Student Assistance Programs: Helping to Close the Achievement Gap
School Resource Officers (SROs) have day-to-day contact with many students, especially those students who are likely to require services from Student Assistance Programs (SAPs). These students may have issues with poor attendance; personal or family involvement with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; or bullying, harassment, or other types of violence.
Because SROs spend less time in an office or classroom than school administrators, SROs may be able to maintain more consistent, day-to-day contact with students than school administrators can.
How a Student Assistance Program Can Help
SAP staff members can inform SROs of issues that are affecting students. SROs can then appropriately respond to the student’s behavior. Further, interventions provided by SAPs will reduce the problem behaviors to which SROs must respond.
SROs are also an important resource for SAP teams. In addition to referring students to SAPs, SROs can help ensure effective implementation of treatments and support prescribed by the SAP. If, for instance, an SAP staff member prescribes an extra study period for a student, the SRO is often in a position to monitor whether the student is adhering to that requirement.
When SAPs and SROs assist each other as described here, the success of each is significantly improved. This kind of partnership also supports teachers and other school personnel who are often intricately involved in prevention and intervention strategies that promote student success and achievement.