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Action, Please!

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QUESTIOrfí I have become aware of a new program for children in all the elementary schools of the Ann Arbor School District, who are considered to have short-comings in personality or behavipr. Apparently, these children are frequently taken out of their regular classrooms and are wbrked on by some sort of specialist. Could you please answer several questions about this program? 1) Are parents always consulted before a child is singled out for such treatment? 2) How many of these specialists are used to conduct this program? What is their title? 3) How many of these specialists are psychiatrists? 4) How many of these specialists have teaching certificates? 5) What is the total cost of this program for the present school year? (Name withheld by request) ANSWER: The writer may be referring to either of two supportive services in the Ann Arbor Public School, according to Dr. Hazel Turner, director of Pupil Personnel Services: "For a number of years, school social workers (formerly referred to as Visiting Teachers), have served the district, kindergarten through 12th grades. Ann Arbor currently has 16 school social workers, three of these serving full-time in the two senior high schools. The rest serve the 24 elementary and 4 junior highs in varying amounts of time depending on several factors1 ( "needs" of the school, size, etc). School social workers are trained to be responsive to the mental health of students. They may work with individual children, with groups of children, with families, or with the total school environment. All this is done to promote the mental health of allí children so that they may make the most effectivel use of the learning environment. Prior to the actionl of the 1966 State Legislature, school social workers I were required to have a teaching certifícate. Another program in the schools is the Helping Teacher program. Helping Teachers must possess a teaching certifícate, and most are certified also in the area of special education for emotionally handicapped. There is a Helping Teacher in 14 of our 24 elementary schools. The Helping Teacher serves three main functions: (1) assistanee to children in crisis situations; (2) remediation of learning difficulties; (3) consultant to classroom teachers regarding modification of the learning environment when this seems appropriate. As is often the case, the Helping Teacher engages in a number of actiyitiës, all designed to help the child have a better school experience. The Helping Teacher program in Ann Arbor is ápproximately 10 years old. Parents are usually consulted when a child is referred for school social work service. Since the Helping Teacher program is considered an extensión of the classroom where the child may receive more individual help, the parents may or may not be consulted. If a parent rejects this service, of course, it will be withdrawn. We have no psychiatrists on our staff. We do have a psychiatrie consultant whose services are available to advise staff on programs that may most effectiyely meet the needs of a particular child not now being met by any current programs. The total salarles of the school social work program for this year is $199,500.00. Of this total, ápproximately $113,500.00 is reimbursable fröm state and county sources. The total salaries of the Helping Teachers program is $155,260.00. Of this total, ápproximately $123,470.00 is reimbursable from state and county sources. Teaching supplies, staff travel, etc. will be available after June 30, 1970 when final cost reports are summarized for submission to state and county offices


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