High School Social Worker for the 2017-2018 School Year

MIDDLE SCHOOL/HIGH SCHOOL FACULTY: Social Worker for the 2017-2018 School Year

Our Social Workers are absolutely essential to our success as a faculty and school. They manage a wide variety of student needs, ensuring that barriers to student learning are identified and that supports are put in place for our students and families.  In doing so, they guide our students to be empowered, critical, and engaged members of their school, their community, and the world at large.

Overview

Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn (Unity) is an independent charter school that proudly serves the community of central Brooklyn in New York City.  We are currently in our fourth year and serve 400 students in grades 6-9.  Over the next three years, we will continue to grow one grade level per year until we reach full size in 2019 with approximately 700 students in grades 6-12. We look forward to the graduation of our founding class in the spring of 2020.

In preparation for the 2017-18 school year, we are now seeking to add to our strong team of gifted educators to lead in building a middle/high school of distinction that truly equips our students with the skills, knowledge, mindset and experiences to realize their postsecondary aspirations and positively contribute to the well-being of their communities.

About Unity

Every day, the school community at Unity works as a team to empower our students. Though the scope of each staff member’s daily tasks and responsibilities is broad, we aim to align all elements of our work with the school’s mission: to empower students as scholars and citizens so that they may lead fulfilling academic, personal, and professional lives. This mission is the heart of our school, informing our choices and uniting our community under one shared purpose.

As a young and growing school, Unity strives to continuously strengthen its rigorous academic program in the liberal arts & sciences. Unity teachers are creators and collaborators, developing curriculum that is designed with our specific students in mind. Our students are at the center of all that we do at Unity, and our structures and systems reflect that. We prioritize differentiated academic support, offer extended learning time, and expose students to an ever-expanding array of enrichment clubs and learning opportunities outside the classroom.  Additionally, we are building a supportive school culture that emphasizes empathy and fosters students’ socio-emotional development.

As a school and learning community, we believe that:

  1. Students Rise to the Level of Expectations Placed Upon Them: To ensure student success, Unity staff members provide support commensurate with the high expectations placed upon students, both in the form of academic support and support in character development.
  2. Diversity Matters: We firmly believe that educational equity is best achieved, and academic learning is most profound, in diverse school settings. Our community draws strength from the rich experiences of each student.
  3. Applications Expand the School Environment: To supplement students’ academic learning, we provide students opportunities to apply classroom knowledge to real world experiences. This requires going beyond the school’s walls so that students may meaningfully interact with and positively contribute to the local community. The typical school day cannot provide such a program – we thus offer an extended school day and school year.
  4. A Positive School Culture is Powerful: Our core values, the code of conduct, the enrichment programs, and the attitudes and behavior of the staff breed a culture in which students experience a sense of unity with classmates, understand the power of being highly educated, and take responsibility for their own learning. We complement academic education with training on managing emotions and developing character strengths including our Core Values of Awareness, Initiative, Courage, Inquiry, Kindness and Integrity.
  5. Strong Teaching is a Central Lever in Promoting Student Learning: Recruiting, developing, and retaining exceptional teachers is an absolute priority for us. We reward teachers generously for their contributions to student learning. Likewise, we provide ample, on-going opportunities for teachers to develop their skills, establish and meet goals, and be challenged to reach their full potential as educators.
  6. Assessment Beyond Standardized Exams: We believe that using standardized test results as the sole measure of a student’s academic progress leads to an incomplete understanding of the student’s overall ability and potential to excel. An annual year-end presentation of a portfolio of work spanning the entire year is a more comprehensive and informative representation of a student’s learning.  These Roundtable presentations also reveal a student’s interpersonal skills and development as a citizen. When examining standardized test data, it is imperative that a student’s growth is celebrated as prominently as the student’s actual proficiency level.
  7. Sharing Success is Essential: We subscribe to the notion that any school developing innovative practices that successfully promote student learning has a responsibility to share them with other schools.

As a school only in our fourth year of operation, we have enjoyed a number of promising successes. Recent achievements include:

  • In 2015, Unity ranked #8 among the city’s 1,200 elementary and middle schools in promoting academic growth in mathematics proficiency.
  • In 2016, the percentages of Unity students scoring “proficient” or above in English Language Arts (ELA) grew by 75%.
  • In each of the past three years, 98% of students successfully participated in their end-of-year Roundtable presentation – a 45-minute oral presentation given to families, Unity faculty, and community members.
  • In the past two years, 100% of our students participated in an afternoon extra-curricular activity in each of our trimesters and 45% of our student body were members of an athletic team.

 

Based on a citywide survey completed by students’ families, Unity’s satisfaction rates were higher than the citywide average in all categories. Results of special note include:

  • 100% reported that Unity has high expectations for their child.
  • 99% reported they are satisfied with the education at Unity.
  • 98% reported that Unity is keeping their child on track for college, career, and success in life.
  • 99% reported that their child receives a wide variety of courses, extracurricular activities, and services, which help keep their child interested in school.

Finally, as a start-up school in which the workload of staff is particularly demanding and schools are thus susceptible to high levels of teacher turnover, we have been very successful in retaining our talented teachers. In our first three years of operation, we enjoyed an average teacher retention rate of approximately 85% (vs. 65% retention across NYC charter schools).

Responsibilities

Our faculty plays an essential role in establishing Unity as a model educational institution. Most critically, faculty members equip students with the knowledge and skills needed – including the desire and capacity to learn independently, think critically, and communicate proficiently – in order to experience secondary and postsecondary success. Key responsibilities of a Unity School Social Worker include but are not limited to the following:

I. Assessment and Intervention

  • Manage and provide assessment of counseling referrals for students from school staff, the Committee on Special Education (CSE), parent/guardians, and student self-referral using a school-wide Response to Intervention (RTI) framework
  • Provide one-on-one or group counseling in compliance with student Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and work closely with all interdisciplinary teams, school staff, SPED team, parents/families, and other collaterals to support student growth
  • Provide one-on-one/ group/ drop-in counseling or other intervention for “at-risk” students who require support but do not have an IEP, and work closely with all interdisciplinary teams, school staff, parents/families, and other collaterals to support student growth
  • Conduct regular needs-assessments of current and emerging student and family needs and identify and implement services as indicated/possible

II. Referral

  • Provide referrals to families for mental health, therapy and psychiatric services as needed
  • Provide linkages to families to community referrals and supports (i.e.: medical or insurance related needs, public assistance, housing assistance, etc.)
  • Identify students and families who are in transitional housing and manage implementation of school-based support as per McKinney Vento guidelines
  • Act as the liaison between outside service providers and the school (i.e.: ACS workers, mental health, therapists, caseworkers, etc.) by maintaining regular contact in order to facilitate holistic student support

III. Crisis Intervention

  • Serve as Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) member who helps address school response to incidents of suspected abuse, maltreatment, or neglect as well as student self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Provide training and professional development to staff on mandated reporting responsibilities as well as high-risk behavior protocol
  • Support staff in making mandated reporter calls as necessary and serve as liaison between staff, child welfare organizations, families and the school
  • Assess students who present with high-risk behaviors such as suicidal/homicidal ideation and self-harm and respond as indicated
  • Assess cases of suspected abuse/maltreatment/neglect and respond as indicated

IV. Interdisciplinary Teams

  • Serve as a member of the following teams, providing mental health/counseling expertise and executing delegated tasks as appropriate:
  • Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)
  • Special Education Support (SST)
  • Grade Level (GL)  
  • Restorative Justice
  • Crisis Intervention (CIT) (see above)
  • Attendance (see below)

V. Attendance

  • Attend regular meetings to analyze data and address intervention
  • Create and implement ongoing attendance interventions for chronically absent students as per RTI framework
  • Manage referrals to ACS for Educational Neglect

VI. Health Education

  • Assist in the coordination and implementation of health/sexual health education for all grades and serve as liaison between external resources and school
  • Serve as a Condom Availability Program (CAP) staff member trained to provide health/sexual health resources and referrals to students

VII. Compliance, Record Management and Supervision

  • Completes timely, accurate and professional documentation of services including progress notes
  • Completes all documentation necessary for IEP reports as well as other documents required by the Committee on Special Education
  • Completes necessary portions of Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP)
  • Receives clinical supervision from Director of Counseling (potential to obtain hours towards LCSW)
  • Participates in social work group supervision
  • Provides supervision to an MSW/Counseling intern as appropriate

VIII. Other

  • Performs other operations-related tasks consistent with the goals and objectives of this position

Qualifications

The ideal candidate for this position is equipped with:

  • A proven track record of supporting student learning; at least two years of formal social work experience in schools preferred
  • LCSW or LMSW degree, or M.A. in School Counseling required
  • NYS School Social Worker Certification or NYS School Counselor Certification must be obtained within six months of hire
  • Seminar in Field Instruction (SIFI) certification preferred
  • Interest in supporting students and families via a restorative justice lens
  • Expertise in working with diverse populations of students and families
  • An acumen for actively engaging students in their own learning and social and emotional development
  • Highly efficient, attentive to detail, motivated and able to multi-task, set priorities and establish and meet deadlines
  • Strong written and oral communication skills including an acumen for participating in sensitive conversations
  • A disposition toward teamwork and collaboration
  • A demonstrated openness and responsiveness to constructive feedback and a strong commitment to continuous improvement and professional growth
  • Approaches the profession with maturity, humility, versatility (i.e., embraces the ambiguity and excitement associated with start-ups), and, of course, a sense of humor

As an equal opportunity employer, Unity Preparatory Charter School of Brooklyn hires without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

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