Assisting with Life’s Challenges


Britni in her office next to the school nurse

Olivia Mersereau, Staff Writer

Britni Locke is a school social worker. She helps a variety of students struggling with their mental health, family issues, and emergency services. She is new to Ida B. Wells and is excited to be introduced to the students and staff. “My job as the school social worker is pretty vast and I’m sure it will change as I get to know more about the school community,” said Locke. 

When Locke is not working, she enjoys spending time reading, gardening and especially spending time with her 13 year old daughter. Locke has been a licensed school social worker since 2016; however, this is her first experience as the sole social worker of a school. Locke also has experience with educational advocacy and did some work helping youth getting out of juvenile detention in the district. She was introduced to Ida B. Wells High School last August. 

As a social worker for our school, Locke explained that her job comes with a pretty vast amount of responsibilities and topics. She also helps students with organizing and attendance, however, her job isn’t as similar to a counselor’s as you would think. A school’s social worker provides resources to students and their families. A school counselor helps students with things such as schedules, forecasting, and guidance lessons.

Covid-19 has made it harder for her to reach out to students and spread the information about how her students could contact her, but she has been doing lots of work bringing food and supplies to families. 

Over winter break, Ms. Locke helped over 40 families get resources and supplies they needed. She is hoping that hybrid will open up more opportunities for students to reach out.  She optimistic that she will get to help with more mental health situations now that things are becoming a little more normal.

Principal Hristic has been talking about Ms. Locke’s counseling during PTA meetings, and there are flyers throughout school directing students to her classroom and filling them in on how to set a meeting up. She is excited that as things start to open back up, students will start to meet up with her more and the word will start to spread. 

She has access to different resources that are used to expand student knowledge about what she has to offer. There are resources around our school, all around the district and even all over the Metro area. 

IBWHS also has psychologists that help with therapy. Although they are all online at the moment, she is confident that they will be back at school by next year. There is also student access to drug and alcohol counselors. A website is in the works that will grant better access to the resources that are available to all the students at IBWHS. 

The easiest ways to schedule a meeting with her is to either text her work number (which is 971-712-3621), or email her at [email protected]. She also wants students to know that if you are in need of food and supplies, there is a fully stocked pantry at the school. Students and their families can easily get the supplies they need. They can pick up supplies from the school, and have the option of Locke dropping it off at their homes directly. It is much easier for students to take advantage of the resources Locke has to offer. However, there can be a few difficulties when it comes to spreading the word to the community. 

Ms. Locke is giving the opportunity to share about our school’s social workers and counselors that are helping those in need. “I am really interested in supporting students and staff in helping our school to feel like a safer and joyful place,” Locke said.