To support the emotional well-being of students, Shepherd’s mental health team includes a full-time school Psychologist and a full-time Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), who are able to help with a range of issues including, but not limited to, school culture and climate and self-advocacy.
As part of this school-based, mental health framework, the School Psychologist at Shepherd Elementary School provides comprehensive and preventive services to children in grades Pre-K through 5th grade to improve and enhance students’ learning, behavior and mental health. This includes, but, is not limited to, screening and assessment, individual/group counseling, social-emotional learning (SEL) instruction, designing remedial educational programs, along with individual/group consultation with school staff, parents, and outside agencies, as needed. The incumbent functions as a member of the school’s multidisciplinary team to interpret evaluation results and determine the student’s eligibility for special services, appropriate programming and ongoing progress. Ultimately, partnerships with teachers, school administrators, other professionals and families are established to create an optimal learning environment that strengthens connections between school, home and the community.
The Role of a Social Worker
Social Workers are involved in preventive work with students, staff and families that promotes positive school climate and social/emotional well-being. Social workers:
- Provide consultation to school staff and parents to facilitate student educational, social and emotional growth;
- Provide individual and group counseling and psycho-education
- Work collaboratively within the classroom setting to implement student IEPs/504 plans
- Provide technical assistance on strategies that improve outcomes for students; and
- Participate in school mental health team meetings along with school psychologists, school nurses, community mental health partners, administrators and other staff.