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Monday, May 2, 2016

SLHS Students Assistance Team reaches out to pupils in need

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

A group of Storm Lake High School teachers are there to let students know they care.

Members of the high school's Student Assistance Team or SAT met with the Storm Lake School Board on Thursday to provide an update on their activities.

The SAT has been in existence at Storm Lake High School for 12 years, and the approximately 16 high school faculty on the team receive training from Northwest Iowa Drug and Alcohol Treatment Unit.

SAT is there to reach out to students that may be experiencing problems.

"We deal with students struggling with personal issues, abuse both chemical and physical, and other problems," said Janet Anderson. "Anything you can imagine a teenager going through we try to intervene and follow up."

The team meets twice a month to review cases. Everything is confidential.

While members of the SAT are not experts, Anderson said they do anything and everything they can to help students.

"We're there to let them know we care and to help them find the expert help," she said. "We try to help any way we can."

All of the SAT members are volunteers, and they have all received training in formal interventions.

They may see students on referrals from staff, students, police or parents. Team members will discuss a plan of action, which varies between each individual.

Fellow high school teacher Jim Nichols is a member of SAT and said there are a lot of success stories from the group. He said the group is more about helping out before a problem arises.

"Even though we use the word intervention, I like prevention," he said.

The SAT fits well with other efforts at the high school, including peer mediation and peer helpers.

Anderson said team members do get satisfaction out of helping students.

"It's satisfying to let them know that we care and to see them turn a corner on any issues they have," she said.

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