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The SAVVY Schools and Communities Recognition Program is an incentive program that honors Virginia school divisions and their community partners for their efforts to prevent substance abuse among our youth.

SAVVY Recognition Awards. SAVVY Recognition Awards. SAVVY Recognition Awards.


The Recognition Program is intended to promote best practices and community responsiveness that lead to enhanced student health, school engagement, and academic and personal achievement.

In 2013, the Recognition Program’s application development and evaluation team included:

  • Jo Ann Burkholder, Coordinator
    Student Assistance Systems, Office of School Improvement
    Virginia Department of Education
  • Cynthia Cave, Ph.D., Director
    Office of Student Services
    Virginia Department of Education
  • Dewey Cornell, Ph.D., Professor of Education
    Curry School of Education and Youth-Nex Center to Promote Effective Youth Development
    University of Virginia
  • Andrew Molloy, Chief Deputy Director
    Department of Criminal Justice Services
  • Mike Olsen, Prevention Consultant
    Prevention Services, Office of Mental Health
    Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
  • Michelle Schmitt, Ph.D., Assistant Professor & Acting Director
    Center for School Community Collaboration
    Department of Counselor Education
    School of Education
    Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Patrick Tolan, Ph.D., Professor of Education and Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences
    Director, Youth-Nex Center to Promote Effective Youth Development
    University of Virginia

This team evaluated applications using the following seven program elements that scientific study has shown to be important for effective substance abuse prevention:

  • Strength of Organization
  • Evidence-based Programming and Quality of Implementation
  • Professional Development
  • Community Connection and Engagement
  • Parent Connection and Engagement
  • Assessment and Evaluation
  • Sustainability



The Commonwealth of Virginia recognizes the following school divisions for their community-based efforts to prevent substance abuse and promote the health and safety of Virginia's youth.

Model Programs
Roanoke County Public Schools
Portsmouth Public Schools

Effective Programs
Albemarle County Public Schools
Loudoun County Public Schools
Orange County Public Schools

Promising Programs
Montgomery County Public Schools
Charlottesville County Public Schools
Henrico County Public Schools
Roanoke City Public Schools
Chesterfield County Public Schools
Bristol Public Schools

Honorable Mentions
Pittsylvania County Public Schools
Newport News Public Schools
Arlington Public Schools


The VOSAP Collaborative is undergoing the strategic planning process for 2014–2015. School divisions and community coalitions will be contacted with information about continuation and/or revision of the SAVVY Recognition Program.