The value of T-CRS data
I have had the unique experience of working with Primary Project previously as a coordinator for a community mental health agency and now as a school counselor. For the past five years, I have served as the school counselor for Turnbow Elementary in Springdale, Arkansas. We have a diverse student population of 650 students: 89% of students receive free or reduced lunch; 65% of students are Latino; 18% are Marshallese; 15% are Caucasian; 2% are African American. Whether in my role as a community mental health professional within an agency or now as a school counselor, I find the data I receive from the T-CRS valuable. Classroom teachers are collecting data on students both formally and informally on a daily basis. This data creates the foundation for all decisions made to support students in our building; therefore, it only seems reasonable that social and emotional learning is also seen as a key component of a child’s success.
The T-CRS data supports the screening and selection process for participation in Primary Project. T-CRS results also provide me a wealth of information about individual students and classrooms as a whole. At the individual level, this data helps inform composition for small groups, supports referrals to outside mental health agencies when indicated, and adds information in support of Response to Intervention (RtI) or special education services. At the group level, I can obtain a picture of the individual teacher’s perception related to classroom needs. The T-CRS items ask teachers to think about their students in a variety of ways other than a focus on academic proficiencies and deficiencies; the T-CRS offers a vehicle for teachers to examine their students’ social-emotional skills as well.
While the data provided by the T-CRS is valuable, it is important to remember that our students are more than a number. T-CRS data is coupled with teacher input to provide a picture of the whole child. This picture allows the team to make an informed decision about who will best benefit from interventions.
The T-CRS helps to inform decisions about participants for Primary Project as well as provides valuable information for use beyond Primary Project. T-CRS results serve as an indispensable source of information when evaluating how to best serve my students.
–Sarah Gheen, School Counselor, Turnbow Elementary, Springdale, Arkansas