Monday, March 4, 2019
The ability to learn can be impacted by many factors in a student’s life: nutrition, stability, learning disabilities, physical challenges, socioeconomic status, language, home life, and more. School social workers (SSWs) bridge gaps for our students by focusing on individual student needs, connecting families to resources, and promoting safety and wellness that can lead to improved learning.
School social workers enhance the district’s ability to meet its academic mission by linking the home, school, and community so students can achieve success. Most MPS SSWs are based in schools, providing direct services to students. Many more SSWs are in special assignments throughout the district providing services that support mental health grants, initial special education evaluations, district attendance initiatives, community service/service-learning mentorship, the Homeless Education Program, and more.
Social workers are trained to look at situations in a holistic way and to help bring together people and communities to find ways to address pressing individual, group, and societal issues such as hunger, affordable housing, equal rights for all, and education success. In MPS, social workers focus on meeting the needs of students with the goal of helping every child find a pathway to a productive life. Family support is a large element of helping students succeed.
At any given time, MPS is educating 5,000 homeless students and 500 refugee students. One in five MPS students has special needs and 81 percent are economically disadvantaged. School social workers support children and their families with a wide range of needs and in a wide variety of situations.
MPS is proud of the role our social workers play in the success of our students, and the entire district is grateful for their service!