19th National School Social Work Conferencesm
March 9 - 12, 2016
Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel
300 S. Charles St.
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Need Help Convincing Your Supervisor?
The 19th National School Social Work Conferencesm, the world’s largest and most important gathering of School Social Workers, offers you professional excellence at its best. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) speak to the need throughout of the importance of using Evidence-based practices. As Mental Health Professionals working in schools, it is particularly important that School Social Workers stay current regarding evidence based/informed practices particularly for use in schools. The National School Social Work Conferencesm provides numerous opportunities to improve your skill sets and add to your portfolio of evidence based practices as noted in NCLB and IDEA. Most of us are also required to obtain Continuing Education in order to maintain our State Certificates and/or Clinical Licensure.
U.S. Department of Education Guidelines:
You may also want to point out a section of the U.S. Department of Education's January 2014 Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline "Schools should provide all school - based personnel who interact with students with effective professional development and ongoing support, and match professional learning opportunities with the needs of various school personnel – be they teachers, principals, or specialized support personnel, such as social workers." "Specialized support personnel (such as school social workers) can also support teachers and other staff – in addition to students – by identifying training needs and providing ongoing training, coaching, and professional development to all school staff on issues related to their expertise." (pages 7 and 8).
In case your attendance at the conference isn’t that obvious to your supervisor,
Here's 10 Points to Convince Your Supervisor:
1. Expand your ability to serve as a resource for your school or district.
2. Learn new approaches to improving outcomes for students and aligning your services with NCLB objectives.
3. Stay abreast of the latest research and evidence-based practices in the field.
4. Find out about current developments in federal legislation and policies, such as changes in IDEA and ESEA, and how these affect practice.
5. Acquire new strategies to address a specific problem in your school or district.
6. Build relationships with other professionals who can be a resource for information and problem-solving ideas throughout the school year.
7. Train with leading experts on such topics as evidence based practice interventions, working with military-connected families, PBIS, ethics, RtI, bullying, crisis/trauma response, attendance issues, homeless populations, autism, advocacy, parenting, violence prevention, creating positive school climates and much more.
8. Bring back useful information to share with colleagues in your school or district.
9. Share ideas and contribute to discussions regarding the role and future of School Social Work, such as evaluation rubrics, shortages, funding, training, and emphasis on prevention and problem-solving services.
10. Rejuvenate and re-energize as you network with others and learn new strategies to assist students and their families.
Download: Ten Points to Convince Your Supervisor.
Have your Supervisor help select workshops that you should attend.
Share the Conference Brochure. Have your supervisor help select possible workshops that you could attend. Offer to share or train others in your district with what you have learned.
Need Something More Formal?
To help convince your administrators, please feel free to adapt this Conference Justification Letter incorporating your district's needs. Stress the importance of this conference dedicated to school social workers as well as the knowledge and skills that you will gain by attending!
What If They Won't Let Me Leave the District?
Ways to Keep Contributing at Work While You Are Away (and After You Return)
Remind your supervisor that prior planning and good technology will allow you to continue supporting your school(s) while you are benefiting from #1-10 above.
• Check your messages frequently.
• Check and respond to e-mail using your free internet access in your room as well as in the lobby.
• Get someone at your workplace to handle emergencies while you are gone and offer to reciprocate at another time. Leave a phone number where you can be reached.
• Volunteer to recruit trained professionals for vacant positions.
• Target a specific district problem or need and get information to address the issue.
• Offer to conduct in-service trainings or “train the trainer” sessions based on what you learned at the Conference.
• Plan to distribute to staff and parents at least one topical handout or fact sheet that you picked up at the Conference, downloaded from the SSWAA website, or created on the basis of what you learned.
(Some strategies modified from the National Association of School Psychologists--2013)
Hope to See You At the Conference!