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Social Work

Russell Scimeca, School Social Worker
(518) 284-9770
rscimeca@sharonsprings.org

A World of Difference Program

The World of Difference Peer Training Program is designed to help students take active roles in addressing issues that concern them as they work together to build an environment where differences are valued and respected.

Sixteen students from grades 8 to 11 participated in a 3-day training program held by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). Our students emerged with a greater awareness and power over issues of bias, prejudice and stereotyping within our school community.

Following the initial 3-day training program, we held weekly follow-up sessions to further develop skills and to prepare Peer Trainers to train other students as Difference Makers. The Peer Trainers have determined that in order to best “get the word out” they will begin their Peer Training in the elementary school, where bias and prejudices begin to develop.

Our students have joined more than 7,000 teens worldwide who have participated in the World of Difference Program since 1991.

Liberty Partnerships Program

The Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) is a supportive study hall with a focus on high school completion and career cultivation. Most students have LPP on their daily schedules instead of attending a study hall.

The LPP classroom is staffed by a tutor, Mrs. Nedelsky, who is prepared to assist students in meeting their daily and long-term academic goals. The program coordinators at SSCS are Mrs. Desmond and Mr. Scimeca who oversee the program’s operations. Mr. Scimeca provides personal, career and academic counseling to LPP students on at least a monthly basis, but is always available as needed. Mrs. Desmond arranges field trips and in-service presentations.

The LPP was established in 1988 by the New York State Education Department to address the significant dropout rate among New York’s youth. It is administered locally through SUNY Cobleskill. Services are provided through a collaboration with SUNY Cobleskill, local schools, community organizations, parents, and the business community.

Any student in grades 7-12 who is in need of support to complete high school and pursue post-high school goals is eligible.

Peer Mediation

The Peer Mediation program, headed by Mr. Scimeca, staffed and supported by Mrs. Stetin and Mrs. Handy, allows trained students to assist fellow students in resolving their conflicts. The program is available to student “disputants” in grades K-12 who may be involved in a conflict with one or more other students.

Referrals can be made by completing a Peer Mediation Referral form located in the Main Office.

This ongoing program has been made possible using Title Grant money earmarked for “innovative programs” which was secured by School Psychologist, Ms. Alexander.

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