STUDENT ASSISTANCE SERVICESJennifer Wall, LPCSupervisorPhone: 571-252-1014Fax: 571-252-1245
Who are Student Assistance Specialists?
Student Assistance Specialists have master’s degrees in social work or counseling, frequently are licensed by Virginia Board of Social Work or Counseling, and have expertise in the fields of substance abuse and mental health. They administer the Substance Abuse Prevention Program throughout the school district which includes K-12 prevention, intervention, consultation, and referral services.
What do Student Assistance Specialists (SASs) do?
Student Assistance Specialists (SASs) provide services and interventions designed to enhance the social, emotional and academic success of students by helping to address the needs of the whole child. The foundation of these interventions is a strength based service delivery model focusing on developmental assets, risk/protective factors, prevention education and resiliency skill building
- Substance Abuse Assessments: interview students who are referred and provide recommendations and/or referrals for school and community services
- Substance Abuse Prevention/Intervention Groups: facilitate psycho-educational groups for students concerned about their own use, the use of others close to them or those students who are working a recovery program
- Insight Class: facilitate a three day substance abuse prevention and early intervention class for students who violate the Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) alcohol or drug policy. This class is designed to aid students in assessing the impact of alcohol and drugs on their lives and identify ways to change. Staff coordinate a tour of the Juvenile Detention Center and administer a Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) as part of the assessment. The Insight Class is also open to students on a voluntary basis
- Smoking Reduction Program: available for consultation and training for in-school restriction (ISR) staff to provide information to students who violate the LCPS policy.
- Student Referral for Assessment Program: assist with connecting at-risk students and their families with Loudoun County Mental Health for assessment and recommendations for further therapeutic intervention services
- Classroom presentations: present substance use, bullying prevention, and depression awareness modules in secondary level health classes
- Staff presentations: present current trends, signs and symptoms and prevention strategies regarding substance use, violence prevention, and available school based resources
- Parent Presentations: present current trends, signs and symptoms and prevention strategies regarding substance abuse, violence prevention, and community resources
- Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports: Coordinate, support, and coach the implementation of the Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS) framework in all schools to create a positive school climate and to improve behavioral/discipline practices that enhance student learning
- Gang Response Intervention Team (GRIT): Staff serve on GRIT; a multiagency, multidiscipline team charged with coordinating the suppression, intervention, prevention, and overall reduction of street gang activity within Loudoun County
- Restorative Practices: LCPS provides Restorative Practices as an option for discipline and as a way to address wrong-doings when students or the school community have been harmed. Restorative Practices provides opportunities for dialogue between students who have harmed and those that have been harmed. The process encourages collaboration and reintegration through Restorative Conferences and Circles. In addition in-service trainings are provided to orient LCPS staff to Restorative Practices
- Crisis Team: Provide crisis intervention to affected students and staff following critical incidents