Substance Abuse Intervention Program (6-12)

What is the Substance Abuse Intervention Program (SAIP)?
The Substance Abuse Intervention Program (SAIP) is a ten-day instructional program designed for students who are first-time violators of School Board policies regarding drug and alcohol use and abuse. Students are offered this substance abuse program in lieu of long-term suspension from school. Students may also volunteer to participate in this program. While attending SAIP, the student’s day is structured into three sections. Students participate in direct and interactive instruction on substance abuse and the development of responsible thinking/decision-making skills, participate in one-on-one mentoring sessions to develop their assets and resiliency to resist at-risk behaviors, and complete academic assignments provided by their home school.

How is a student referred to the Substance Abuse Intervention Program?
First-time violators of School Board policies regarding drug and alcohol use and abuse may be placed in the program by:

  • Referral by the school principal: A school administrator contacts the SAIP office to reserve the next available slot in the program. The student’s entry is finalized once the SAIP office receives a signed copy of a letter of disposition from the sending school, the SAIP contract, and the SAIP referral form.
  • Referral through the Office of Student Leadership: When the home school receives a copy of the letter from the Office of Student Leadership, the principal or designated administrator should follow the above procedures.
  • Self-referral: Students may request to participate voluntarily in SAIP. When this occurs, a designated staff member must call to reserve a slot and then complete the contract, referral, and volunteer admission form with the parent and student. The admission is finalized once the SAIP office receives copies of all forms. A volunteer participant must abide by all rules and regulations of the program.

What are the criteria for completion of the program and re-entry to the student’s home school?
Successful completion of SAIP requires concerted effort from both students and parents. Students initially begin the program by attending all ten days of focused instruction, submitting a substance abuse assessment completed by a certified substance abuse counselor, participating in a urine/drug screening, and having the student’s parent/guardian attend one Wednesday evening session. This session is specifically designed to inform and support parents/guardians of students exhibiting at-risk behaviors. Each of these components must be met before students may request their home school to re-admit them. After meeting the above criteria, parents/guardians may call the home school to schedule a re-entry meeting with the principal. Parents/guardians must accompany their student to this re-entry meeting. Students are placed on probation for one year. Successful completion of the year probationary period releases students from SAIP.

What curriculum and services are offered?
The Virginia Beach Department of Human Services provides ten interactive, instructional sessions focusing on substance abuse education and responsible thinking skills. This curriculum is designed to educate students on the impact of substance abuse on their lives, to help them recognize thinking errors that affect their decisions regarding drug and alcohol use, to modify their attitudes and beliefs toward drug and alcohol use, and to provide them with the skills that will help them choose alternatives to drug and alcohol use/abuse. Students work individually with a mentor to identify and develop assets to build their resiliency to resist negative pressures and situations. Students are provided structured time to complete academic assignments sent from their home schools and are expected to complete all assignments. Students are provided two forms of support when they return to their home school. Staff from the Virginia Beach Department of Human Services schedule follow-up visits with students in thirty and sixty day intervals to support students in their efforts to remain drug free. Virginia Beach City Public Schools Student Support Specialists continue the mentoring component established during SAIP to strengthen student’s positive development assets.

Is transportation provided?
Yes. Students receive bus information during the Monday morning orientations. Students are not permitted to drive to Renaissance Academy during their participation in this program.

Are special education students accepted?
Special education students are accepted into this program. The home school must provide a copy of the student’s IEP. The SAIP coordinator and the special education resource teacher at Renaissance Academy will be available to implement the student accommodations.

Whom can I contact for additional information about the SAIP?
Substance Abuse Intervention Program: Richard DeJesus
Renaissance Academy
5100 Cleveland Street
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462
Telephone: 757.648.5939
Fax: 757.473.5272
Office Hours: 7:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m., Monday - Friday