The Lower Kuskokwim School District (LKSD) covers a total of 28 schools, of which 22 are village based sites. Village school populations (all grades) range from 5 students to 190 students. Most students are bilingual, and generally their first language is Yup'ik.
LKSD established its School Social Work Program in 1985. It's primary intent was to assist students whose behavior and/or emotional problems were interfering with their ability to function in the classroom. However, it was soon apparent that there were numerous social stressors influencing students and their academic performance.Teachers and Administrators were often expected to provide intervention and counseling to students who were severely troubled.
The Administration and District School Board responded by establishing additional social work positions to address these complex needs. Social Workers are now a part of the Personnel and Student Services Department .
There are now a total of 12 school social workers in the school district, of whom 7 positions are itinerants and the other positions are based in Bethel schools. The Social Workers also work with parents and community agencies, as well as provide consultation and in services for school staff. The most frequent issues which we encounter are family problems, sexual abuse, suicide, depression, grief issues, and alcohol/marijuana abuse. As far as we know, LKSD is the only school district who has a social work program in the state of Alaska.
The Social Work positions for which we are currently hiring are itinerant positions involving regular travel to outlying Yup'ik Eskimo villages per week. Ordinarily, they fly to a village on Monday, overnight at that village, return to Bethel on Tuesday, overnight at home in Bethel, then fly to another village on Wednesday, overnight there, and fly back to Bethel on Thursday. Fridays are office days in Bethel. The Social Workers provide social/emotional counseling for students of all ages in their assigned schools. They also work with parents and community agencies, as well as providing consultation and occasional in services for school staff. Village school populations (all grades) range from 5 students to 190 students. Most students are bilingual, and generally their first language is Yup'ik. The most frequent issues which we encounter are family problems, sexual abuse, suicide, depression, grief issues, and alcohol/marijuana abuse.