It Takes A Village – Thank You Proctor Academy

Proctor Gift to AE/MS for Drug Prevention and Mental Health

By Jane Slayton, Principal

Andover Elementary/Middle School recently received a generous gift from Proctor Academy. The $15,000 gift is earmarked for drug prevention programming and mental health counseling and initiatives. Andover Elementary Middle School has received this financial support on a regular basis over the years and is very appreciative.The money has been well spent at AE/MS and students have benefited greatly.

This funding has made it possible for Andover Elementary/Middle School to maintain an annual contract for services through Second Start’s Student Assistance Program (SAP). This offers school-based alcohol and other drug prevention programming to all of our middle school students. Services rendered by Second Start have followed recommendations set by Project SUCCESS. Its evidentiary strength has been established and it has been approved as a model program by the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.

The majority of the program focus is based on classroom-based prevention education. However,  students may refer themselves to SAP or they can be referred by a peer, staff member, parent, or concerned community member. Traditionally, during the intake process, students are screened for risk and protective factors and, if appropriate, are offered ongoing individual and/or group services. Students might also be linked with in-school programs and services as well as resources within the greater community. Consultations with parents take place in response to an SAP referral, student distress, behavioral problems, parenting issues, and referrals to community resources to support students and their families.

Andover Elementary Middle School is particularly fortunate to have Kimberly Haley as the onsite Student Assistance Program Coordinator. Kim has a history at AE/MS and has built positive relationships with families throughout the years. Kim has been an excellent resource for students, staff members, and parents.

The success of a Student Assistance Program depends highly on the foundation on which it is built. Staff members at AE/MS  have been supportive of SAP as demonstrated by their willingness to consult and collaborate. The open environment created by AE/MS places importance on the program for students, and normalizes the idea that we all struggle and it is okay to talk about our feelings.

In addition to the Student Assistance Program, Andover Elementary Middle School has been able to offer professional development trainings to K-8 staff. Just recently, Cassie Yackley, Psy.D., conducted a training for teachers. Cassie has spent more than 25 years committed to understanding and effectively addressing the impact of traumatic/adverse experiences on children, caregivers/families, and systems. Cassie helped staff members understand the impact of trauma on their students. Training started with understanding the neurobiology, and this will be expanded through upcoming training sessions.

We are grateful to have the resources to address the social and emotional issues that can prevent a child from learning. AE/MS is fortunate to have such a good and generous neighbor. Thank you Proctor Academy!