Sober Community School
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The Sober Community School is a day treatment program for youth committed to remaining clean and sober. It is a program of the Court and Community Schools operated by the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education.

Sober Community School is a voluntary program that accepts students between ages 14 and 18. Students attend daily group sessions that help build the social and emotional skills critical to maintaining a sober lifestyle. The treatment curriculum includes lessons in Life Skills, addiction, family and group dynamics, art, 12-step lessons, and guest speakers. An emphasis is placed on building a community of young adults committed to the goals of the program and creating an environment of positive peer support. A full-time therapist is onsite to conduct counseling sessions with students and work with families.

Students receive a comprehensive and challenging academic program based on California Content Standards. A variety of outdoor education activities are offered to students to foster and maintain healthy lifestyles. The classroom teacher works hand in hand with the treatment program to prepare students to transition successfully to their local high schools, vocational programs, colleges, or employment.

For more information about Sober Community School, contact:

Staff

John Elfers - Clinic Director | 805-782-7209 | Fax 805-594-0739
Greg Murphy - Teacher | 805-782-7351 | Fax 805-543-2599
Tisha Aronsen -  Counselor | 805-782-7258

Eligibility

Sober Community School accepts students currently enrolled in Community Schools between 14 and 18 years of age requesting support to maintain a sober lifestyle. Participation in the program is voluntary. The Sober Community School has the following eligibility criteria:

  • A history with substance use
  • Serious consequences as a result of substance use
  • Demonstrated need and desire for support for sobriety

Students referred to the program complete a Referral Form. Completed applications are forwarded to the clinic director. The student is interviewed by a therapist or intake counselor to determine eligibility and level of commitment. All eligible students are administered the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory for Adolescents (SASSI) to determine a specific diagnosis. In addition to the SASSI the therapist takes a psycho-social history. In most cases, previous classroom teachers are contacted to determine the student’s appropriateness in terms of motivation and behavior. If it is determined at the intake interview that a student is not eligible, he/she is referred to the most appropriate school and/or drug treatment program.

Enrollment: Students not currently enrolled in the Community Schools must first qualify for referral to Community School before they can be enrolled in the Sober Community School. When academic enrollment is complete, eligible students are scheduled for a family conference to complete the paperwork for enrollment into the Sober Community School. During this conference, expectations for student participation and family participation are clarified. Students must agree to comply with all program requirements.

Student Referral Form: Students interested in applying to the Sober Community School may complete the attached form and e-mail or fax a copy to John Elfers or Greg Murphy.

Your next step is to click here and get a referral form.

Services & Activities

Group Counseling: All students participate in one hour of group counseling each day. An emphasis is placed on building a community of young adults committed to the goals of the program and creating positive peer support. The configuration of group adheres to the requirements of at least 4 but no more than 10 students. The Sober School counselor and Clinic Director are co-facilitators for the group counseling. Topics for group counseling include:

  • Social skills - Feelings management - Life Skills
  • Family dynamics - Art therapy - Gender Issues
  • Drug Education - 12 step study - Guest Speakers

Individual Counseling: Each student has an individual treatment plan with specifictreatment goals. The program counselor meets with each student on-site for at least one hour each week. Individual counseling targets the treatment goals and measures progress toward those goals.

Family Involvement: Time is available to meet with students for crisis intervention on an as-needed basis. The group counselor communicates with parents and/or families of students on a regular basis to make progress reports and enlist support for student sobriety.

12-Step Meetings: A 12-step meeting is held one day each week at the school-site for all students wishing to attend. Local members of 12-step groups volunteer time to be role models for students in the program. All students are encouraged to attend 12-step meetings in the community.

Outdoor Education: Physical education and outdoor education opportunities are viewed as an important component of the Sober Community School. The outdoor education program includes hiking, team sports, kayaking, backpacking trips. Summer backpacking trips are available to students on a voluntary basis.

Experiential Education: The academic program focuses on project-based learning activities enhancing group dynamics, real life and vocational types of problem solving, and the incorporation of a life-skills curriculum.

Vocational and Career Counseling: Vocational counselors are available through the Community Schools to help students find employment. Counselors help to build student skills in completing job applications and interviewing.

After Care: Students exiting the program are connected to services and resources in the community and are encouraged to make use of these to maintain sobriety.

Resources

Program Brochure