Anita Arenson, Social Worker - Room 149
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Anita Arenson

Greetings and salutations! My name is Anita Arenson and I am so thrilled to be the school social worker at Whittier international. I am a proud graduate of Minneapolis Public Schools myself, and have worked for the district as a school social worker since 2012 in a variety of schools and programs. Whittier has been my home since fall of 2016. At Whittier elementary, I organize student support groups, facilitate special education due progress, offer assistance for homeless/highly mobile families, intervene in matters of attendance, and serve as a point person for mental health and child welfare concerns. I love working in the diverse, culturally rich community that is Whittier International!

I graduated with my masters in social work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. My undergrad, also completed at UW, focused on women's studies, social work, and African studies. I came to work at MPS after several years working in domestic violence in Minneapolis, and abroad in Mumbai, India. Feminism and the rights of families, women, and children has always guided my work as a school social worker. I approach special education with equity first and foremost. I work with children experiencing behavioral challenges from a mental health and trauma informed lens.

In my spare time I enjoy running, volleyball, and yoga. In the summertime I enjoy teaching community ed classes, exploring topics from bike adventures to mosaics, and traveling the world. Conversation, play, and contact with children sustains my work and my person. As much as I have to teach children, I know that I have even more to learn from the inquisitive and playful mind of a child.