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Dear Lincoln Family,
My name is Donald G. Nicholson, I am the School Social Worker assigned to Lincoln Ave School. I have been a social worker for over 27 years, and most of my experience has been in Education. My primary goal as the social worker is to be a social, emotional and learning support for students.
As you are aware, students come to school with a myriad of things on their mind, and education is not always at the top of their lists. Many of their concerns are related to peer-to-peer relationships, confidence, not fitting in, being liked, academic motivation, just to name a few. As a social worker I address these things primarily through non-therapeutic one-on-one, and group counseling. If my interactions with students are successful, they return to the school community more focused, and better prepared to learn.
As any good school social worker will tell you, it is vitally important to have strong relationships with the students you serve. It is clear to me, and supported through many years of experience, that a strong relationship will serve as the foundation by which trust is built.
Some of the keys to earning a student’s trust are as follows:
Getting to know, and caring about, what students go through in their daily lives
Taking an interest in what students are interested in (i.e. gaming, sports, fashion, etc.)
Learning the student’s language
Taking the time to listen to a young person when they come to you for support
Having some understanding of the community
Being consistent compassionate, and empathic …
As it relates to my supporting faculty and staff, I often refer them to the items above as a place to start when they are attempting to connect with students, especially the older ones that are in my grade band (Grades 5 through 7).
Along with having many guidance related responsibilities, I serve on the following Teams/Committees:
Intervention and Referral Services Team (I&RS)
School Leadership Team (SLT)
Also, at Lincoln, I serve as:
The Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB) Specialist for Grades 5 through 7
The Test Coordinator for the New Jersey State Learning Assessment (NJSLA) Grades 5 through 7
Lastly, it is my hope that this document helps to give you some insight into who I am, and what it is I do at Lincoln. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me.
Mr. Donald G. Nicholson, MSW, LSW
School Social Worker
Lincoln Avenue School
216 Lincoln Avenue
Orange, New Jersey 07050
Phone: (973) 677-4000 ext.3024