Liz Knodel-Gordon, Student Assistance Coordinator
What is a Student Assistance Coordinator/Counselor?
The Student Assistance Program is a comprehensive approach that provides services which are designed to reduce risk factors, promote protective factors and increase asset development. The Student Assistance Coordinator/Counselor helps to put intervention components into place. Early intervention and aftercare opportunities are provided for students and families on an individual basis. Short-term counseling is provided to ensure a continuous quality of services when necessary. The goal is to gain a better understanding of oneself. One can always learn new strategies to cope, even with situations that can't be changed.
Counseling Works! The Student Assistance Coordinator/Counselor is a school resource that may be helpful to an individual and their family. Talking with someone who understands gets things out of one's head, which reduces stress and unnecessary worrying. Exploring possible options for change can uncover ways to deal with problems that may not have been considered before.
Students seek the SAC program for a variety of reasons such as:
Drugs/Alcohol Use & Abuse Anxiety Depression
Relationship Issues (peer/social) Family Issues Stress
Bereavement Bullying School
Any other Issue Eating Disorders
Everything is CONFIDENTIAL except if there are threats to harm another or self, domestic violence, bullying, child abuse or neglect, court order or if an individual gives permission.
In 2009 Scotch Plains Fanwood High School was chosen to launch the pilot program of the Green Dot Strategy, a comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence. A green dot is any choice, behavior, attitude, or statement that expresses utter intolerance of bullying, sexual assault, dating/partner violence and stalking. This model targets all community members as potential bystanders and seeks to engage them through awareness education and skills practice. It strives to connect students to these issue of violence prevention and helps them to believe that they play a necessary part in addressing it.
Specifically, the program targets socially influential individuals from across school community subgroups among the student population. The goal is to engage these students in a basic education program that will equip them to integrate moments of prevention within existing relationships and daily activities. By doing so, new positive norms will be introduced to those within their sphere of influence resulting in a comprehensive reduction of violence for the entire high school.