Effective School Staffing Model:

Teaming School Counselors, School Psychologists, and School Social Workers

A teaming statement from SSWAA, ASCA and NASP JOINT teaming statement.

A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools

A joint statement from the American School Counselor Association, National Association of School Psychologists, School Social Work Association of America, National Association of School Resource Officers, National Association of Elementary School Principals and National Association of Secondary School Principals.

A Framework For Safe and Successful Schools

OSSWA supports schools having access to highly qualified school social workers in alignment with ESEA and IDEIA. School social workers are master level professionals who have completed the requirements of an ODE approved graduate school social work program in Ohio. They have earned licensure (LSW or LISW) from the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board and a Professional Pupil Services License from the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education eliminated consultants for pupil services providers in the 1990’s. Since that time, there has been little support for including state pupil services organizations in developing policy , supporting the hiring of the professions at the local district level, devising standards or professional development for the professions. OSSWA supports the Ohio Department of Education in conducting a study to determine the status of critical shortages of Ohio school social workers and pupil service providers. Pupil services providers were eliminated from the definition of `teacher’ in the Ohio Revised Code in the 1990’s.

Since that time, support for pupil service providers and related services providers at the Ohio Department of Education has significantly declined. Ohio has not routinely included state pupil services organizations in developing policy, as have more progressive states such as Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana and Iowa. As a result, funding and local support for pupil services has deteriorated. Lack of support at the district level contributes to difficulty with teacher retention. In Ohio’s Part B Performance report of 2004, ODE `did not ensure the availability of an adequate supply of qualified related services personnel to provide a free and appropriate public education to children with disabilities.’ Pupil Services Providers, as defined in the Elementary and Secondary Counseling Education Act, are` School Professional Personnel who provide assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic, and other necessary services (including related services defined in IDEA) and focus on meeting
student’s needs’. Related Services, as described in Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, are `services that assist a student with a disability. Services include speech-language & hearing services, psychological services, OT/PT, recreation, early identification & assessment of disabilities, counseling services, orientation & mobility services, and medical services, school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling & training as specified on a student’s IEP.’ OSSWA supports the development of Ohio School Social Work Standards and Standards for other Pupil Personnel Services Providers consistent with current teacher and principal standards. In 2004, the Ohio General Assembly created an Educator Standards Board through Senate Bill 2. The legislature charged the board with bringing standards-based reform to the educator level by defining standards for teachers and principals at all stages of their careers, and delineating criteria for high-quality professional development. The Educator Standards Board has developed state standards for teachers and principals at all stages of their careers; formulated standards for educator professional development; created a career ladder, is defining and currently working on developing master teacher criteria, will be monitoring
implementation of the created standards and recommending policies to close achievement gaps among groups of students. Students, families and teachers should have the same expectation of excellence for the pupil services providers that work on their behalf.

Pupil services providers should also have the same expectation of rigorous state standards prescribed professional development, a career ladder, and expectations that through evidence based interventions, teachers and students will be more able to close the achievement gap. OSSWA supports the development and implementation of Social Emotional Learning Standards to support state academic standards. The Collaborative for Academic, Emotional and Social Learning (CASEL) was founded in 1994 by Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence
and educator/ philanthropist Eileen Rockefeller Growald. It is based in the Department of Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). CASEL works to advance the science and evidence-based practice of social and emotional learning (SEL).

The group produces books, articles, and briefs that synthesize scientific advances in SEL and explain their implications for practice. CASEL priorities focus on the benefits of preschool through high school SEL programming; how SEL coordinates with other educational movements; research and training in implementation; assessment; school and district leadership development; educational policies; and communications. The
Illinois State Board of Education has adopted Social Emotional Learning Standards. While Ohio has developed School Climate Guidelines, the development of state Social Emotional Learning Standards would ensure provision of evidence-based programming shown to decrease violence in schools that implement such curriculum. OSSWA supports inclusion of school social workers in the implementation of the ISM model via State Support Teams.
SSTs address district’s condition and climates by providing support for creating safe learning climates, establishing community partnerships, engaging parents and communities, and developing supportive learning environments.

School social workers are uniquely able to address non-academic barriers to student success because of their training, experience, and person-environment orientation. At the Prevention level, interventions target all students within a school system and seek to comprehensively address such issues as school climate, bullying, discrimination, and suicide/violence prevention. At the Early Intervention Level, interventions target at-risk students within a school system and seek to mitigate barriers separating these individuals from their peers. Examples of at-risk students include those indicated for special education, needing behavioral supports, or who are at high risk for delinquency. Programs addressing sexual health, drug and alcohol use, issues related to poverty and teen
pregnancy are just a few examples. At the Intervention/Treatment level, interventions target students who struggle with a particular, identified need. Crisis intervention, direct counseling services, homelessness services, de-escalation, behavioral intervention plans and linkages for employment, mental health and drug/alcohol services are just a few examples. Across all levels, school social workers play an invaluable role in service coordination. School social workers work collaboratively with students, parents, teachers, administrators, law enforcement, government agencies, and other pupil services professionals to ensure students are provided comprehensive supports. OSSWA supports the development and implementation of a statewide student information management system that can be accessed by all school districts. With significant safeguards put in place to protect student privacy, a statewide information system would support students who are transient or homeless. Schools would be able to have immediate access to records and IEPs for students of families who, due to poverty, loss of job, or domestic violence experience transiency. Interventions and supports would be implemented immediately upon enrollment in the new school.