Student Assistance
Common Questions and Concerns

My student had a code of conduct violation related to alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, or paraphernalia. Why was he or she referred to the Student Assistance Program?

The CMS Code of Conduct requires that all students found to be in violation of a drug, alcohol, tobacco or other substance-related rule must be referred to the SAP. The Student Assistance Program is not a disciplinary consequence, it is an intervention that is required alongside any drug-related disciplinary action. Students who participate in the Student Assistance Program are significantly less likely to have a 2nd drug violation compared to students who do not participate.

The school administrator referred my student to the SAP after a drug violation. What information will the SAP counselor share with the administrator?

When a student is referred to the SAP due to a drug violation, the SAP counselor will provide the administrator with the following information:

    • Whether or not the parent and student completed an assessment with the SAP counselor
    • General information about recommendations made, for example students may be recommended for drug education, individual counseling, or referral to community resources; the type of drug education, reason for individual counseling or type of community resource recommended is confidential
    • Whether or not the student completed the recommended intervention

My child had a drug violation. Why am I, the parent or legal guardian, being required to participate in the intervention?

Parents are children's greatest support, regardless of the age of the child. The evidence-based interventions that we use are shown to be most effective when parents participate with their children.

Parent participation in SAP services serves multiple purposes including:

  • Building the parent's understanding of their child's substance use
  • Supporting the parent and child in engaging in critical conversations about factors that may inadvertently contribute to or allow substance use
  • Educating parents about current drug trends in the local community

Someone from the school called and said that they referred my student to this program. He or she did not have a code of conduct violation. I agree that my student needs help, but I don't want information about this issue in their student record. Will Student Assistance Program information be in their record or on the transcript?

The Student Assistance Program operates in accordance with federal guidelines that require strict confidentiality of substance abuse treatment records. As a result, referral to the SAP is not documented in PowerSchool (the electronic student record) and counselor notes and recommendations are not documented there either. The SAP maintains their records outside of PowerSchool so that program participation and outcomes do not become part of the student's official record.

We are a substance use treatment program that serves adolescents in Mecklenburg County, but I don't believe the SAP is aware of our services. Can we share information with the team about our services?

The Student Assistance Program actively works to maintain an awareness of substance use treatment programs in Mecklenburg County so that we can support families in identifying the best option to meet their needs. Please contact the CMS Mental Health Program Specialist at 980-344-0414 to discuss the best way to make the SAP aware of your services.

I want to know if my child has been using drugs. I've asked and she denies it, but something isn't right. Does the SAP do drug testing?

The SAP does not conduct urine or blood-based toxicology drug testing. You can access this type of drug testing at drug treatment facilities, your pediatrician's office, or you can purchase home drug test at your local pharmacy. Even if you are unsure about your child's substance use, you can still refer your child to the SAP if you are concerned.

My child has a substance use disorder and has completed drug treatment. I'm concerned about him returning to the same school he was attending prior to going into treatment. What are my options?

There are a number of options within CMS that might meet the long-term concern that you are raising. They include:

  • Informing the SAP counselor assigned to your child's school that you would like him or her to have transitional or follow-along support at school. The SAP counselor will contact you to learn more and then work with you to determine the best way to support your student
  • Submitting a Request for Reassignment/Transfer form. This option is best when it is believed that a student may need new surroundings and a new peer group in order to have a fresh start and better chance at maintaining progress made in treatment, but the student wants the benefits of attending a comprehensive high school. Parents may submit the request due to "Medical and/or Health Condition". Note that documentation from a physician is required, and the request may be denied by the review board.
  • Apply for admission to specialized school programs that provide a more sheltered environment. Review each school's webpage to learn more about the schools and their admission process. Such schools include: