sheffield-sheffield lake City school District Student Services Team – excellence in leadership Award organization

The Student Services Team of the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools provides a wide continuum of behavioral health and social-emotional learning support for the communities of Sheffield Village and the City of Sheffield Lake.  Integrated support is provided through the collaboration of a District Social Worker, Family Engagement Specialist, and five School Counselors.  The team works to provide universal, targeted, and intensive support by identifying gaps in service and environmental barriers which impede student learning.

The Student Services Team engages in work that significantly impacts not only the students in their district, but also families throughout Lorain County.  Projects include addressing immediate needs such as food insecurity, housing, and clothing, as well as educational tools, training, and information nights for parents, grandparents, and

other kinship caregivers.  Wraparound support provided by the district includes a mobile food pantry initiated in 2019 through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio.  This mobile food pantry, which was one of four county distributions initiated during the onset of the pandemic, continues to serve over 400 families per month.  Available to residents of Lorain County, its service has reached over 6,000 families and over 21,000 unique individuals since inception.  As an extension of outreach, the team coordinates grant-funded literacy and resiliency kits, which are geared to increase adult-child interactions by providing kitchen and other family-oriented activities via hands-on learning experiences.

Wraparound support also includes a locally developed clothing ‘store’ and community clothing/shoe distributions, so that students can confidently come to school in clean, fitting clothes, as well as have access to hygiene and laundry services in effort to strengthen student learning.  Additionally, vaccination clinics at no cost to the community help keep our communities and schools healthy and safe.

The team recognizes that it is necessary to partner with community and faith-based partners to connect the community with integrated whole-child support.  As part of a comprehensive approach to a continuum of care, the team works closely with a variety of community partners, including Second Harvest Food Bank, SoulToSole, Santa’s Little Helpers, Sheffield Village Lions Club, area churches, pharmacies, community mental health agencies, behavioral health private practices, and the Good Knights of Lorain County.

A culture of student volunteerism has been established where students serve as the majority volunteer workforce in these outreach service projects.  Students participating earn community service credit through a variety of school service organizations, including a locally awarded diploma distinction for volunteerism highlighted at the 50-, 100- and 200-hour service levels.  Through integrated support and social-emotional learning opportunities, the district continually works to showcase the Sheffield-Sheffield Lake City Schools as a progressive, community-focused learning center.


Pictured above:

  • Back row:  Andrew Smith, School Social Worker;  Amy DeLuca, School Board President; Catharina McNichols, School Counselor Lead; Travis Baldwin, School Counselor 7-9
  • Front row:  Jennifer Falk, School Counselor 10-12;  Tandi Fritz, School Counselor PK-2;  Megan Meckes, School Counselor 3-6