What is the Student Assistance Program?Student Assistance Programs (SAP) are designed to help school personnel to identify issues which pose a barrier to a student’s learning and school success. At times, those issues may be related to mental health and behavioral concerns, depression, suicide or alcohol and other drug use. The SAP utilizes a systematic process, along with a specially trained team of school personnel, to intervene and refer these students to appropriate school and/or community services.Click Here For Referral: SAP LINKWho are SAP team members?Mrs. Rebecca Roberts, PrincipalMr. Brian Kostan, PrincipalMrs. Traci Hirsch, School CounselorMrs. Lorri Harshberger, School NurseMrs. Claudine Yuhas, School NurseMr. Dominic Vescovi, Math TeacherMrs. Elisa Charles, Learning Support TeacherMrs. Chelsea Weaver, Learning Support TeacherMrs. Maria Baumann, Learning Support TeacherMr. Scott Krise, Math TeacherMr. George Wozniak, Health and Physical Education TeacherOfficer Rob Ellenberger, School Resource OfficerMr. Ray Peterman, Mental Health Liasion (Cambria County MHMR)How does the SAP process work?The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff such as teachers, principals, nurses, counselors, school psychologists, coaches and representatives from human service agencies. The team receives training and uses a process according to state guidelines. Student participation in the program is voluntary and is meant to be a support service for students and families. All information regarding a student’s involvement in the program is confidential and maintained in the best interest of the student. Students may be referred on the basis of behavioral concerns, drop in school performance, mental health issues, including the risk of suicide, and drug and alcohol violations. Students may be referred to SAP by teachers or other school personnel, parents, friends, or themselves.
What happens next?The SAP team reviews all referrals and an information-gathering process is started. Information is requested from school staff about the student’s academic performance, attendance, behaviors, and other concerns. If this information verifies the concern, the school should inform the parents. Also, parents may have information which may be helpful to the team. Together, the family and the SAP team can work to meet the needs of the student. Plans are then developed based on the individual student’s situation, the seriousness of the behavior, and the school’s policies and procedures.What is the Parents role is SAP?A parent’s role in the education of their child is very important. Research shows that parental involvement in the education of their child increases the likelihood of success for that student. This holds true for children experiencing difficulties as well.Parental support of the student assistance Students are more likely to benefit from services provided by the team or agency staff when parents are program process is necessary for students success. informed, involved, and supportive. So, here are a few tips:
¨ Become informed about issues that are affecting our children today, such as alcohol, and other drug abuse, suicide, depression, violence, bullying and harassment, etc.¨ Attend meetings and return calls/letters regarding your child.
¨ Be open and honest with the team regarding your fears or concerns. Give them the opportunity to assist your child.
¨ Understand the confidentiality and consent issues which govern the process.
¨ Don’t Enable. Enabling is when parents and adults unknowingly allow irresponsible or harmful behaviors to continue. Their intent is to help the child, but it only makes things worse. Some examples: giving children one more chance after a rule was broken, lying or making excuses for them, ignoring behaviors, promising not to tell, making deals, or blaming others.
¨ Follow through promptly with recommendations from the school and/or agency staff.