Pennsylvania - Alcohol and Drug-use Intervention Programs: Programs and Services

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to implement school-based alcohol and drug referral, intervention or treatment programs for students with substance use disorders.

The Pennsylvania Code § 12.42. Student assistance program.

School entities shall plan and provide for a student assistance program under section 1547(g) of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. § 15-1547(g) regarding alcohol, chemical and tobacco abuse program).


Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Article XIII-A. Safe Schools. Section 1302-A. Office for Safe Schools.

(c) In addition to the powers and duties set forth under subsection (b), the office is authorized to make targeted grants to school entities to fund programs which address school violence, including:

  • (12)  Provision of specialized staff and student training programs, including training for Student Assistance Program team members in elementary, middle and high schools in the referral of students at risk of violent behavior to appropriate community-based services, including mental health services.
    Pennsylvania General Assembly

Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Section 1547. Alcohol, Chemical, and Tobacco Abuse Program.

(g) On or before June 1, 1991, the Secretary of Education shall recommend to the General Assembly a plan to require and assist each school district to establish and maintain a program to provide appropriate counseling and support services to students who experience problems related to the use of drugs, alcohol and dangerous controlled substances.
Pennsylvania General Assembly


The Pennsylvania Code § 12.41. Student services.

(b) Though the variety of student services offered will differ from school to school depending upon its size and the needs of its students, the following categories of services shall be provided by each school entity in planning its student services:

  • (2) Diagnostic, intervention and referral services for students who are experiencing problems attaining educational achievement appropriate to their learning potential.
    • (i) Student services staff use diagnostic services to identify barriers that limit a student's success in school. Intervention services actively engage student services staff in activities planned to reduce or eliminate specific barriers to student success.
    • (ii) Student services staff may arrange for referrals to other school-based or school-linked professionals or may refer parents and guardians to appropriate community-based services for assistance.
  • (3) Consultation and coordination services for students who are experiencing chronic problems that require multiple services by teams or specialists.
    • (i) Consultation services are used by student services staff, in partnership with parents or guardians, to obtain assistance to address barriers and issues that are outside the scope of the student services professional.
    • (ii) Consultation and coordination services may be used to assist in the diagnosis, intervention or referral of students who face barriers to success.
    • (iii) Coordination services connect school resources with other available resources to assist students in meeting their educational objectives.

(c) Student services must:

  • (1) Be an integral part of the instructional program at all levels of the school system.
  • (2) Provide information to students and parents or guardians about educational opportunities of the school's instructional program and how to access these opportunities.
  • (3) Provide career information and assessments so that students and parents or guardians might become aware of the world of work and of a variety of career options available to individual students.
  • (4) Provide basic health services outlined in Article XIV of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 14-1401 -- 14-1423) for students and information to parents or guardians about the health needs of their children.

(d) When student assessments using individual surveys are administered, parents or guardians shall be informed of the nature and scope of the surveys and of their relationship to the educational program of their child, consistent with section 445 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C.A. § 1232h) regarding protection of pupil rights. Parents or guardians, or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older, shall have the right to refuse to participate in the survey by means of procedures established by the school entity.

(e) Persons delivering student services shall be specifically licensed or certified as required by statute or regulation.

(f) The Department will provide guidelines and technical assistance to local education agencies in planning student services.

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