are you right
now? The school counselor will congratulate the students on their progress and thank
them for their contributions to this group. The session will end with the students taking
the post-test and reminding them that their assigned school counselor is available for
them if they may need more assistance.
Plan for Evaluation:
Process Data: there will be 8-12 students in this group and they will meet once a week for
4 weeks.
Perception Data: 100% of the sophomores who attended this group will know the rules
involving attendance and 2 strategies to help the improve attendance.
Outcome Data: Sophomore students attendance will increase from 91.02% to 93%,
which will be a 2% increase
Follow up: In two weeks, the school counselor will meet with the administration and
instructional staff to review the outcome of the small group curriculum. Use the results to
drive data for future interventions.

This small group curriculum was created by: Violeta Enea & Ion Dafinoiu
Reference
Enea, V. & Dafinoiu, I. (2009). Motivational/solution-focused intervention for reducing
school truancy among adolescents. Journal of Cognitive and Behavioral
Psychotherapies, 9(2), 185-198.