Elementary Student Assistance Program

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Mission Statement

In accordance with Section 1547 of the PA School Code, enacted as Act 211 of 1990 the mission of the Ridley School District Student Assistance Program is to develop an action plan for any student, K-12, who is identified as engaging in behavior that is endangering the health, safety and welfare of themselves or others.

Student Assistance Programs have a long history in the Ridley School District. Ridley's Student Assistance Program (SAP) Model is patterned off of the Pennsylvania Department of Education's model. Beginning with the 1997-1998 school year, the Ridley Student Assistance Program has provided help to 2000 plus Ridley students whose actions have interfered with their ability to function optimally in the classroom and to be successful in school.

Ridley School District believes in a systemic approach to helping students and have expanded the SAP initiative to include all grade levels, K-12. Elementary students face different issues than those of older students. To help define that difference and to address the issues faced by many elementary school students, the Ridley Educational Support Team (REST) team has been formed.

What is the REST Program?
The REST team works with teachers and other staff members to create the best learning environment for each individual student. Some children learn at different rates and in different ways; many children are "at-risk" for not achieving their potential. These difficulties often result in poor grades. However, many factors influence a child's ability to learn and they tend to present themselves with issues such as difficulties with attention, self-confidence and peer relationships.

Who is on the REST Team?
The REST Team membership includes the Principal, Team Leader/Support Teacher, School Nurse, School Psychologist, District SAP Coordinator, Mental Health Assessor, and School Social Worker. Parents are also considered to be team members once their child has been referred to the team.

What is the REST Process?
The school's primary responsibility is to help students overcome the barriers to learning and to help parents support their students in their academic efforts. The REST team uses a problem-solving approach to help students and families overcome the issues that impact student achievement.

Although teachers are most likely to see learning problems, parents may be in the best position to refer their child to the REST team when he/she is not performing academically as well as he/she should or they see actions and behaviors at home that may cause concern. Parents may ask the REST team to help identify issues that are negatively impacting thei child and offer suggestions for staff members or ask for a referral to the best sources of additional help. Parents are always part of the process and are significant members of the REST team when their child is referred.

The process begins with a referral. The parent, classroom teacher and other school personnel who are working with the child are consulted. If necessary, cheklists asking for observable traits regarding the child are collected. Depending on the responses, further team/teacher meetings are held and parents are asked to attend a team meeting where all participants strategize ways to help the student be successful in both school and life. Each child's individuality is considered in designing the best approach to learning academic and social skills.

How Do I Get Help from REST?
All referrals from parents should be directed to the building principal. However, at a teachers conference, a parent and/or the teacher may decide to refer a child to the REST team. The teacher will complete the necessary referral form with the parent. Initially the support teacher and principal will work with the parent to determine the best course of action. Parents are always part of the process and become members of the REST team in efforts to help their child

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