What is a SAC?

Many people have probably heard the term SAC before but for many parents/guardians and community members it is not clear what they do or is their one at every school? Currently, we have two SAC that are based in the Garfield Middle & High Schools, however when needed they do assist at the Elementary Schools when Substance Abuse is involved.

A SAC is a Student Assistance Coordinator (Counselor). The SAC is an advocate for students and their families. They connect with community resources and they provide services to help reduce risk factors and increase healthy lifestyle choices. The SAC is available for social/emotional/behavioral counseling, for drug/alcohol related issues and for supporting staff, administration, students and family members. They comprehensively address prevention, intervention and support services. The SAC is involved with curriculum and policy development, parent and staff education, substance awareness needs, violence prevention, bullying, harassment issues and other areas that threaten the well-being of all students, their families and society as a whole.

The Student Assistance Coordinator (Counselor) provides a safe place for you to discuss any problems you may be experiencing.

It is encouraged to use the SAC for help with any type of personal problems. You may use the program for yourself, as well as concerns you may have about your friends or family members. 

The Garfield School District employs Student Assistance Coordinators (Counselors) who provide expertise in the following areas:
  • Family or School Problems
  • Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drugs (Substance Abuse)
  • Anger Management
  • Bullying/Cyberbullying
  • Child Abuse & Neglect
  • Community Resources
  • Domestic Violence/Relationship Issues
  • Depression/Mental Health Awareness
  • Eating Disorders
  • Stress or Anxiety
  • Gang and Violence Prevention
  • Grief and Loss
  • Peer Mediation/Conflict Resolution
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Injury
  • Sexual Abuse/Sexual Harassment
  • Suicide

NJSA 18A:40, NJAC 6A:16-3.1.

The New Jersey Administrative Code (§18A:40) requires policies for suspicion of substance use among students.  This policy is predicated on a knowledgeable staff—both in terms of familiarity with common drugs of abuse and their related symptoms, as well as response procedures.  The SAC is specifically trained in all mandated subcomponents of these statutes, including staff training on current trends, signs and symptoms of abuse, knowledge of local and community organizations that are available for the prevention, early intervention, treatment and rehabilitation of individuals who show symptoms of substance abuse, legal guidelines for the implementation of substance abuse policies, and the ability to interview students suspected of abuse in order to assess a student’s current level of drug/alcohol involvement.

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