Student Assistance Programs: Helping to Close the Achievement Gap
Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) provide a comprehensive model for the delivery of kindergarten through twelfth grade prevention, intervention, and support services for closing the achievement gap. Student assistance services are designed to reduce student risk factors, promote protective factors, and increase asset development.
How Student Assistance Programs Can Help
SAPs offer schools the opportunity to work together in building a comprehensive approach for creating a safety net for reaching all students who could be "slipping through the cracks."
The nine components of SAPs, described below, are recommended as the minimum requirements needed to reduce barriers to learning and ensure student success in safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools and communities.
School Board Policy
To define the school's role in creating a safe, disciplined, and drug-free learning community and to clarify the relationship between student academic performance and the use of alcohol, other drugs, violence, and high-risk behavior.
To provide all school employees with the necessary foundation of attitudes and skills to reduce risks, increase protective factors, and foster resilience through SAP services.
To educate parents, students, agencies, and the community about the school policy on alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, disruptive behavior, and violence; and provide information about student assistance services that promote resilience and student success.
Internal Referral Process
To identify and refer students with academic and social concerns to a multi-disciplinary, problem-solving, and case management team.
Problem Solving Team and Case Management
To evaluate how the school can best serve students with academic or social problems through solution-focused strategies.
Student Assistance Program Evaluation
To ensure continuous quality improvement of student assistance services and outcomes.
Educational Student Support Groups
To provide information, support, and problem-solving skills to students who are experiencing academic or social problems.
Cooperation and Collaboration with Community Agencies and Resources
To build bridges between schools, parents, and community resources through referral and shared case management.
Integration with Other School-Based Program
To integrate student assistance services with other school-based programs designed to increase resilience, improve academic performance; and reduce student risk for alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and violence.