Twelve years ago Revere Public Schools had only nine Adjustment Counselors and Social Workers on staff to deal with students social and emotional needs.
As the school populations grew and administrators saw an increase in student needs over the last decade.
Things like poverty, trauma, the escalation of social and emotional needs, as well as an uptick in behavioral and mental health issues were addressed by hiring more Adjustment Counselors and Social Workers.
Today, Revere Schools have 23 of these support staff working within the schools but over the years they have been asked to take on a lot of responsibility.
Now, Revere Superintendent Dianne Kelly wants to explore ways to restructure student support services to better address the needs of the school population.
“One of the things we’ve been working on as a district is addressing the social and emotional needs of our students,” said Kelly. “We have seen an uptick in the number of students needing care in that area. We want to start thinking about what we can be doing in classrooms and in schools to more effectively address the needs of our students while having the staff in place to help those kids receive services in real time when they need them. So a restructure of student support services across the district is one idea we have. However, any changes will be dependant on how our budget turns out but it could be a reality and we could pilot this program in a couple of our schools.”
Students that have to deal with social or emotional issues sometimes fall through the cracks of the education system and without strong support services are hamstrung in reaching their full educational potential.
The plan is to take some of the workload off the overtaxed Adjustment Counselors and Social Workers working in Revere Schools and create a more diverse support team with diverse areas of expertise to help students.
For example, the current role of the Adjustment Counselors and Social Workers is to work on students social emotional skill development; perform individual and group counseling; take part in crisis intervention and referrals; develop behavior plans for students; conducting behavioral assessments; work on IEP service delivery; as well as evaluating the psychological needs of students.
“They have been asked to do a lot,” said Revere’s Assistant Superintendent Dr. Josh Vadala. “We are asking them to do more things outside of their expertise. Things like developing behavior plans for students and conducting behavioral assessments may be more suited by a Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) while IEP service delivery, as well as evaluating the psychological needs of students would be more suited by a school psychologist.”
The restructuring would create a student support team with diverse areas of expertise.
“We can deploy the correct resources through the plan,” said Vadala. “It would pair Adjustment Counselors and Social Workers with a BCBA and School Psychologist as part of comprehensive team that would better meet the needs of our students.”