Student Assistance Program
The revised Special Education Regulations and Standards stipulate that all elementary students who experience academic difficulty will have access to Instructional Support. The Instructional Support process is composed of assessment and intervention procedures that are used to assure that students receive an effective instructional program that will meet the students" learning needs PRIOR to referral for multidisciplinary evaluation. The central core of Instructional Support is the "Instructional Support Team" (I.S.T.). This team assists the classroom teachers in planning and implementing strategies that are designed to enable identified students to be more successful in the classroom.
A Student Assistant Program (SAP) is designed to help school personnel to identify issues, including alcohol, drugs, mental health, and behavioral concerns which could pose a barrier to a students learning and school success. It is an intervention, not a treatment program.
The SAP uses a systematic process, along with specially trained school personnel, to intervene and refer these students to appropriate in-school and/or community services. Parent involvement is an essential part of the process.
The core of the program is a team trained according to state guidelines. Members of the team include teachers, principals, nurses, school counselors, school psychologists, and representatives from human service agencies. The Student Assistance Program is a voluntary support service for a student and families. All information regarding a student"s involvement in a program is confident and maintained in the best interest of the student.
The primary responsibility of schools is to educate students. If a student is under the influence of mind-altering chemicals, that student cannot learn. If a student is depressed and feels hopeless, he or she cannot learn effectively. If the student disrupts the school climate, other students will not be able to learn, and the teachers will not be able to teach. Schools are the only institution through which all young people must pass. This gives the school officials a unique opportunity to identify and help those whose lives are being negatively affected by a high-risk behavior.