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Licensed School Social Worker at Maya Angelou Academy

The Organization

Since it began operating in 1997, the See Forever Foundation's mission has been to create learning communities in lower income urban areas where all students, particularly those who have not succeeded in traditional schools, can succeed academically and socially. The Foundation operates the Maya Angelou Public Charter Schools in DC, as well as the Maya Angelou Academy at New Beginnings’ secure facility for committed youth in Laurel, MD. Our students develop the academic, social, and employment skills they need to build rewarding lives and promote positive change.

The Academy

We assumed operation of the Maya Angelou Academy (formerly the Oak Hill Academy) during the summer of 2007.  Nearly all of the students are years behind grade level academically, many have special needs, and most have experienced significant trauma at some point in their lives.  Our mission at the Academy is to provide a safe, nurturing and mutually respectful environment that motivates and prepares each student to fulfill his academic or career potential.  With the support of a wide circle of caring adults, students will develop the skills they need to make sound decisions and lead rewarding lives.

If you are interested in learning more about See Forever, please visit our website at www.seeforever.org.

The Touchstone

At the Maya Angelou Schools, the key to our success is rooted in building trusting, respectful and nurturing relationships with each other.  We strive to create safe spaces for all to be able to reach their limitless potential.  We are at our best when we work together to ensure the unique needs of our community are met.  We empower each other to grow successfully so we can see forever!  This is how we live the Maya Way, even when no one is watching.

Position Overview

The Social Worker provides the students with consistent guidance and support from their arrival at Maya Angelou Academy through 90 days after their departure from New Beginnings.  The Social Worker will work closely with the School Psychologist in implementing the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Counseling Program.  The goal of this program is to promote the personal, social and emotional development of scholars in a safe, inclusive learning environment.  Once the scholar returns to the community, the Social Worker will work with the Dean of Students to continue to counsel students as they make a successful transition to life in the community and adulthood. This position reports to the Director of Socio-Emotional Learning & Culture.

Responsibilities

The School Social Worker will be held accountable for:

  • Providing weekly behavioral support services (i.e. individual and group counseling) to all Exceptional Learners and documenting these efforts in the Easy IEP/Special Education Data System (SEDs) data platforms.
  • Participating in IEP, MDT and manifestation hearings, as necessary.
  • Collaborating with the Dean of Students to assist in the facilitation of mediations and/or restorative circles, to resolve conflicts between scholars.
  • Collaborating with the Director of Social Emotional Learning & Culture and School Psychologist to select and deliver targeted group counseling interventions.
  • Ensuring that all pre/post assessments (i.e. Resiliency Scales for Children & Adolescents) are administered timely.
  • Providing crisis intervention and triaging referrals to community support agencies as needed.
  • Working with the Director of Social Emotional Learning & Culture to create a systemic process for providing support and clinical intervention for students who transition from the Maya Angelou Academy to the community.
  • Facilitating professional development and training opportunities for the Maya Angelou Academy staff and greater school community about the impact of untreated trauma on student performance.
  • Collaborating with the discipline team and school administrators to provide support to students struggling to cope with the negative behavioral impact of external factors.
  • Maintaining a comprehensive file on all students which includes a copy of their counseling intake, parental consents, current and previous progress reports, and all appropriate documentation confirming excused absences.
  • Developing protocols for maintaining confidential clinical files and referral process to follow-up on secured data.
  • Collaborating with the Director of Social Emotional Learning & Culture and School Psychologist to recruit, select, train, and supervise graduate mental health interns from local colleges and universities.
  • Collaborating with local colleges and universities to facilitate social work internships for the Maya Angelou Schools.
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the Director of Social Emotional Learning & Culture and School Psychologist.

Knowledge and Skills

  • Demonstrates uncompromising ethics and personal integrity by adhering to the highest standards of ethical behavior.
  • Excellent documentation, organizational, and communication skills (both orally and written).
  • Excellent clinical and case management skills.
  • Prior direct service experience working truant and disconnected youth.
  • Demonstrates team spirit, initiative, and a willingness to collaborate with all members of the school community.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively as a member of a multidisciplinary team.
  • History of effectively assessing the psycho-educational needs of students and families.
  • Holds oneself accountable, sets high expectations for self and others, and works both independently and collaboratively.
  • Strong problem-solving and crisis intervention skills.

Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in social work is required (MSW). LICSW mandatory, as scholars are Wards of the District. If LGSW, must have two years of working experience and be LICSW-eligible.
  • Bachelor degree in criminal justice, social work, sociology or related
  • Experience working with incarcerated/at-risk youth
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Possess an unrelenting belief that all students can achieve and succeed.

Core Beliefs and Desired Characteristics

Candidates should possess an unyielding belief that with the appropriate supports, coupled with high expectations, all students can significantly improve their academic skills, and can develop pro-social and culturally normative behaviors that will enable them to succeed at school and beyond. Candidates should also believe that all students have strengths and talents and that good teachers help students find them and use them to address weaknesses or overcome fears. In addition, candidates should exhibit the following characteristics:

  • Honesty & Integrity: Does not cut corners ethically. Earns trust and maintains confidence. Does what is right, not just what is politically expedient. Speaks plainly and truthfully. 
  • Analytical skills: able to structure and process qualitative or quantitative data and draw insightful conclusions from it; exhibits a probing mind and achieves penetrating insights 
  • Persistence: Demonstrates tenacity and willingness to go the distance to get something done.
  • Strategic thinking/visioning: Able to see and communicate the big picture in an inspiring way; determines opportunities and threats through comprehensive analysis of current and future trends
  • Flexibility/adaptability: Adjusts quickly to changing priorities and conditions; copes effectively with complexity and change
  • Enthusiasm: Exhibits passion and excitement over work. Has can do attitude.

Salary and Benefits

Our salaries are comparable to those of other schools in the District of Columbia area. In addition, See Forever offers a robust benefits plan, including health care coverage, a 401k retirement savings plan, and the opportunity to positively impact students with a broad range of experiences and backgrounds.

See Forever is an equal opportunity employer. We believe a diverse staff is a better, more effective staff. 

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