Superintendent’s Memo #153-13

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

May 31, 2013

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Student Assistance Programming: Creating Positive Conditions for Learning Manual

The purpose of this memo is to announce the availability of the Student Assistance Programming:  Creating Positive Conditions for Learning publication.  This implementation manual and resource guide is intended to aid school divisions and individual schools in creating a safe and supportive environment which supports academic achievement.  Student Assistance Programming (SAP) provides a foundation for comprehensive school safety and student support efforts promoting the use of resources that fit the school division and community needs.  It provides an infrastructure and a process that is adaptable and flexible in creating a positive school climate.

The manual describes a systematic process for managing the continuum of social, emotional and mental health supports for all students and interventions for those in need.  Mental health and safety programming and services are appropriately integrated into an overall multi-tiered system.  A team-based framework is used to facilitate effective coordination of prevention efforts and intervention services while engaging families and community providers as meaningful partners.  Ongoing professional development for all staff is a core construct for enhancing physical and psychological safe classrooms and a schoolwide environment.

Student Assistance Programming:  Creating Positive Conditions for Learning provides guidance for implementing the process and building the infrastructure.  The manual includes Web site resources for evidence-based curriculums, practices, programs and strategies.  The publication is found on the Virginia Department of Education Web site on the Office of Student and School Supports Student Assistance Programming Web page at  The Web page also contains other resources related to the implementation and integration of SAP.

For more information and assistance, please contact Jo Ann Burkholder, student assistance systems coordinator; phone 804-371-7586 or e-mail