Student Assistance Services News
The One LCPS Strategic Plan reflects our commitment to preparing students to be knowledgeable critical thinkers, communicators, collaborators, creators, and contributors. This includes having the knowledge, skills and connections to make healthy decisions related to substance use. This edition of our newsletter is dedicated to how parents and caregivers can partner with the school in preventing teen substance use by taking advantage of teachable moments and staying informed.
Use Substance Use Education Presentations as Teachable Moments
Throughout the school year, Student Assistance Specialists give Substance Use Prevention presentations to all students in 6th, 8th & 10th grades. These presentations are most often delivered during Health & PE (HPE) classes as they are part of the approved Health & PE curriculum. During presentations, Specialists engage students in active discussion and provide information on the following topics:
- Adolescent brain development & brain health
- Impact of substance use on brain health & overall wellness
- Reducing risk factors for substance use and enhancing protective factors
- Refusal skills
- Talking to a trusted adult and supports available at school
- LCPS Policy 8240, Alcohol, Drug, Tobacco and Electronic Cigarettes, and response to policy violations
We encourage parents and caregivers to engage their child in discussion about what they learn during these presentations and to expand upon this learning by developing plans for dealing with risky situations. Review our Discussion Guide for tips on engaging in healthy dialogue with your teen about substance use and what they learn during prevention presentations. A list of scheduled presentations can be found below. Don't see your school listed? Ask your school's Student Assistance Specialist or your student's HPE teacher when this presentation will take place so you can be prepared to check in with your child.
Check out our Discussion Guide!
Upcoming Parent Coffees
October 3rd, Harper Park Middle School @ 9am - Presented by Sherry Hoover, LPC
October 7th, Sterling Elementary @ 8am - Presented by Imani Hagans, LPC & Christina Cornejo, MSW
October 21st, Stone Hill Middle School @ 9:30am - Presented by Fiona Brown, LPC
SAMHSA's "Talk, They Hear You" website features a variety of resources for parents to prepare for healthy conversations with their teens about substance use.
Upcoming classroom presentations
Woodgrove High School October 7-17
Loudoun Valley High School October 13-19
Stone Bridge High School November 17 - 22
Rock Ridge High School December 5 - 9
Blue Ridge Middle School September 22 - October 11
Harmony Middle School January 6 - 9
Blue Ridge Middle December 5 - 8
Education and Support Resources
Mental Health and Wellness Series
Increase Your Knowledge
Information for Parents and Educators — Science-based information about drug use, health and the developing brain (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Drug Fact Sheets — Drug-specific information, pill identifiers, social media trends (DEA)
Addiction Policy Forum — Provides educational videos and articles
Start Talking Now — Education and tips for parents on talking to their children about substance use
Support for you as a Loved One
Families Against Narcotics — Resources for families
Partnership to End Addiction — Online Support Community for parents/caregivers
Virginia Al-Anon, Loudoun District — Support for family members of someone struggling with addiction (Zoom meetings)
Find an Al-Anon Meeting — Support for children of parents struggling with addiction, (Zoom meetings)
Al-Anon Family Groups — Find online Alateen meetings
Addiction Policy Forum — Help finding and navigating the treatment experience
Find a Treatment Provider
FindTreatment.gov — Find a treatment center — 1-800-662-HELP (4357) TTY: 1-800-487-4889
Smart Recovery — Online Recovery Community: Self-Management and Recovery Training
Recovery Dharma — Using Buddhist practices and principles to recover from addiction, virtual meetings available
Narcotics Anonymous — Virtual Narcotics Anonymous meetings
Northern Virginia Intergroup — Virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meetings
LCPS School Based Mental Health Services — LCPS listing of community treatment providers
Student Assistance Specialists (SASs) have expertise in the mental health and substance use field. They have Master’s degrees in Social Work or Counseling, and most are licensed by the Virginia Department of Health Professions as Clinical Social Workers, Professional Counselors or Substance Abuse Treatment Practitioners. As members of the Unified Mental Health Team, Student Assistance Specialists support LCPS initiatives that promote student connectedness, enhance student resilience and educate about mental health and substance use issues. We provide educational presentations for students and parents, restorative practices, individualized and group support, referral services, coordination with providers, staff development and consultation with parents and staff.
To find your school's SAS assignment, visit our website.
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