Student Assistance Program

Carlynton Junior/Senior High School Student Assistance Program

 

(SAP)

Purpose:

 

The Purpose of the Carlynton Jr./Sr. High School Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to establish a team process which serves as a systematic mechanism of identification, intervention and support, referral assistance and follow-up including school-based after care support.  The Carlynton Student Assistance Program is a behaviorally based identification model and does not provide diagnosis or treatment.

 

Mission:

 

The mission of the Carlynton Jr./Sr. High School Student Assistance Program is to identify behaviors that hinder the learning process and place a student “at risk” academically, physically, socially and emotionally.  By gathering pertinent information regarding performance in school, and together with the student, parent and support staff plans possible alternatives to maximize student success.  The primary focus of the Carlynton Jr./Sr. High School Student Assistance Program is to ensure success, safety, well-being and personal self-esteem for all students.

 

Process:

 

  • Identification of problem behaviors
  • Referral to Core Team
  • Information gathering (Behavioral Check-lists, Global Data)
  • Parent/Caregiver involvement and decision making
  • Student interview
  • Team process and brainstorming
  • Intervention
  • Assistance in referral for assistance or other options
  • In-school support and follow-up

 

An effective Student Crisis Program will:

 

  • Recognize behaviors that pose a barrier to student learning and success.
  • Communicate the school’s concerns to parents and students.
  • Utilize a systematic mechanism based on appropriate and accountable professional techniques.
  • Realize when problems are bigger than the team.
  • Recommend an assessment – not diagnose or treat.

 

 

 

Identification:  Behaviors that impede the learning process.

 

  • Academics - changes in performance, work habits, tardiness, etc.
  • Behavioral – changes in attitude, discipline, verbal and non-verbal indicators, etc.
  • Attendance – frequent absences, school illness which results in early dismissal and truancy issues, etc.
  • Health – frequent illness as a result of drug use/abuse, changes in physical appearance, etc.

 

Parent/Caregiver Involvement and Decision Making:

 

  • Parents have the right to know everything that transpires in school regarding their child.  They also have the right to decide how to help their child.
  • Proactive involvement with parents helps everyone informed and helps to build a bridge of partnership.

 

Team Process and Brainstorming:

 

  • The team collects information from all personnel who work with the student.
  • The team studies the data, investigates the risk level, reviews options in the schools’ continuum of service, preplan for work with the parents.

 

Intervention:

 

  • Informal – Any opportunity to change a decline in performance.The goal is to build trust and begin to devise a plan for improvement.
  • Formal – A well-planned meeting with the parents and later, after reaching consensus with the parent, the student.The purpose of a formal intervention is to recommend a course of action that can help remove the barriers to learning.

 

 

 

 

In our ongoing effort to serve as a systematic mechanism to identify, proactively intervene and support school-based care and support, the Student Assistance team will forward pertinent information throughout the school year. 

 

POSSIBLE SIGNS OF DRUG USE

 

It is important to emphasize “possible” signs because normal adolescent moods often resemble signs of drug use.  It is particularly useful to be able to identify patterns of problem behavior which emerge over a period of time.

 

SOCIAL INDICATORS                                           PHYSICAL INDICATORS

 

Changes in friends                                                         Change in appetite, erratic eating habits

Unknown friends                                                            Loss of coordination

Association with known drug users                                  Slurred speech

Changes in hangouts                                                      Incoherence

Always going “nowhere special”                                       Inattention to dress and hygiene

Secretive phone conversations                                        Overall changes in appearance

Callers who refuse to identify themselves                         Weight loss

Hang up phone calls                                                       Change in sleep patterns

Constant lying                                                               Tired, lethargic

Overt hostility and outbursts                                            Dreamy, blank expression

Withdrawal from family                                                   Loss of memory

Stealing of small items                                                   Dilated or constricted pupils

Disappearance of clothing/money                                    Needle marks

Unexplained influx of money                                            Trembling

                                                                                    Disappearance of household drugs

PSYCHOLOGICAL INDICATORS                       Drug paraphernalia, magazines

                                                                                    Marijuana seeds

Personality changes                                                       Unexplained health problems

Mood swings                                                                 Odor of marijuana

Talkativeness                                                                 Attempts to disguise odors

Irritability, hostility                                                          Possession of drugs

Secretiveness                                                                Chronic sinus problems

Over-reaction to criticism                                                Odor of alcohol on breath

Confusion

Anxiety, paranoia                                                           EDUCATIONAL INDICATORS

Lack of ambition or drive, apathy

Unpredictable behavior                                                    Truancy

Hallucinations                                                                Class skipping

Uncharacteristic behavior for individual’s personality          Constantly tardy

                                                                                    General loss of interest in school

                                                                                    Declining school performance

                                                                                    Change from normal capabilities

                                                                                    Poor class conduct and attitude

Dropping out of activities
Dropping out of school

 

 

 

 

A Checklist for Parents Associated With Teenage Behavior

 

You may have noticed a recent change of behaviors in your teen.  Some of these changes may appear to be “normal” teenage behavior.  That is why it can be extremely difficult for parents to tell whether their teen may be going through a “typical” teenage phase, may have an emotional problem or may have become involved with drugs and/or alcohol.  Attached are four checklists of behaviors designed to assist parents in determining whether or not a problem exists.  Please go through each of the four lists, checking the behaviors that apply.  After you have completed each list, refer to the Symptom Interpretations and Recommendations section.  You may wish to work with the Student Assistance Program (SAP) at Carlynton Jr.-Sr. High School to investigate the appropriate action for your child’s situation.

                                                         

 

Check List One

 

“Have you noticed…”?

 

  • Your child becoming secretive?
  • A change in your teen’s friends?
  • A change in dress or appearance?
  • Your teen prefers to spend more time alone?
  • A decline in school grades?
  • A lack of interest in a previously favored activity?
  • That your teen has been fired from work?
  • That your teen stays out at night past your curfew?
  • Your teen using excessive amounts of eye-drops, gum, breath mints, or perfume?
  • That you have been suspicious of your teen’s behavior even though you could find no evidence that anything was wrong?
  • That it is becoming more difficult for you to get your teen to participate in family activities?
  • A difficulty in getting your teen to do household chores?
  • Your teen to be more argumentative and uncooperative?

 

Total Number Checked From List One:  _______

 

 

Check List Two

 

“Have you noticed…”?

 

  • That your teen seems depressed?
  • That your teen seems to require extra sleep?
  • Your teen tends to become rebellious and defiant?
  • That your teen is skipping classes/school?
  • That your teen has been suspended from school?
  • Your teen to be withdrawn from the family?
  • That your teen has started to smoke?
  • That your teen is spending long periods in the bathroom?
  • That your teen is becoming physically or verbally abusive to you or other family members?
  • That you are receiving strange phone calls at all hours?
  • Your teen to come home drunk?
  • That your teen has been stealing?
  • Your teen to avoid you upon arrival home?
  • Your teen to laugh excessively for no apparent reason?

 

Total Number Checked From List Two:  _______

 

 

Check List Three

 

“Have you noticed…”?

 

  • Suspicious items (drug paraphernalia) around your home, in your teen’s room or in their car?
  • Valuables or money that has been disappearing from your home?
  • Prescriptions or other medications disappear from your medicine cabinet?
  • Diluted contents or bottles of alcohol disappearing from the liquor cabinet?
  • Your teen possessing large amounts of money?
  • Your teen’s eyes to be bloodshot or pupils dilated?
  • Your teen to be arrested for one of the following:drug/alcohol violation, shoplifting, vandalism, burglary, or breaking and entering?
  • Your teen to openly admit to using drugs or alcohol?
  • Your teen to ever threaten or attempt suicide?

 

Total Number Checked From List Three:  _______

 

 

Check List Four

 

“Have you ever noticed…”?

 

  • You and your spouse arguing about your teen?
  • That you worry about your teen’s problems?
  • That you cover up or make excuses for your teen’s behavior instead of discussing the situation with your friends, relatives or school personnel?
  • That you feel frustrated because no matter how hard you try nothing seems to change your teen’s behavior?
  • That you feel relieved when your teen leaves the house?
  • That you feel that you have become a failure as a parent?
  • That you have changed your behavior in hopes that it would cause a change in your teen’s behavior?
  • You give money to your teen without your spouse knowing?
  • That you feel like your teen has become “out of control”?
  • A fear that your teen may injure him/herself or others?
  • That you are bargaining with your teen in an attempt to change behavior?
  • That you feel heartsick because you have had to compromise your own values or lower your expectations concerning your teen?
  • That you prefer to spend less time at home to avoid conflicts with your teen?

 

Total Checked From List Four:  _______

 

 

 

Analyzing Your Checklist Responses:

 

Check List One:                  SUBTLE

 

List One represents the subtle symptoms that may suggest a teen is experiencing a psychological or a drug/alcohol problem.  If you checked all symptoms or a combination of some of these symptoms, plus some symptoms from Lists 2, 3, and 4, then you should seek professional help without delay.  Contact a Carlynton Jr.-Sr. High School Student Assistance Program team member.

If only a few symptoms occur in this category, and none on List 2, 3, 4, then simply discuss your concerns with your teen.  However, you should carefully monitor your teen’s activities and behaviors.  If symptoms persist, contact a SAP team Member at 412-429-2500.

 

 

Check List Two:                 OBVIOUS

 

List Two represents some of the more obvious symptoms of a teen abusing drugs or alcohol.  It also represents many behaviors of a teen experiencing difficulty managing his or her environment and responsibilities.

If you have checked several of the indicators from both List 1 and 2, you should schedule your teen for a professional evaluation of a possible psychological and/or drug/alcohol problem.

 

Check List Three:              DEFINITE

 

List Three represents definite symptoms of a teen who has been using drugs or alcohol for some time, or who is developing severe psychological problems.  If you have checked a few of these symptoms and several from List 1 and 2, your teen is in urgent need of a professional evaluation.

 

Check List Four:                THE DENIAL TRAP

 

List Four represents the symptoms of parents who love their teen and want to believe that everything is okay.  Yet, they may be experiencing what is commonly referred to as “denial”.  Parents caught in this subtle trap are doing “all the wrong things for all the right reasons”, including compromising their own values and lifestyles while directing all their attention, thoughts and efforts towards their teen.  If you have checked a number of these symptoms, you may be caught in this trap, and could be creating an environment that rewards/reinforces inappropriate teen behaviors, rather than stopping them.  A good first step toward intervention would be to call the Carlynton Jr.-Sr. High School Student Assistance Program at 412-429-2500 for more information and help.

 

This checklist activity is not intended to be a psychological, psychi8atric or drug/alcohol evaluation of your teen.  It is intended to be a tool for parents who have concerns.  If you should have concerns seek appropriate help.

 

Acknowledgements

Adapted from a brochure from Gateway Rehabilitation Center and George G. Ross PhD.

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