Student Assistant Model (SAM team)

What is the Student Assistance Model (S.A.M.) Team?

The Student Assistance Model (S.A.M.) at Lewis S. Mills High School in Burlington, CT is a program designed and implemented to identify students that are having difficulties with academics, emotional and/or social problems. Following the identification process is the assistance and on-going support that SAM is able to give to these students. The student assistance approach is to promote early identification of students having a difficult time in school and to provide strategies that will help the student to succeed.

Since its inception in 1991, the SAM program has been very effective in providing support for referred students. The SAM Team services approximately 55 or more students per year. Also, the Lewis Mills SAM Team has been a role-model for other schools. Connecticut high schools have visited the Lewis Mills SAM Team seeking assistance in setting up their team.

What are specific reasons for referral to the S.A.M. team?

  1. Excessive discipline problems
  2. Academic performance
  3. Suspected chemical/alcohol abuse
  4. Irregular school attendance/truancy
  5. Consistent behavioral concerns or drastic behavior change
  6. Ongoing, unresolved health problems
  7. Negative police involvement
  8. Stressful home life/changes in family

Who Can Make a Referral?

  • Parents

  • Teachers

  • Students

  • School faculty, staff, administration

Who are S.A.M. Team Members?

  • Chris Rau, Principal
  • Katherine Blore, Assistant Principal
  • Tug Drysdale, Dean of Students
  • Dave Francalangia, Athletic Director
  • Michelle McCard, School Psychologist
  • Mandie Rueckert, School Psychologist
  • Leslie Vendetti, Coordinator of Special Education
  • Lucio DeMarco, School Counselor
  • Joe Trahan, School Counselor
  • Meridith Silver, School Counselor
  • Erin Putnam, Director of School Counseling
  • Kathleen Wasseluk, Nurse
  • Marlanea Elsdon, English

What are Possible Interventions?

Support Groups

  • Grief
  • Academic Achievement
  • Girls' Girls
  • Boys' Group
  • Drug/Alcohol Use
  • Smoking/Vaping
  • Coping Skills/Anger Management
  • Social Skills

Other Interventions

  • Faculty-Student Mentoring

  • Counseling

  • Individualized Support Plans

  • Care and Concern Meetings with parents and teachers

How can I make a referral?

Fill out a S.A.M. referral form, which can be downloaded from this website or obtained in the School Counseling Office at Lewis Mills High School.

The referred student will then be assigned to a case manager, who will gather information and interview the referred student. The data is then shared with the S.A.M. team and an assistance plan is developed.