The Perceptions of Elementary Guidance In the Virginia Beach City Public Schools
This study examines perceptions of the stakeholders (parents, administrators, faculty members, counselors, and fifth grade students) about the Virginia Beach Elementary Guidance and Counseling Program. A survey was developed by examining guidance goals and a previous study of the program (1993). Questions covered four domains: (1) home-school relationships, (2) student personal development, (3) support for academic growth, and (4) program value. Results are reported in descriptive statistics. Four one-way analyses of variance were used to compare responses of groups in domains. Included are two supplemental analyses about student access to counselors and conditions affecting counselors' work.
Adults agreed promoting closer home-school relationships was a worthwhile goal. Parents felt less positive than administrators, faculty, and counselors that the program promoted home-school relationships, that parents met with counselors, and that parents received information and were being afforded appropriate parent educational opportunities.
Adults agreed that promoting closer home-school relationships was a worthwhile goal. Means scores ranged from 3.3 to 3.7 on a 4 point scale. (4.0 represented strongly agree.) Administrators, faculty, and counselors felt more positively than parents that the program promoted home-school relationships, that parents met with counselors, and that parents received information and were being afforded appropriate parent educational opportunities. Mean scores ranged from 2.9 to 3.9.
Adults felt student personal development was a worthwhile goal. Mean scores ranged from 3.3 to 3.8. All adult groups felt positive about counseling programs helping students understand themselves and others better, the program having a positive impact on children's personal development, and the program helping students cope with developmental changes. Mean scores for these adults ranged from 3.0 to 3.8.
In support for academic growth, parents and faculty gave slightly lower scores, although all groups felt positive about counseling programs. Mean scores ranged from 2.8 to 3.8.
Responses to open-ended questions supported these ratings. When asked about suggestions for program improvement, two responses given most often were more elementary counselors were needed and more communication with parents would be helpful. When asked for other comments, primary themes were the program is positive, the program is helpful, and counselors are good.
Overall perception is the elementary guidance and counseling program is valuable. Findings suggest program administrators may want to consider reviewing home-school relationships, support provided by counselors for the academic program, and counselor-student ratio.