ACS invests in second social & transition specialist

ACS invests in second social & transition specialist
Posted on 08/19/2019
As Arlington Community Schools continues to focus on both the academic and social and emotional needs of students, the district has added an additional social & transition specialist to the school system’s staff.

Erin Williams will travel between the elementary and middle schools as the new specialist, while Dr. Constance Certion, who joined ACS in the same role in 2015, will shift her focus entirely to the high school.

“This position has become a vital asset to our district,” said Superintendent Tammy Mason. “Some of our students have unique needs and require resources to overcome different social and emotional obstacles. Dr. Certion has been able to tap into these issues and really help our students conquer various problems.”

Still, Mason said, due to the unique needs of teenagers, the high school has required more intervention, taking away some attention from the elementary and middle schools. Williams, who most recently served as a children and women’s victim advocate at a district attorney’s office, will now be able fill the gap and take on cases involving younger students. Prior to working in the DA’s office, Williams also worked hundreds of cases as a child forensic interviewer.

While the main role of the social & transition specialist is to counsel students with mental, social, emotional or physical needs, they also help plan and develop district-wide intervention initiatives and partner with local agencies to assist families in need. They also give teachers the resources to identify students who may be struggling in school and at home.

“The key is to identify these issues early on so the problems don’t persist into their later years and after high school,” Mason added. “Early intervention is critical, and that’s why it’s so important that we make investments, like adding this position, to help the whole child grow, not just academically but socially and emotionally as well.”