To keep kids in school by reducing barriers to learning while supporting social and emotional well-being.
~Safe Schools Mohawk Valley
Safe Schools Mohawk Valley
106 Memorial Parkway
Utica, NY 13501
p: (315) 792-2205
f:  (315) 792-3636

Initial Response Team-(IRT)

IRT is a partnership between Safe Schools, Oneida County Probation and local school districts.  The premise of the IRT Family Group Conferencing Model is to provide evidenced-based wrap around support to students who are exhibiting pre-PINS and PINS (Persons in need of Supervision) related behaviors (primarily truancy and incorrigibility). 


IRT is a voluntary, strengths-based approach where the student and their family are empowered to take ownership over the service plan by working with team members to identify their strengths and needs and what supports are necessary for the student to be successful.  After a plan is developed the student will be monitored by the IRT specialist and/or Probation Officer (when necessary) who will monitor progress, ensure follow through and fidelity to the Service Plan goals and objectives, and provide direct services to the student when applicable. 


Students enrolled in IRT have demonstrated improvements in three key areas that indicate academic success and affect graduation rates; Grades, Attendance, and Discipline.  This is accomplished by working with the student and family in a supportive manner, rather than in a punitive fashion, that also holds the student and team members accountable, to follow through on the goals and objectives of the service plan.  The student also receives routine follow up and support to help them identify and overcome challenges in the school and home settings as well as finding ways to better engage them in school through a variety of outlets.

We have had great success in keeping kids out of the system and doing better in school!

For more information contact Natalie Zumpano, Director of Programs at (315) 735-1345 x2221 or