Family Links & Support

As school social workers, we are viewed as the link between the school, home and the community.

MTCS Social Workers & Family Liaisons

Courtney Stenseth
MTCS Social Worker
McKinney Vento Homeless Liaison
Wendy Lorenz-Walraven
Social Worker
Shannon Weiss
Banaadir Elementary
Rufus Brown
P.E.A.S.E. Academy – LDAC
Sharmarke Elmi
Banaadir Elementary
Mahad Mohamed
Melinda Perry, PhD
MTS Elementary – School Social Worker
Nikki DiVirgilio
MN Virtual – School Social Worker
Kristi Thao
MN Virtual – Student Support L-Z
Coya Night Pipe
MTS Secondary
Marisa Rivera Lugo, PhD
MTS Secondary & Powell Academy

We are a part of the educational team to promote and support students academic and social success by providing services that may include:

  • Assessing student needs

  • Help manage mental health symptoms

  • Individual and group therapeutic services

  • Crisis intervention and prevention

  • Work with both general education and special education students
  • Advocating for students
  • Education and training for parents and staff
  • Information and collaboration with community resources

  • Knowledgeable about rights for our homeless students and families

School social workers help students to:

  • Cope with difficult and crisis situations

  • Develop self-esteem

  • Learn problem solving, conflict resolution, and healthy decision making skills

  • Have positive and healthy relationships

Title One Parent Involvement Plans

Homelessness Key Information

The McKinney Vento Homeless Act provides for educational access, stability, and support to promote school success.  This act defines youth homelessness as: “homeless children and youth who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and includes–

(a) children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;

(b) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

(c) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

(d) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (a) through (c).

If you meet any of the criteria under the McKinney Vento Act, you have rights to maintain educational stability, and get support with eliminating barriers to equal opportunities regarding education.  Please contact Courtney Stenseth, Homeless Liaison for MTCS, with questions: 612-405-8456 and/or