Case Studies of Exemplary Elementary School Guidance Programs in Southwest Virginia
Loop, Patti Gaskins Jr.
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Case Studies of Exemplary Elementary School Guidance Programs in Southwest Virginia by Patti Gaskins Loop Committee Chair: Carl O. McDaniels Counselor Education (Abstract) The Virginia Board of Education mandated that, by the Fall of 1989, all public elementary schools in the Commonwealth should establish elementary school guidance programs and employ an elementary school guidance counselor for every 500 students. Since that time, eight years have passed, and a review of successful programs was in order. The purpose of this research was to describe exemplary elementary school guidance practices and programs in Southwest Virginia. Based on the recommendations of three counselor educators from Virginia Tech, three elementary school divisions were identified for inclusion in the study. Rural, urban and suburban school divisions were chosen, so that the results would reflect a broader spectrum of exemplary elementary school guidance practices and programs. Specific school sites were selected by the school superintendent or guidance supervisor. During the Spring of 1997, the process of collecting data began. School counselors were asked to complete a questionnaire. Next, the researcher conducted site visits to each school, during which time ten structured interviews took place with those people who had interactions with the elementary school guidance program. While on the site, documents related to the elementary school guidance program were reviewed. Research results were presented in case study fashion. The most frequently cited examples of exemplary elementary school guidance practices and programs were summarized. Results showed that rural, urban, and suburban elementary school guidance programs had striking commonalities. All three elementary school guidance programs reported strengths in fifteen areas, which were grouped into three categories: (1) focus on student development and achievement, (2) staff collaboration, and (3) focus on parents and volunteers. A detailed description and discussion of each exemplary elementary school guidance practice and program concluded the study.
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