Student Assistance

What is a Student Assistance Program?

The mission of the Student Assistance Program is to identify, intervene, refer, and monitor students having school related problems because of alcohol, drug, and/or mental health issues.

The primary objective of the Student Assistance Team is to ensure that West Shore students receive help in order for them to function successfully in the classroom.

Why has the West Shore School District become involved in the Student Assistance Program?

The primary responsibility of schools is to educate students. If a student is under the influence of mind-altering chemicals or feels depressed and hopeless, he or she cannot learn effectively. If a student disrupts the school climate, other students will not be able to learn and teachers will not be able to teach.

Schools are the only institution through which all young people must pass. This gives the school a unique opportunity to identify and help those whose lives are being negatively affected by some high-risk behavior.

Because the West Shore School District employees are dedicated to helping students have maximum learning experiences, it has implemented a student assistance program. SAT is an acronym which stands for Student Assistance Team.

SAT is an Intervention Program Not a Treatment Program

The core of the program is the Student Assistance Team comprised of teachers, administrators, school counselors, school nurses, and an outside consultant trained to work with students.

Although student confidentiality is of utmost importance, the SAT team has found that in most circumstances it is beneficial to the student's welfare to include parents from the beginning.

How does SAT work?

The Student Assistance Team receives referrals from parents, students, teachers, administrators, and other concerned school personnel. Referrals are made by contacting the school nurse or any other member of the SAT group, or by completing the form below and sending it to one of the SAT team members.

After receiving a referral, team members gather information from other staff members who have had contact with the student. An informal team meeting is convened to determine the status of the referral. Parents are then contacted and asked to provide written consent before SAT services are initiated and (in some cases) to complete the parent questionnaire.

The recommendation could be a conference with a SAT member or a request for an assessment provided by a trained specialist from a drug and alcohol or mental health agency.

These specialists work with team members to recommend appropriate action for that individual student. The team monitors and provides support for the student throughout the process.

SAT works most effectively when the referred student, parent(s), SAT member, and if needed, a drug and alcohol and/or mental health counselor work cohesively to support the student.

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