BAA Peer Counselling Framework District Name: Okanagan Skaha District Number: #67 Course Proposed: Peer Counselling 12 Developed by: Pam Storie Schools: Princess Margaret Secondary School Date Developed: October 2004 Principal’s Name: Bruce Johnson Board Authority Approval Date: Board Authority Signature: Grade Level of Courses: Grade 12 Number of Course Credits: 4 credits Hours of Instruction: 120 hours Prerequisite(s): Recommendation by two staff members, an administrator or counsellor. Mature, responsible students who are respectful of others. Desire / interest to work with all students. Willingness to communicate and interact with others. Demonstrates leadership abilities Special Training, Facilities or Equipment: Must attend and participate in the two day October training retreat. Course Synopsis: The peer counsellors are given education and training so that they may empathize with their peers and listen without making judgments. Peer counsellors are trained in effective communication skills and are supervised, directed, and evaluated by the counsellor. Students will develop social responsibility while acquiring skills in communication, interpersonal relations, leadership, mediation, and teamwork. Students will acquire a life long appreciation, value and acceptance of all cultures represented in our school community. The helpers are not encouraged to give solutions or advice. They are trained to listen and make appropriate referrals. Students will gain a new understanding of themselves throughout the course of this program. Students who opted to take this course in all two or three grades will continue to build on skills learned, and will be expected to take more of a leadership role both with project work and individual growth. . Rationale School District # 67’s peer counselling program provides students an opportunity to assist fellow students. It is a program that has been offered to students at Princess Margaret School for the past 16 years. It is built on the premise that students often seek assistance from their peers in times of personal crisis. If a variety of students are trained in effective listening skills, referral processes, mediation skills, and are aware of community agencies, then more students would be able to effectively assist their peers. Organizational Structure: Unit / Topic 1 2 3 4 5 6 Peer Counselling Program: Program Orientation and Retreat Communication Skills Mental Illness information Teen Issues Peer Mediation Practical Application Total Time: 30 hours 20 hours 5 hours 20 hours 5 hours 40 hours 120 hours Curriculum Organizers: Retreat A 2 day over night retreat will be held in October to familiarize students with the peer counselling program. Grade 12 students will need to prepare a presentation and facilitate a discussion on a teen topic of current concern. During the retreat we also invite guest speakers from the community to talk about community agencies and referral processes. As well, students have an opportunity to get to know each other through the various activities offered at the retreat. Communication Skills Grade 12 students will take a leadership role in providing service to their peers. The peers will increase their communication skills through classroom presentations, the use of small group discussions and role play situations. Positive interactions with people continues to be emphasized and reinforced. Peers also assist with middle school transition activities and organize events for the grade 8 students. Mental Illness Grade 12 students are given some instructional time with a mental health clinician to learn about depression and suicide. Appropriate community referral processes and emergency services are discussed and information shared with students, via bulletin boards, classroom visitations, and individual contact. Time is spent learning about mental illnesses such as bipolar and schizophrenia to reduce the stigma attached to some of these illnesses. Teen Issues Students spend time learning about the effects of drugs and alcohol, how to handle peer pressure, parental issues, eating disorders, cultural diversities, family issues, conflict, abuse, death, etc. Gr. 12 students will take a leadership role in sharing this information with their peers and educating students about appropriate resources. Peer Mediation Students will learn some effective strategies to deal with conflict. Some students will be trained as part of a peer mediation panel to assist peers in resolving their differences in a win- win situation. Practical Application Students are expected to organize an event for the students in the classroom setting or as a lunch hour or evening venue. Peers are assigned a block of time for peer counselling. During this time they are available to meet with students, work on school projects, tour new registrations around the school, participate in activity days such as multicultural day, aids awareness day, student conference day, etc. as well as be assistants to the counsellors and administration. Grade 12 students will also be required to complete and present a personal portfolio (2004/2005 school year) Instructional Component: Direct Instruction Interactive Instruction Independent Study Modelling Practical Experience Group Work Role Plays Expectations: Attend each class regularly Participate to the best of their ability Attend monthly meetings Be a positive role model at school Respect all students and staff Participate fully in school projects Assessment methods include both formative and summative evaluations including: Teacher observation Self assessments Reports from other teachers Student conferences Presentations and demonstrations Assessment Component: Participation 60% Skill Development 20% Knowledge 20% Learning Resources: Peer Counsellor Workbook Youth Helping Youth- A Handbook for Training Peer Facilitators Peer Power- Book # 1 Peer Power- Book # 2 - Applying Peer Helper Skills Student Leadership Training Peer Mediation –Conflict Resolution in Schools Gail Roberts Robert Myrick Tom Erney Judith Tindall Judith Tindall Diane Taub Fred Schrump Donna Crawford & Richard Bodine Additional Information: Video Library on topics such as: Communication skills, mediation, relationship, teen issues, mental illness, depression and suicide intervention, substance abuse, dealing parents, Peer Counselling Course Outline 2004/05 Guest speakers from our community agencies are invited to deliver information about their agencies to the peer counsellors.