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    What is SAP?

    A Student Assistance Program (SAP) is an on-site counselor who identifies and assists students experiencing personal stressors that can impede their school performance, and negatively impact their social and emotional well-being. The SAP works with students who are dealing with a variety of personal issues, including those related to alcohol and other drugs, depression, anxiety, academic issues, family and friend stressors to name a few. Once a student is referred to the SAP, the counselor will meet with the student for an assessment. The counselor then refers the student to other services in the school or community; or the SAP counselor will provide brief counseling to address specific issues. Our SAP Counselor is Deb Kalkstein-Lamb who can be reached at 857-7000 x1098 or dkalksteinlamb@ccsuvt.org. In an effort to promote a healthy school environment, the Student Assistance Program works in several ways. It not only provides a prevention element by educating students to make good decisions about the use of alcohol and drug abuse but also provides an early identification and intervention with students having chemical abuse or misuse problems or concerns, problems that can impede success in school.  

    How Do Students Access the Program?

    1. Students can be referred by a teacher, parent, or a friend out of concern about specific behavior which indicates that the student may be dealing with personal problems.
    2. Students can refer themselves, by visiting the SAP counselor in Room C125C.
    3. A student who is caught in violation of the school’s alcohol and other drug policy and will be expected to meet with our SAP Counselor for supportive and educational counseling, The SAP will provide information and support to parents/guardians around the substance assessment required by the school’s policy.

    Once a referral is received, the SAP will make recommendations for the student such as:

    • seeing a school counselor
    • joining a school based or community based support group
    • educational materials
    • visiting with an agency counselor or assessment person
    • consulting with a medical doctor


    The Student Assistance Continuum of Care


    Prevention includes science-based programs and strategies that offer age-appropriate alcohol, tobacco, and other drug education, interpersonal and behavioral skills training, violence prevention strategies, and social norming strategies. Prevention efforts may also include community prevention strategies focused on increasing understanding about risk and protective factors, alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, and providing positive youth activities and service opportunities.

    Identification and Referral

    Those in the school community are trained to identify common warning signs of barriers to learning so that students may be referred to the Student Assistance Program. Warning signs include declining academic performance and attendance, increased behavioral problems, and health concerns. Identification may also come through referral by students and parents, policy violations, or through referral by community providers.

    Early Intervention

    The Student Assistance Program gathers relevant information in a fact-finding process to determine whether this is an appropriate Student Assistance referral. Dependent on the referral source, parents may be contacted as part of the fact-finding and solution process, and the student is interviewed to understand his or her perception of the problem.

    Problem Solving and Recommendations

    A plan is developed to help the student and family reduce the barriers to learning and improve the student’s chances for success. The plan attempts to link the student to appropriate in-school resources such as meeting with the school counselor, tutoring, mentoring, peer mediation, or participation in a life skill education or support group. Linking the student and family with needed community resources to assist with problems beyond the scope of school services may also be part of the plan.

    Support and Follow-Up

    As the student receives school and/or community services, the Student Assistance Program can coordinate the exchange of important information to increase the probability of success. For those students receiving treatment and support from community agencies, a school support plan may be implemented as well. The Student Assistance Program may provide monitoring of the student’s progress along with additional strategies over a period of time to facilitate continued progress.

    Resource Links

    What should I be looking for when making a referral to SAP?

    • Rapid decline in grades
    • Loss of interest in activities
    • Tardiness or truancy
    • Legal problems due to substance abuse
    • Friends or school personnel expressing concern
    • New set of friends
    • Decreased immunity – sick more often
    • Drastic weight loss or gain
    • Bloodshot eyes, dull or glassy, dilated or constricted
    • No explanation for how money was spent
    • Mood swings
    • Loss of memory for certain periods of time (blackouts)
    • Secrecy, dishonesty, excuses, defensiveness
    • Withdrawal from family
    • Anger and/or defiance

    Confidential referrals can be made directly to: Deb Kalkstein-Lamb 857-7000 x1098 dkalksteinlamb@ccsuvt.org EHS Room C125C