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17 Dec 2019

School Network Staff School Social Worker

 Denver, Denver County, Colorado, United States

Job Description


Position: School Social Worker
Reports to: School Principal and Director of Mental Health
Location: STRIVE Prep Federal, Southwest Denver


Are you up for the work as a school social worker that is both difficult and worthwhile? Do you want to make a positive, lasting difference in children’s lives?


STRIVE Preparatory Schools (STRIVE) is a Denver-based community of K-12 public charter schools that challenges every student to strive for college and thrive throughout life by helping them develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence necessary to succeed in college and beyond. The school social worker will help students as they face an assortment of challenges at our middle school, STRIVE Prep Federal. STRIVE Prep Federal serves 360 brilliant 6th through 8th-grade students in the Southwest Denver community, including 46% emerging bilinguals, and 15% of students with disabilities. The school social worker will work directly with children and adolescents; support students with mental health needs by providing counseling, skill instruction, and learning and support plans; assess and evaluate individual differences to identify intervention strategies; and work collaboratively with parents, teachers, and community supports to support children’s success to ultimately help students thrive at home, in school, and in life.

We seek dedicated educators that live STRIVE Prep’s  core values every day:

Core Beliefs – Achievement 

  • Commitment 1:  I commit to celebrating academic and personal success for all.
  • Commitment 2:  I commit to holding myself and others accountable to high expectations.
  • Commitment 3: I commit to bringing passion and joy to my work.

Core Beliefs – Justice 

  • Commitment 1:  I commit to intentionally disrupt inequity, bias, and systems of oppression.
  • Commitment 2:  I commit to creating an environment of safe body, mind, and heart.
  • Commitment 3:  I commit to building a community where each person can bring their full, authentic self.
Core Beliefs – Perseverance

  • Commitment 1:  I commit to the belief that we grow and get smarter through effort and by making mistakes.
  • Commitment 2:  I commit to showing up Con Ganas, where we never give up even when the work is hard.
  • Commitment 3:  I commit to showing up with integrity and doing the right thing even when the road is tough.


Do the following must-haves resonate with how you are wired and demonstrable in your unique talents and experiences? If so, we invite you to apply and can’t wait to learn more about you!

  • You are a critical thinker: Part of what makes the work so challenging—and rewarding—is the fact that you will be constantly encountered with unique situations that will require you to be flexible while solutions-oriented.  That’s why critical thinking skills are very important in social work. After identifying the nature of the problems experienced by their students, social workers use critical and creative thinking to develop practical solutions. Social workers use logic, analysis, kindness, and creativity to identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches and find a solution for each case. Social workers must make important decisions based on a thorough understanding of the student’s needs and situation, the available resources, and applicable law and policies. Without this important skill, a social worker might miss clues, overlook opportunities, or act on personal bias.
  • You have a developed sense of empathy: Understanding others intellectually, culturally, and emotionally is important. Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else’s situation, and then be able to understand what that person may be experiencing. Empathizing is both an intellectual and emotional process that makes it far easier to understand and help others work through their problems and develop their deficits. Having empathy helps social workers develop strong relationships with the students and families and determine the best possible solution based on their unique experiences and circumstances.
  • You are an effective communicator: Social workers must be able to communicate in many different ways and with many different people every day. You will need to be able to express yourself with clarity to a wide variety of people in a diversity of contexts and have strong written and verbal communication skills are an absolute must. Good communication skills help social workers have difficult conversations with people in the midst of challenging life circumstances and emotional stress. Important communication skills that show you are engaged in the conversation and genuinely care about hearing what the other person has to say are validation, affirmation, and active listening. In addition, as the voice of their students, social workers routinely advocate on behalf of the individuals, groups, and families they serve. Advocacy involves speaking out and acting in the best interest of others.
  • You are organized: Social workers are often required to deal with busy schedules, heavy caseloads and large amounts of paperwork. Successfully managing and prioritizing the logistical aspects of the job can help you maximize the amount of time you’ll have on your schedule to provide meaningful services to your students. The ability to prioritize which work is required to be done in which order is extremely important. Related to organizational skills, social workers must also have strong time-management practices.


Responsible Assessment and Intervention Practices in Special Education

  • Conducts valid, fair, and legally defensible evaluations for Special Education eligibility; Performs social-emotional-behavioral and adaptive assessments for students, including students in an Affective Needs Center
  • Interprets findings to identify student needs and develop subsequent appropriate interventions and services through IEP programming
  • Attends and contributes to IEP meetings as appropriate; present results in clear, understandable terms to a variety of audiences (e.g., parents, students, staff, community) so that the recipient can make informed choices

Tiered Model of School Mental Health Interventions, Services and Supports:

  • Uses skill-building strategies through direct and indirect service methods in a small group or individual settings to teach students effective, positive behaviors, such as self-regulation and self-monitoring planning/organization, impulse control, empathy, and healthy decision-making
  • Collaborates with families and community providers to develop student intervention/action and intervention plans
  • Work collaboratively with other school personnel to create and maintain a variety of services to support all students’ attainment of academic, social, emotional, and behavioral goals
  • Takes lead on filing for truancy/contempt and implementing court order; support campus team to develop attendance supports and delegate responsibilities

Preventative and Responsive Crisis Services  

  • Collaborates ​with ​school ​personnel, ​parents, ​students, ​and ​community ​resources ​to ​provide ​competent ​mental ​health support ​during ​and ​after ​crisis ​situations ​and support ​network ​crisis ​responses ​as ​needed ​and ​follow ​ERCM ​network response ​team ​procedures
  • Conducts suicide risk reviews and self-injury inventory process according to training and best practices (e.g., follow protocol, inform parents, provide recommendations and referrals to community services, and often provide follow up counseling and support at school)
  • Conducts threat response system process according to training and best practices (e.g., follow protocol, evaluation, and classification of the threat, appropriate response, and intervention, including notification and involvement of parents and a written action and intervention plan)
  • As appropriate, offers families resources and referrals for services in the community and support families in navigating those services

Social Work Professionalism   

  • Demonstrates personal integrity and maintains high professional and ethical standards practice in ways that are consistent with ethical, professional, and legal standards and regulations; engage in lifelong learning and formulate personal plans for ongoing professional growth
  • Fulfills departmental/administrative responsibilities and expectations; uses supervision and mentoring for effective practice; access, evaluate, and utilize information sources and technology in ways that safeguard and enhance the quality of services and responsible record keeping; participates in STRIVE Prep Summer Training as well as professional development and training throughout the school year; and assists administrators, teachers, and other school personnel, and parents in understanding and adhering to legislation and regulations relevant to regular education and special education

Our Aspiring School Social Workers:

  • Consciously choose to serve and transform the lives of school-age scholars by joining a team of educators who will do whatever it takes in a turnaround environment to support scholars in gaining access to college.
  • Highly invest themselves in constant growth and reflection as educators and professionals.
  • Be a tireless advocate for your students
  • Approach every day with unapologetic high expectations, persistence and a sense of humor.
  • (Preferred) Speak Spanish or have experience working with bilingual students.
  • Dedicate themselves to the educational success of all students, not some students.
  • Bring enthusiasm, professionalism, and positivity to their interactions with students and our adult community.
  • Assume the best in others and are willing to have courageous conversations in order to do what is best for students.
  • Work hard and approach challenges as opportunities for improvement.
  • Set high expectations for themselves and others and a willingness to hold themselves and others to those expectations.
  • Strive for cultural competence practice, are willing to learn more about the culture of the child through the child and family, and always work from a strength-based perspective.
  • Protect time for self-care, fortify your strengths and capacities, and seek support through one’s family, friends, and broader professional community


Standard Requirements for all Colorado Initial Special Services Licenses:

An Initial Special Services License from CDE may be issued in the endorsement areas listed below to an applicant who:

  • Holds a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accepted, regionally accredited institution of higher education.
  • Has completed an approved special services preparation program at an accepted, regionally accredited institution of higher education, including required supervised internship, practicum, and/or field experience.
  • Has provided an approved program verification form.
  • Has submitted a complete application for licensure, including official transcripts, associated fees, and other supporting documentation.

Additional requirements per special services license: School Social Worker (0-21 years):

    • Master’s degree or higher in social work from an accepted institution of higher education
    • Documented evidence of completion of coursework in the areas of school and special education law, including content covering Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and the development of behavior intervention plans
  • Successful completion of Colorado-approved content exam: Colorado Assessment for Licensed Clinical Social Workers (ASWB) OR PLACE 47: Passing Score: 220.
  • Successful completion of a supervised 900 clock-hour practicum in the field of social work which shall have been completed in a school, social service agency, mental health clinic or facility and/or hospital setting
  • Successful completion of at least one field experience with school-age children/students
  • To find out more about becoming a special service provider in a Colorado public school, please see the standard requirements for all Colorado Initial Special Services Licenses


  • Competitive compensation package and annual performance-based raises
  • Participation in the Colorado PERA retirement program, including a PERA 401k option
  • Funding of 100% of individual medical benefits and a wide range of insurance plans
  • Approximately three weeks of summer vacation and eight days of paid time off annually


STRIVE works to make a college-prep education for all students in our community the norm rather than the exception. We are committed to building and sustaining a diverse team by maintaining hiring and recruiting processes that are free from bias and seek to provide each candidate with a unique and equitable opportunity for employment. STRIVE is an equal opportunity employer and actively encourages applications from people of all backgrounds.

Our culture of inclusion is rooted in the belief that when we create the conditions that align …

  1. Your unique gifts
  2. Your purpose/desire for impact
  3. The organization’s needs

… then you will have the opportunity every day to unleash your genius–individually and collectively with your colleagues–to ensure our students are Learning to Change the World. We create these conditions with intentional, strengths-based coaching through an equity and inclusion lens, and a culture that leverages the rich diversity of our team to inform the work and achieve breakthrough results for our students.


Contact Amanda Jackson at

How to Apply

Please click here to apply.

Bureaus: Colorado. Job Categories: Full-Time. Job Types: School Network Staff. Salaries: 40,000 - 60,000.