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School Counselor / Social Worker

Lawrence Public Schools is an urban district, located 30 miles north of Boston, serving more than 13,000 students. More than 70% of our students speak a language other than English as their first language. We are committed to ensuring that our students, who have for too long been underserved, are provided with a high-quality, free, public education at their local, district schools.

We believe that the fundamental unit of change in education reform is the school, not the district. In 2011, we were designated as being chronically underperforming. The Commissioner of Education appointed a receiver, who has the power of both the superintendent and the school committee. The receiver was charged with meaningfully improving--and sustaining--academic achievement in schools. In 2012, we began a turnaround in which educators used increased autonomy to lead their schools to success. The central office worked in service of the schools, rather than in management of the schools. This change paved the way for progress and improvement since 2012.

About the ENLACE Program
ENLACE (Engaging Newcomers in Language and Content Education) opened in Fall 2015 to serve 9th grade ELLs at Lawrence High School who have been in the U.S. for less than two years and are just beginning their English language development (WIDA Level 1). Our mission is to provide newcomer students with the academic and linguistic foundation and socio-emotional supports that will allow them to transition successfully and quickly into the mainstream high school environment, on track to pursue a college or career of their choice. In 2016-17, we are expanding our program to serve 9th and 10th grade aged students.

ENLACE combines the resources of a traditional public high school (access to campus facilities, teams, clubs, field trips, dances, etc.) with the extra supports of a small, specialized learning community. We believe students learn language best through challenging, engaging, and hands-on academic content and train our educators to teach language through their subject areas. We hold high behavioral and academic expectations for our students, while providing supports that will help them understand and meet the expectations of their new school environment.

About This Position:
The Counselor will help to close the achievement gap by working with small groups, individuals, and the whole class to ensure that students are receiving standards-based and rigorous instruction, appropriate support, and necessary accommodations. This individual will report to the Principal and will work closely with Grade Level Teams, ESL Educators, Special Education Staff Members, and the School Leadership Team.

Responsibilities:
The Counselor's responsibilities will include, but not be limited to, the following:
Assess referred students and provide recommendations for service(s).
Provide direct service to students as needed in one-to-one, small group, or classroom setting;
Develop and implement preventative services including but not limited to classroom curriculum presentations, guest speakers, forums, etc.;
Maintain ongoing case records for students as assigned;
Collaborate with parent and community agencies to obtain and provide necessary services for students in the most efficient and effective manner;
Disseminate and interpret pertinent educational, vocational, assessment, and student growth information to students, parents, and school personnel and assist students in developing tangible and achievable future goals;
Provide crisis intervention services to students as necessary;
Communicate effectively, consistently, and professionally with students, families, and colleagues;
Comply with school, district, and statewide policies and regulations; and
Complete other duties as assigned.
Skills and Characteristics:
The Counselor should possess the following skills and attributes:
Passionate belief in Lawrence Public Schools;
Commitment to the academic and personal success of Lawrence Public Schools students and families;
Proven history of successful collaboration;
Ability to take initiative and succeed in a fast-paced classroom/ school environment while remaining calm and focused when faced with unexpected challenges; and
Demonstrated capacity to create and maintain a positive learning environment in which students' diverse backgrounds, identities, strengths, and challenges are respected and utilized.

Qualifications:
Master's Degree in Counseling, Guidance, Human Services, School Psychology, or Social Work required;
Valid Massachusetts License as a School Counselor, School Adjustment Counselor, Guidance Counselor, School Social Worker, or School Psychologist preferred;
Minimum of two years' experience in the field of counseling, education, guidance, or social work preferred;
Fluent in Spanish preferred; and
Current Authorization to work in the United States.

Send resume and cover letter to allison.balter@lawrence.k12.ma.us