It is the intent of Student Assistance personnel to work collaboratively with students, parents, schools and community resources to assist students in achieving their full potential. Student Assistance is requisite for PSD to achieve its mission and to meet the expectations of No Child Left Behind legislation. The four essential features of Student Assistance –Mental Health Services, Safe Schools Services, Crises Response Services and Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Services – provide a continuum of involvement that supports students throughout their educational experience. Student Assistance promotes strength-based programs and services that support academic success, contributes to positive character development and provides safe and drug-free learning environments.
Mental health services in schools are essential to addressing barriers to learning and are inseparable from PSD’s instructional mission. School-based and school-linked programs provide early intervention, crisis intervention and prevention, treatment and the promotion of positive social and emotional development. Mental health services blend school resources with community resources to develop comprehensive, multifaceted and integrated approaches to serving students and family.
Safe Schools are a prerequisite for successful learning. Providing a safe environment while contributing to a high quality education is a major function of Student Assistance. Current and appropriate policies, a crisis management plan, site assessment and physical safety, school-community partnerships, research-based violence prevention curricula, with training for staff and students, and the development of civil learning environments all play a role in maintaining safe schools. “Safety is job #1, no reforms in the world will work unless our schools are safe!” (Secretary of Education, Rod Paige, September 2002)
Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Prevention
Prevention can be effective. Academic learning is improved when students are free from the distractions and related behaviors posed by substance use and abuse. Students that participate in evidence-based prevention curricula are better equipped with protective factors, which can reduce the chances of students using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs. Recognition of students struggling with ATOD and assistance in linking them with appropriate community resources, compliments the prevention efforts and activities.
Crisis Response Services
Crises in schools can be a sudden, generally unanticipated event that profoundly and negatively affects a significant segment of the school population and may involve emotional trauma, serious injury or death. Schools do not have options as to whether or not to respond to a crisis but rather how well they respond. Responding to a specific crisis, managing the crisis scene and providing recovery support for students and staff are crucial areas of involvement for student assistance personnel. While the trauma experienced as the result of a crisis cannot be avoided, navigating through the aftermath with trained and supportive staff can assist in a healthy recovery.
For more information, contact Melanie Voegeli-Morris, Coordinator, at 970-566-2310, or email email@example.com.
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