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Bala Cynwyd Middle School


Student Assistant Program START (Student Assistant Referral Team)

The START program provides a safety net for students who need assistance with transition in the middle school years. Students receive support on an as needed basis throughout the school year.

The START team at Bala Cynwyd has many responsibilities. First, the START team assists with connecting students with staff mentors. The mentoring program is for any child that may benefit from an additional adult to connect with at school. To kick off the program, the START team has a mentor-mentee breakfast at the beginning of the school year. Mentors also check-in with their students throughout the year.

The START team also organizes afterschool Fun Days. The purpose of these days is to encourage all students to partake in age-appropriate fun activities. This allows students to see staff members and other students in a different environment and leads to the development of new relationships.

Lastly, we identify students who exhibit behaviors, actions, thoughts, etc. that might inhibit their learning. These referrals for high risk behaviors can come from parents, teachers, counselors, administrators or students. Information is anonymously gathered from any adult in the building who has contact with a referred student in our school. Each adult is asked to check off identifiable, observable behaviors, both positive and of concern, relative to the student. The START team then compiles the data, shares the information with the parent, and comes up with a plan to move forward. This process may only be initiated with written, parent/guardian permission.

COMMUNICATION between families and the school is the foundation of the START Program. The START Team meets weekly to discuss individual students, plan START days, and discuss and implement resources to positively impact our school.

Please contact your child’s counselor if you have questions regarding the START program or would like to refer a student you many have concerns about.