Mid-Hudson Regional Meeting May 24, 2017 Report

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you to those who attended our Mid-Hudson Regional NYSSSWA meeting last week.  We had a wonderful dinner meeting at the Italian Center.  It was so good to see everyone and to hear what exciting things are taking place around the region.  
Thank you to Hai-Ping and Suzi who brought us up to date on what is happening on the state level including the laws regarding school counselors in schools, as well as the resolutions initiated by Assemblyman Ortiz and Senator Hamilton regarding access of school social workers to students.  These are still works in progress. 
Mirta McLain updated us on Mental Health in Education and how school social workers can be involved in developing curriculum.  How can we position ourselves to play a critical role in this new initiative?  Much more to come on this topic.  Carrie Frost spoke on the Safe Schools Task Force which will present a white paper to the NYSED on how to initiate the SEL curriculum into the Core Curriculum. 
NYSSWA Board members are needed to continue the critical work that has been done so far to advance the role of School Social Workers.  Contact Suzi Stoller (suzi.stoller@gmail.comto attend a meeting in Albany and find out more about this important way to be involved.  Meetings are only 3 times a year.
All of the attendees shared the innovative and exciting work happening in the schools in our region.  School social workers from our group work as social emotional wellness facilitators, provide alternatives to suspension and mentoring for students.  Our school social workers are working, often collaboratively with other staff, in programs such as Aspire, Project Wisdom, Community service, Second Step, Lunch Buddies, Mind Up, Collaborative Proactive Solutions and programs to address the social emotional needs of pre-kindergarten students.  Social Emotional Learning is becoming a “new”  focus in schools and school social workers are the experienced professionals to be involved in its implementation.
I have included 2 links regarding SEL that you might find useful.
Other news discussed:  there are SSW job opportunities in various districts which can be found on the OLAS site.  https://www.pnwboces.org/TeacherApplication/default.aspx?region=05   All of  the school budgets passed and NO social work positions were cut.  A welcome change from years past!  Congratulations to Hai-Ping on her upcoming retirement from Kingston Schools.
The group agreed to schedule our Fall and Winter meetings as ones with a speaker with CE credit provided and the spring meeting as a discussion for ourselves without a speaker.  So please let me know of any speaker you would like to recommend for a one hour presentation, including yourself!   The necessary paperwork for potential presenters is simple to complete.  
These NYSSSWA regional meetings are for you, so if you have any suggestions or ideas, please feel free to share them.  And if you are interested in taking over the role as facilitator/coordinator of these meetings, please let me know. 😉
I wish you all a successful end to this school year and a relaxing and restful summer filled with whatever you enjoy most!  Thank you for all you do for your students and your colleagues.  Remember to take some time for yourselves.
See you in September.
Kathy MacCarthy