School Social Worker
Charles Giardina LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) is the School Social Worker for the district. His office is in James I. O'Neill High School, where his caseload primarily exists, but he is available to provide services and consultation on a district-wide, as-needed basis. He has been a New York State certified School Social Worker for over 30 years, and is responsible for the following areas:
- Individual and Group Counseling, both IEP and Section 504 students as indicated, and any other students who may request confidential counseling services.
- Substance Abuse counseling and referrals as needed.
- Section 504 Chairperson for the High School. Students that qualify receive accommodations or program modifications under this legal framework. The 504 Committee meets on a weekly basis to consider students who may qualify for services under this program or to discuss students who already have a 504 Accommodation Plan that may be experiencing difficulty wth their current academic program.
- Homeless Liaison for the school district. Every school district is required by federal law to have a staff person who is the designated Homeless Liaison. Students who qualify as homeless under the federal McKinney-Vento legislation are guaranteed immediate enrollment and in some cases, transportation services as needed. "Homeless" is defined as anyone lacking fixed, regular or adequate housing. Any parents or students who feel they might deserve this designation should contact Mr. Giardina to schedule an appointment.
- Orange County Crisis Team Member and Regional Team Leader. Orange County has an established CISM (Crisis Incident Stress Management Model) trained team made up of counselors from all over the county, divided by regions, that provide counseling services to schools in crisis due to deaths, natural disasters and other traumatic events.
- A member of the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) team, Mr. Giardina coordinates the Student of the Month behavior reinforcement program where deserving students have an ice cream social in the cafeteria to acknowledge their hard work and excellent school citizenship.
- DASA Coordinator for James I. O'Neill High School. The Dignity for All Students Act is a New York State law meant to ensure that schools provide an environment free of bullying, harassment and discrimination. When incidents of these behaviors are reported, the Dignity Act Coordinator must conduct a thorough investigation of alleged incidents and a Dignity Act complaint form is completed. Effective July 1, 2013, the Dignity Act was amended to include cyber-bullying behaviors. Any students at James I. O'Neill High School (or their parents) who feel that they are experiencing bullying, harassment or discrimination should contact Mr. Giardina to register a formal DASA complaint so that the situation can be addressed and remedied.