PRC School District celebrates School Social Workers week

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2017

During Monday’s Pearl River County School Board meeting, a group of licensed clinical social workers banded together to discuss Governor Phil Bryant’s proclamation to celebrate School Social Work Week during the week of March 6-10.
“We all need to be aware of everything our kids have been through before they get to our school,” Denise Rouse, district licensed clinical social worker. “A high number of children have gone through traumatic experiences, and that can affect their education. If we ignore that, it can cause a lot of problems.”
The Pearl River County School District has three full-time licensed certified social workers who collaborate with the community, students, teachers and families to support the students’ academic and social successes in the classroom. Some of the services these social workers provide include individual and group counseling, conferences with parents and teachers.
“It is our job to maximize the students’ opportunities in life and to make sure we are sensitive to the adverse childhood experiences they may have gone through,” Paula Russell, a licensed clinical social worker with the school district, said.
Adverse childhood experiences can include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect and household dysfunction, Russell said. To understand what each student has gone through, the licensed clinical social workers provided a ten question ACE questionnaire.
“Each time they answer ‘Yes’ in the survey, the student would tally one point. The higher the overall score the more adverse childhood experiences that student has gone through and the bigger the impact they suffer from in the educational setting,” Russell said.
According to the ACE website, 64 percent of students in the nation deal with at least one ACE.
“I commend our certified social workers for their commitment to providing extra support inside and outside of the classroom for the students of our district,” Superintendent Alan Lumpkin said.
In a separate matter, Lumpkin said he would like to remind the community that the special election for the $17 million dollar bond is today. The polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. The election will be held at the community safe room on the Carriere campus.
More of Monday’s meeting will be covered in Wednesday’s edition of the Item

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