What is Student Assistance?
Student Assistance is a school-based substance use and violence intervention program that is part of Safe and Drug-Free Schools of Montgomery County Public Schools. Student Assistance is focused on prevention through intervention. Student Assistance does not provide information for criminal prosecution or school discipline.
What is the goal of Student Assistance?
Most substance use and/or violent behavior takes place off school grounds out of the jurisdiction of school officials, yet many of the effects of this are reflected in students’ performance in school. The goal of Student Assistance is to identify and help adolescents whose behavior, attendance, or grades indicate that they may have problems related to alcohol and/or other drug use or violence. Through the different steps that comprise the Student Assistance process, these-at-risk adolescents are referred for a professional assessment and directed to appropriate services.
How does Student Assistance work?
CONFIDENTIALITY is the key to the success of Student Assistance. Any school staff member, parent, community member, or student can express concern. Students may refer themselves. The process starts when a Concern Form/Card is submitted to the Student Assistance team leader. Behavioral observations are made to determine if indicators, such as drop in grades, increase in absences, or frequent visits to the nurse, indicate problems. If there are insufficient indicators of a problem, the matter is dropped and all data is destroyed. If, however, the data collected indicates the need for further assessment, the data is shared with the student’s parent(s)/guardian who participate in an intervention. The behaviors are shared only with the parent(s)/guardian. Information concerning who made the original referral is strictly confidential. A referral or concern is often submitted without the concerned person’s name.
EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG USE AND MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS
- Academic performance
- Participation in extracurricular activities
- Physical appearance
- Friends or social group
- Family relationships
- Expressed feelings of rejection
- Alcohol or drug-related clothing, jewelry, or art
- Frequent visits to the school nurse
- Uncontrolled anger
- Violent and aggressive behaviors
- Affiliation with gangs
- Access to or possession of weapons
- Intimidating and bullying behaviors
- Withdrawal from peers
- Picked-on or persecuted
- Threats of violence
- Association with drug users
- Involvement with the law
The Student Assistance team may be comprised of administrators, teachers, counselors, security personnel, paraeducators, building service workers, office personnel, cafeteria workers, the school psychologist, school nurse, attendance secretary, pupil personnel worker, and other trained staff who may be in contact with students.
If you have concerns about a student, please complete a confidential Concern Form/Card and return it to a Student Assistance mailbox.
If you would like further information about Student Assistance, you may contact a team leader or a member of the BSAP Team:
Victor Loun, Co-Leader
Deena Barlev, Co-Leader
Administrator: Rudy Tyrell