Mrs. Johnston - Student Assistance Counselor

The Student Assistance Program (or SAP) has been in existence for some time at the school, but it had only been provided to elementary and middle school students.  In the Fall of 2005, SAP was created for students in Grades 9 - 12, with services provided by Mrs. Johnston.  The Student Assistance Program involves many components, including drug/alcohol education classes; assessment; individual, family and group counseling; SADD, Community/Parent Advisory Board, and brief support.  To understand each component, I will break them down for you:
Drug/Alcohol Education Classes:  I teach 2 curriculums; Prevention Education for all 9th grade students, and Project TND for all 10th graders.  Prevention Ed.  covers the following topics:  Being An Adolescent, ATODs' (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs), Family Pressures and Problems, and Coping Skills.  This curriculum is taught in small groups so students feel comfortable having open discussions about issues that concern them.  While most students enter the groups feeling like they already know all the information, roughly 95% increase their knowledge about the above topics, and class feedback is positive.  Project TND (Project Towards No Drug Abuse) is a more detailed curriculum, and is taught in a regular classroom setting.  This involves a lot of class interaction and discussion, and again, is a way to provide students with the information and skills they need to refuse peer pressure and learn the dangers of ATODs'.
Assessment:  Upon referral from faculty, parents, or self-referral, I am able to meet w/ students to address current issues and concerns.  I issue assessment tools to determine if a student is appropriate for SAP services, needs a referral for more intensive services, or both.
Individual, Group, and Family Counseling:  After assessment, I set students up w/ one or more types of support.  Individual counseling refers to supportive counseling to assist students w/ many different issues, including drug/alcohol, peer, family concerns, academic, behavioral, or anything they need support for.  I run several groups every year, including drug/alcohol use, students with family issues, educational support, and senior groups.  I also provide family support when needed.  I need permission from the student to involve parents in supportive services.
Students Against Destructive Decisions (S.A.D.D.)has a Chapter at St. Regis Falls.  Our Chapter was founded in the fall of 2005, and we currently have almost 30 members.  S.A.D.D. is an inclusive organization.  Anyone is welcome to join, simply come to a meeting. 
Parent/Community Advisory Board:  Our group is called Northern Gateway - Advocates for Youth. 

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