Student Assistance
Student Assistance Program (SAP)

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) provides supports to students with known or suspected alcohol and drug related challenges. Students may be referred to the program by CMS staff members, by parents or students may refer themselves. The goal of the program is to provide students and their families with early intervention services to prevent more significant substance use challenges that could develop.

All CMS schools have an assigned SAP counselor. Click here for a listing of the SAP counselor assignments and their contact information for the middle and high schools.

Elementary school students may also be referred to the SAP program; there are a small number of elementary referrals each year and these referrals will be directed to the SAP counselor that is assigned to the elementary student’s feeder high school.

Program staff is comprised of six counselors who have specialized training in alcohol and substance use prevention and intervention. Once a student is referred, an SAP counselor will make contact with the parent and will meet with the student. The SAP counselor will provide a screening in order to make recommendations for next steps. The next steps may include:
  • Psycho-educational classes related to drugs and alcohol
  • Brief 1:1 counseling services
  • Psycho-educational groups
  • Referral to drug/alcohol treatment with a community provider
  • Brief intervention using evidence-based curricula (e.g., Seeking Safety, Teen Intervene, etc.)
  • All services directly provided by SAP counselors are completely free of charge, and are available to any CMS student.
The services provided by SAP counselors (including screening information) are highly confidential. SAP service information is not included in a student’s cumulative record. SAP counselors maintain records that are separate from CMS general records in compliance with federal statutes that give substance abuse treatment documentation a higher degree of confidentiality than many other services.

In the event that a student was referred to the program due to a drug-related CMS Code of Conduct violation, SAP counselors will disclose to the school administrator only whether a parent/student responded to the screening request and participated in SAP counselor recommendations.

SAP counselors may also provide:
  • Transition coordination and support for students who are returning to a traditional school setting after receiving substance treatment
  • Coordination and support for students who are currently engaged in treatment while also attending a CMS school (e.g., the student is participating in substance abuse intensive outpatient treatment (SAIOP) the community or another type of treatment)
  • Referrals to general mental health services
  • Support for parents with concerns related to treatment, confidentiality, disciplinary issues, etc.
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website ( is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.