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The Maine Approach
ELEMENT 2 - Policies and Procedures
TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR YOUTH AND
ADULTS IN SCHOOLS, HOMES AND OTHER COMMUNITY INSTITUTIONS.
Policy must be developed that is clear and concise yet contains language that offers direct and
unbiased action for those involved. It must include disciplinary action as well as a mechanism for
voluntary referrals. A policy that is balanced between creating and maintaining a safe environment
and clear limit setting stands the best chance of success. Policy and procedures provide the legal
protection for a school system to provide accountability for both its youth and adults. There are
Four essential sections in the development of ATOD policy and procedures:
- Statement of Philosophy
Each school system and the community(ies) it serves need to develop a broad
philosophy statement regarding ATOD use, abuse, dependency, and prevention.
Rules are concise statements which set firm standards about use and distribution
of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. They set clear boundaries as limits
for acceptable and ` unacceptable behavior.
Procedures are specific steps to be followed when there is a violation
of school rules, or when a concerned person wishes to refer a student
for assistance before disciplinary action is needed. Consistent interpretation
and enforcement of these procedures ensures a balanced approach in
the schools. Disciplinary procedures help create an environment free
from ATOD use and distribution. Equally, voluntary referral procedures
create a place in which it is safe to ask for help. Written procedures
need to be clearly and precisely defined and clearly understood by
all. They ensure that every student and staff member is treated fairly.
Procedures are meant to be consistent; consequences, on the other hand,
following the procedures, may be somewhat flexible.
- Student Assistance
The Student Assistance Team is a school based team of professionals that
identifies and refers students. The Student Assistance Team procedure
is compliant with Section 504 of P.L. 93-112. It provides students with
a prevention/referral process that ensures they have free appropriate
public education, as required by Section 504. The SAT provides school
personnel with a process to restructure how they provide educational and
support services to children and families. The purpose of the Student
Assistance Team is to redirect students exhibiting "risky" behaviors before
they experience school or social failure. It also provides a link for
services from children and families to community agency personnel. The
Student Assistance Team may serve as a pre-referral procedure for the
Special Education Pupil Evaluation Team process, therefore ensuring more
appropriate referrals to special education based on learning behaviors.
The Student Assistance Team provides a vehicle for the entire system to
engage in a problem solving process in the student s best interest.
PRESENT INDICATORS FOR STANDARDS OF BEST PRACTICE:
(Rating your understanding from 1 to a high of 5 may help in your planning and evaluation.)
- The district policy regarding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs:
_____ Defines the roles and responsibilities of students, staff, administrators and visitors to
_____ Reflects the values and beliefs of the district.
_____ Clearly articulates the regulations and procedures, stating the ranges of sanctions
which each particular infraction will incur.
_____ Encourages people with ATOD concerns to seek help, and shows them how and
where to access such assistance.
_____ Enhances support of the whole person: physical, emotional, social, mental, and
_____ States the plan for ongoing policy dissemination.
_____ Describes the district's substance abuse prevention curriculum.
_____ States that referral for prosecution for illegal behavior will result.
_____ States that sanctions up to and including expulsion for students, and termination o
employment for employees may result for serious infractions.
_____ Coordinates with appropriate other district policies to address unhealthy behaviors
maximize consistent messages and prescribe consequences.
_____ Assures that the policy is revised every two years.
_____ Contains a clear "no use" message for students.
_____ Addresses use, possession, distribution, sale, and manufacture of ATOD on school
grounds and at school-sponsored activities.
_____ Discusses the harm caused by ATOD.
_____ Reflects developmentally appropriate consequences.
_____ Supports the establishment of a Student Assistance Team.
Includes students, staff, and parents in its development and revisions.
_____ Requires dissemination to town government and law enforcement officials so they
are conversant in school policy.
Revised March 1995.
Maine Office of Substance Abuse
#11 State House Station
A.M.H.I. Complex, Marquardt Building
Augusta, ME 04333-0011
Main Office: 207-287-2595
Information and Resource Center: 1-800-499-0027 (In-State Only)or 207-287-8900
TTY : 1-800-606-0215