Student Assistance Programs: Helping to Close the Achievement Gap
Student Assistance Programs (SAP) are designed to intervene with students who are displaying behaviors of concern. While attendance issues are an obvious behavior of concern, they are often a symptom of further problems.
How a Student Assitance Program Can Help
SAP staff can gather attendance data and meet with students to directly address attendance issues as well as the root causes of problems. Another approach is SAP staff holding one-time group interventions with truant students to clearly outline possible consequences and resources available in a caring manner. By offering multiple layers of interventions, support, and referrals for students along with monitoring and follow-up, SAPs can support effective turnarounds.
The California Healthy Kids Survey reports that a large number of students feel there are no caring adults on their campus. Students interviewed for drop-out data report this as a primary factor in their decisions to leave high school. SAP staff makes caring connections with students, offering support and encouragement.