• Core Beliefs

    The Paterson Public Schools’ Student Assistance Department believes in helping our students maximize potential by providing crisis and drug prevention, intervention, education, counseling, staff training, mental health and other treatment referrals. Through the provision of these services, we believe we can improve student wellness and academic achievement, thereby preparing all children for college and careers.


    The philosophy of the Student Assistance Department is to educate the whole student emotionally, socially and academically.  We aim to customize our approach by valuing students as individuals and using proven research-based programs.

    Red triangle with the following words on its own side: Prevention, Education, InterventionSTUDENT ASSISTANCE DEPARTMENT & SCHOOL INITIATIVES/ACTIVITIES:

    • Alcohol Awareness Month
    • Children of Alcoholics Week
    • Domestic Violence Awareness Month
    • Great American Smoke-Out
    • Kick Butts Day
    • National Child Abuse Prevention Month
    • National Inhalant and Poisons Prevention Week
    • National Suicide Awareness Week
    • No-Name Calling Week
    • Red Ribbon Week
    • School Violence Awareness Week (NJSA 18A: 36 – 51)
    • World AIDS Day

Student Referrals/Student Drug Testing

  • Confidentiality:

    All Paterson Public School Student Assistance Coordinators are well versed in federal confidentiality law (42 CFR-Part 2) and both they and the school respect a student’s and their families’ right to privacy at all times.

    A student may request services on his/her own or be referred by a teacher, any other staff member or by his/her parent. There is a referral form that can be obtained from the building Student Assistance Coordinator. Once a student is referred, a careful assessment of his/her needs is performed and recommendations made to the student and parent.

    If a student is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol/drugs or is in possession of a substance believed to be a controlled dangerous substance, the student must have a medical examination/drug screening and breathalyzer test. Failure to comply with the policy, receiving a positive diagnosis, being in possession of a controlled dangerous substance/alcohol/paraphernalia/counterfeit controlled substance, failing to comply with the testing procedures or tampering with the specimen will be considered an automatic positive offense and require an immediate assessment/evaluation by a licensed clinician before the student returns to school N.J.S.A. 18A: 40A-12; N.J.A.C. 6A: 16-4.1(c)2. The licensed clinician will recommend a treatment plan for the student to follow and the parent to approve if required.

    The referral process is not a disciplinary one but rather a means to identify at-risk students in order to provide them with the appropriate services.

Contact Us


    • Aftercare
    • Gender/Sexuality
    • Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs
    • Grief and Loss
    • Anger Management
    • HIV and AIDS
    • Bias and Cultural Awareness
    • Inhalants and Poisons
    • Bullying/Cyber Bullying
    • Internet Safety
    • Child Abuse and Neglect
    • Juvenile Fire-Setting
    • Community Resources
    • Legal Implications of Substance Use and Abuse
    • Dating Violence/Relationship Issues
    • Peer Mediation/Conflict Resolution
    • Depression/Mental Health Awareness
    • Physical and Sexual Abuse
    • Divorce in the Family
    • Runaway
    • Domestic Violence
    • Science and Treatment of Addictions
    • Eating Disorders
    • Self-Esteem
    • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
    • Self-Injury
    • Gang & Violence Prevention
    • Suicide
    • Gambling