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Student Assistance Process

There are four phases to the student assistance process:

1. Referral
Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about someone’s behavior -- any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member or community member. The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. The SAP team contacts the parent for permission to proceed with the SAP process.

2. Team Planning
The SAP team gathers objective information about the student’s performance in school from all school personnel who have contact with the student. Information is also collected from the parent. The team meets with the parent to discuss the data collected and also meets with the student. Together, a plan is developed that includes strategies for removing the learning barriers and promoting the student’s academic and personal success to include in-school and/or community-based services and activities.

3. Intervention and Recommendations
The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community-based services and activities. The team might recommend a drug and alcohol or mental health assessment.

4. Support and Follow-Up
The SAP team continues to work with and support the student and their family. Follow-up includes monitoring, mentoring, and motivating for academic success.

It is the parent’s right to be involved in the process and to have full access to all school records under the applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Involvement of parents in all phases of the student assistance program underscores the parents’ role and responsibility in the decision–making process affecting their children’s education and is key to the successful resolution of problems.

The student assistance process is based upon state guidelines, professional standards and policies, and procedures adopted by the local school board of directors. Professional training for team members in all phases of the student assistance process, which is consistent with state guidelines and conducted by a Commonwealth approved training provider, is required to ensure the appropriateness of the recommended services, effective interagency collaboration and compliance with state and federal laws protecting the privacy rights of parents and students.

The training of team members by a Commonwealth approved training provider, ensures the board of school directors, school administrators, parents, students, and the public that team members have received up-to- date professional training consistent with accountable standards and appropriate procedures. Guidelines for the Commonwealth Student Assistance Program training system contain training standards and competencies for SAP team professionals.

For those students receiving treatment through a community agency, the student assistance team, in collaboration with parents and the agency, can assist in helping plan in-school support services during and after treatment. The team’s effectiveness in helping the student and the parent remove the barriers to learning and improve student performance depends on the training of the individual team members, maintenance of the student assistance process, level of administrative commitment and board support, active parent and student involvement and the available resources both in school and the community.


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