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Divisions > Student, Family, and School Support > Student Services and Alternative Programs > Pupil Personnel and School Social Workers
Pupil Personnel Workers


The Pupil Personnel Worker is the link between the school, community, and family. The PPW’s role includes being an advocate for all students; a consultant to school staff and parents; the school system liaison; and referral source to outside agencies.


1.  What is a Pupil Personnel Worker?


Pupil personnel workers are specialist trained to assess student needs, serve as student advocates, and act as a motivating force in removing barriers to student achievement.


2.     What do Pupil Personnel Workers do?


The role of the Pupil Personnel Worker may be divided into four major job functions.  The Pupil Personnel Worker serves primarily as an advocate for all students and as a consultant to school staff and parents/guardians on a variety of issues such as attendance, discipline, counseling, residency, and crisis support for schools.  In an effort to forge home, school, and community partnerships, the Pupil Personnel Worker serves as a liaison between various departments within local school systems, as well as a referral source to outside agencies and community resources. Some of the most common functions of the Pupil Personnel Worker throughout Maryland’s twenty-four local school systems include:

  • Counseling/conferencing with individuals and groups
  •  Conducting home visits to promote family involvement
  •  Responding to emergency welfare situations for students and families
  • Collaborating with the classroom teacher to facilitate the adjustment of students
  •   Providing crisis support for schools
  • Interpreting school policies, local school system Board of Education policies and procedures for students and families
  • Coordinating home and hospital teaching
  •  Monitoring/supervising home schooling cases
  • Investigating out-of-county and out-of-district residency requests
  •  Petitioning cases to the court for violations of the Maryland Compulsory Attendance Law
  • Arranging and facilitating intake conferences for students returning from DJS facilities
  • Providing case management for suspended and/or expelled students

Contact Information
John McGinnis, Specialist, Pupil Personnel
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone:  (410) 767-0295
Fax:  (410) 333-8148
Email:  john.mcginnis@maryland.gov
 Hot Topics
DJS/MSDE Transition Teams
School Social Work Certification
Pupil Personnel Worker Certification
Informal Kinship Care (English)
Informal Kinship Care (Spanish)
MSDE/DHR/DJS Contact List
 Student Records System Manual
MD Student Records System Manual 2016
 Local Contacts
Coordinators of Pupil Personnel
Directors of Student Services
School Social Worker Supervisors
Int'l Assn. of Truancy & Drop out Prevention
Maryland Association of Pupil Personnel (MAPP) website
 Related Sites
Suspension Data
Access to Education For Children in Foster Care (PDF)
 Fact Sheets
Children In State-Supervised Care: Enrollment and Educational Decisions
Informal Kinship Care
Transfer of Educational Records for Students in State-supervised Care
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