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Student Services Center

Happy Children

Room 501 (5th Floor)
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM - 3:20 PM
Telephone: 718-584-4203 ext. 3021

Our Mission
The mission of the Student Services Center is to promote the academic and social/emotional growth of all students.  We do this by facilitating an array of programs in partnership with other educators, parents or guardians, and the community.  The School Social Worker fosters this support system to ensure all students in P.S. 54 have access to and are prepared with the knowledge and skills to become happy and productive members of society.
Our Accommodations
The P.S. 54 Student Services Center is located on the 3rd floor in room 302 with window views of Fordham University's tree filled campus.  The Center features five round tables with exciting red chairs, a rocking chair and two plush sofas for students to enjoy.  We offer wellness books that students may borrow from our Lending Library (students may sign out one book at a time).                      In addition, students always have access to Art supplies, games, and The Cooling Down Center (a table that houses our kit of fun activities and coping technique suggestions to reduce anger).  We welcome any student with a pass to chat with a Social Worker.
Our Staff
The Student Services Center is staffed by a full time Licensed Master Social Worker, Mrs. Ilarraza, and four Social Work interns from Columbia University's School of Social Work.  Mrs. Ilarraza has over 10 years of Social Work experience with special training in Crisis Intervention and First Aide for Military Families dealing with Deployments.

Our Program & Counseling Philosophy
All students can learn.
All students have worth and should be treated with dignity.
All students have the potential for academic, social/emotional, and behavioral growth.
All students have the opportunity to be served by a Social Worker/Intern's counseling program.
Counseling services will be consistent with the developmental stages of student learning and will be grounded in the best practices.
Social Workers will participate in ongoing staff development.
Social Workers will abide by the NASW Code of Ethics and the rules established by the NYC Department of Education
The Student Services Center Social Workers...
  • Counsels individually with children
  • Conducts small group counseling sessions
  • Teaches wellness lessons in the classroom
  • Collaborates with teachers and other staff members concerning children and their needs
  • Consults with parents and provides education/mental health and information regarding their children
  • Obtains information on community resources for families
  • Facilitates and supports school wide PBIS expectations that emphasize good citizenship
  • Provides responsive services that address the immediate personal concerns of students.
During Individual and Group Counseling We...
  • Help children cope with difficult life events (i.e. divorce, moving, grief, and separation)
  • Help children recognize and make use of their potential
  • Give children the opportunity to share their feelings and concerns
  • Help foster positive decision making skills
  • Work on self-esteem and confidence
  • Have children learn the skills necessary to become respectful, responsible members of the community
  • Help children develop friendship and conflict resolution skills.

"No one is perfect-that's why pencils have erasers."

What are some of the reasons students seek help at the Student Services Center?

Organizational skills                                       Anger management                      Bereavement (Death)               New to P.S. 54

Social Skills (How to make\keep friends)       Self-esteem                                   Community Service                   Anxiety     

Coping with Military Deployments                Divorce/ Separation                       Conflicts with peers                  Coping with Incarceration   



What are some of the Student Services Center Programs?

Morning Announcement Internship program

Respect for All in Classroom Workshops

Anti-Cyber Bullying Classroom Workshops

Safe Touch Workshops

The Cooling Down Center    

The Wellness Book Lending Library                                                                                                                                                               

Conflict Resolution Program

Penny Harvest Leadership Program

Student Council Program

Earth day Garden Project & Poster Contest

Social Work Month Song/Poetry Contest

Dance Committees

Middle School Articulation

Social Work Internship Program

Outside Community Mental Health Referrals
At-Risk Student Counseling Services-

  1. In Class Coaching
  2. Pull Out - individual & group counseling
  3. Student Intervention Team (SIT) Meeting
  4. Crisis Intervention
Parent Workshops (past examples include: Stress Reduction, Nonviolent      
                                   Communication, Grief & Children, Understanding the Middle    
                                   School Process, Child Abuse Prevention, Anti-Cyber bullying) 
Where can students find out more information on how to apply to Student Services Center programs (e.g. Penny Harvest?)
Students should visit the Student Service Center in room 302 and check out the Student News Wall. 


How can a P.S. 54 student access counseling services?
There are 3 ways to access non-mandated (counseling without an IEP) counseling assistance at the Student Services Center:

1. Self-Referral - A student informs Social Worker/Interns that they want to participate in services (pending parent consent)

2. Teacher Referral - A teacher or staff person completes a "Teacher Referral form" found in Mrs. Ilarraza's mailbox (please locate the form in a blue folder.)  A Social Worker/Intern will contact parent for a meeting and parent consent.

3. Parent Referral -  A parent can inform the Parent Coordinator or Social Worker that they are requesting At-Risk Counseling Services for their child and sign consent.

How can I access outside Mental Health Services/Therapy?
1-800-LIFENET (This phone number offers free and confidential Mental Health referral information 24 hours a day 7 days a week.) Student Services Center Social Worker/Interns are available for consultation with parents and/or teachers to discuss issues which might be impacting a student's academic, emotional or social success and to plan strategies for successful learning. Please remember that Social Workers are here to help students have the best school year possible and to help parents and their child's teacher make that happen.                             

What are some free academic activities?
You may also want to check out the NYC Library's summer reading Challenge online for toddlers to Middle School Students.  Challenge participants will be able to log their books, rate their reads, earn badges and more.  The link to the NYC Library website is
A website that offers free reading games for younger students is
(Students:  Be safe. Don't put your personal information on the internet for others to see. Keep your passwords, PINS, real name, age, address, school, and grade private.  Ask your parent or guardian for help if you aren't sure what to do.)



Wellness Web Resources

General Physical & Mental Health:
Kids health

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Women & Children's Help Network

Academic Assistance:
Dial A Teacher
Attendance Works
Stop Bulling
The pacer 
Career & Future Planning:
Military Resources:


Jennifer Mooney,
Nov 2, 2017, 4:03 AM
Jennifer Mooney,
Oct 9, 2017, 5:00 PM
Jennifer Mooney,
Sep 27, 2017, 1:43 PM