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Social Workers and Psychologists

Mission: We exist to help students reach their full potential. We collaborate with families, staff and community to provide direct service to students and develop school systems that further the social, emotional and academic growth of students.

Vision: Every student mentally, physically and emotionally secure; actively learning and engaged in their education.

Values: 1. Right to a quality education 2. Integrity 3. Equity 4. Social Justice 5. Competence 5. Dignity and Worth of Each Person 6. Service 7. Importance of Human Relationships

Our Promise: Minneapolis Public Schools Social Work Department promises to provide social work services to support academic success, mental health and equity for all students.

Our Strategies: Leadership, Intervention and Advocacy to support: student mental health, equity, social/emotional learning, family engagement, staff and administration, student attendance, community partner collaboration, crisis intervention, and a continuum of services for students with unique needs.


Characteristics of Students:

All students enrolled in Minneapolis Public Schools may receive social work services. Typically, students served are experiencing social, emotional, behavioral, attendance or other adjustment concerns that interfere with their achievement. In addition, all students birth to age 21 who are identified as students needing special education are eligible for social work services.

Service Delivery Model:

School social workers work with parents, students and school staff to identify student needs that interfere with learning in order to support the students directly, make appropriate referrals to regular and special education services, and help the student and family connect with community resources. Social workers work with general and special education students and families to resolve social, emotional and behavioral problems through assessment, consultation with school staff and community providers, through development and implementation of behavior management plans, and providing indirect and direct service. Social workers support students and families experiencing crisis; advocate for students and parents during educational planning observing procedural safeguards for parents; monitor and intervene with students exhibiting chronic attendance problems. They lead the Student Support Team, participate in the multidisciplinary evaluation to determine eligibility for special education, and identify needs and may provide case management, direct or indirect service.

Social Workers:

Naomi Ward 

Chul Schwanke


Students may contact the social worker directly, or may be referred by parents/guardians or staff members.


Mental Health Support Services


The vision of Mental Health Support Services is to eradicate the stigma of mental illness, and to ensure that every student is mentally well.


The mission of Mental Health Support Services is to provide mental and chemical health support to students and families that is culturally responsive and healing-centered to advance student learning.


The priorities of Mental Health Support Services is to promote student's academic, emotional, and social success by providing the following the support services:

  • Direct mental health support to students
  • Crisis support in conjunction with support services staff
  • Professional development in mental health
  • Modeling of evidence-based mental health interventions
  • Connection to mental health resources


Kate Clayton - 612-668-1028