Substance Awareness/Student Assistance Counselor

The Student Assistance Program at BCSSSD is a joint school-community program for prevention, intervention, support and referral services to students in the areas of high-risk behaviors including the use of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and addictive behaviors. 

Our SAC, who has multiple years of experience in this field, Ms. Fertel has an open door policy. Students can request to see her through their teachers who will contact SAC to enable student to come to the Child Study Team SAC office during the regular school day. Students are protected by federal law, which grants them confidentiality (excluding thoughts or attempts of suicide, physical/sexual abuse or neglect, or threats of physical/sexual abuse against another person.) Teachers, School nurse, parents, friends, can refer a student to the SAC that they have a concern or are worried about for assessment. Parents may call the Student Assistance Counselor if they are concerned about their child’s behavior. The SAC also facilitates support groups throughout the school year for students with similar issues who would like to gain insight and support through peer interaction.

The Student Assistance/Substance Awareness program’s goals are designed not to punish students involved with drugs or alcohol, but rather to help them to identify negative consequences, and guide them toward making better choices. The counselor is also available to make referrals to treatment providers both outpatient and inpatient should the situation require.

At BCSSSD we strive to prevent substance abuse by addressing the stress factors teens experience and teaching them coping skills to handle problems in a healthier fashion. SACs partner with a network of community services and agencies, creating a coordinated effort to promote services for all students and their families.


Dr. Bobbie Downs

Director of CST, Related Services, and Nursing

Burlington County Special Services School District

Phone: (609) 261-5600, Ext. 2120

Email Bobbie Downs 

Westampton Campus 20 Pioneer Blvd., Westampton, NJ 08060-3824                                                        
Lumberton Campus 71 Ark Road, Lumberton, NJ 08048