As school counseling programs move to make data-driven decision-making the cornerstone of student support efforts, school counselors are increasingly expected to collect and analyze data to measure program impact. This can become overwhelming for counselors who are often responsible for hundreds of students at a time.
Student data available is often quantitative and not qualitative. Consequently, counselors spend hours analyzing data that lacks the human insights they need to dig into how their students feel about themselves and school. Without qualitative data, it’s difficult for counselors to demonstrate intervention effectiveness, guide program development, and, most importantly, ensure that every child thrives. As a result, counselors find themselves often spending more time on data collection and less time doing the human work needed to support their students.
With so many different data points to consider in order to effectively counsel so many students, school counselors are looking to digital tools for help. One such tool is Bloomsights, a schoolwide screener aimed at gauging student well-being and school climate.
Bloomsights provides counselors with a continuous process to collect, analyze, and evaluate student social emotional needs and inform decision making at the student, classroom, and school level. Using short, online monthly student check-ins, Bloomsights tracks student well-being to comprehensively encourage student social and emotional development. What’s new and exciting is Bloomsights allows students to share who they feel connected to and the strength of these connections. This data is graphed using sociograms to reveal the social structure in classrooms and the underlying social dynamics of groups and individual students.
Student results are ready immediately and align with both ASCA Student Standards and CASEL indicators of student well-being and school climate. A simple red, yellow, green scale is used to organize students into tiers (think MTSS Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3) so counselors can quickly identify students in need of support and recognize indicators of student well-being that may normally go unnoticed. Additionally, Bloomsights equips counselors with prevention and intervention strategies that fit with each tier and with students’ needs. The result is a simplified view of SEL data that gives counselors clarity and frames data use in new ways so that insights gleaned are seen as augmenting, instead of replacing counselors’ valuable and intuitive observations.