Student Services Center/Centro de servicios estudiantil


Room 501 (5th Floor)

Monday - Friday

8:00 AM - 3:20 PM

Telephone: 718-584-4203 ext. 5011

Our Mission

The mission of the P.S. 54 Student Center is to provide and promote an outstanding educational and social/emotional experience for all students. We do this by facilitating and providing an array of services and programs in partnership with other educators, parents/guardians, Columbia University School of Social Work and the community.

Our center is dedicated to promoting an environment of mutual respect, where all children feel valued, accepted and embraced regardless of where they come from, their creed, social economic status and preference.

Our Student Center equips all students with the tools necessary to help them reach their true intellectual and human potential by developing the critical thinking skills, understandings, perseverance, and emotional strength needed to succeed in school, career and life.

The Student Center empowers our students to leave their mark on society, succeed throughout their lives, and become human beings who would value, love, and respect themselves as well as others.

The Student Center fosters an environment that honors all members by teaching them to embrace, celebrate and value the rich diversity of our school community.

Student Services Center March News Letter PDF.pdf

Our Accommodations

The P.S. 54 Student Services Center is located on the 5th floor in room 501. 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.


Ø The focal point of the student center is to provide a risk-free and supportive environment where all students feel welcomed, understood and loved.

Ø By focusing on the needs of students, we are able to assist and support teachers teach students within the classroom ensuring a higher level of student success.

Ø All students must be treated with dignity.

Ø All students have the potential for academic, social/emotional, and behavioral growth.

Ø All students must have access to counseling services.

Ø Counseling services are consistent with the developmental stages of student learning and are grounded in best practices.

Ø The Student Center provides opportunities for all students to learn and grow through leadership education programs, community service and teaching students empowerment and advocacy

Social Workers and What We Do Within The Center

  • Counsel individually with children
  • Conduct small group counseling sessions
  • Teach wellness lessons in the classroom
  • Collaborate with teachers and other staff members concerning children and their needs
  • Consult with parents and provide education/mental health and information regarding their children
  • Obtain information on community resources for families
  • Facilitate and support school wide PBIS/C9W expectations that emphasize positive behaviors
  • Provide 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.

Reasons to 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

Student Services Center Programs

Ø Morning Announcement Internship program

Ø Respect for All in Classroom Workshops

Ø Anti-Cyber Bullying Classroom Workshops

Ø Safe Touch Workshops

Ø The Cooling Down Center

Ø The Wellness Book Lending Library

Ø Conflict Resolution Program

Ø Student Council Program

Ø Earth Day Garden Project & Poster Contest

Ø Social Work Month Song/Poetry Contest

Ø Dance Committees * Middle School Articulation

Ø Social Work Internship Program

Ø Outside Community Mental Health Referrals

Ø Parent Workshops

Ø PBIS/C9W Postal Service

Ø Chess program

Ø My Brother’s Keeper

Ø Peer Mediation

Ø Restorative Circle

Ø Yoga

Ø Girl Rising Program for Girls

Ø Career Internship Program in Partnership with Fordham University

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


Go Noodle

Academic Assistance:

Dial A Teacher



Attendance Works


Stop Bulling

The pacer

Career & Future Planning:

My future

Go College

Military Resources:

Military One Source