Student Assistance Team helps students overcome personal challenges

By Carolyn Perlmutter | Editor in Chief

IMG_0097.JPGThe Student Assistance Team, SAT, is a group of 10 teachers that meet throughout the year at school. Their goal is to help students in need of extra assistance connect with in-school resources.

“I think we have a lot of resources like Peer Helpers, Peer Mediators and SAT to help students overcome challenges,” senior Brittany Grubert said.

The teachers involved in SAT include AP English 3 teacher Miranda Gilliam, resource teacher John Lester, orchestra director Melissa Livings, art teacher Don Longo, counselor Willa Myers, librarian Jennifer Moore, ESOL aide Silvia Olazarán, nurse Kathy Powell, Student Assistant Specialist Kristy Sender and Student Data Specialist Teresa Warren.

“We look at the big picture,” Ms. Gilliam said. “How is the student functioning?”

The Student Assistance Team is a district-wide initiative to promote the success of students. The RISD uses the SAT to reach out to students who are facing issues related to drugs, alcohol, depression, family and grades.

“Our goal is simply to help any student who might be slipping through the cracks,” Ms. Gilliam said, “an ‘A’ student whose grades suddenly plummeted to C’s or a student who is not eating.”

To refer a friend or student to the SAT, teachers and students can fill out a “concerned friend” form. This year two mailboxes will be placed outside room C209B and the library to place the forms in.

“I wouldn’t want to invade their personal privacy, I would ask them directly,” junior Saira Shetty said. “I wouldn’t to feel like I was going behind their backs.”

All referrals are kept confidential.

“A student never knows that teachers have come together to do an intervention,” Ms. Gilliam said. “Someone submits a name, and we get thorough information from all of their teachers — grades, attendance, how they act and respond in class.”

“We come together and decide if the student is having a hard time or if something needs to be addressed, and we find resources in school to help, such as a counselor, nurse or mentor,” Ms. Gilliam said.

If assistance is needed, a designated person reaches out to the student and connects him with the help he needs.

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