Student Assistance Program

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Student Assistance Program


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania "Student Assistance Program" (SAP), is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues related to severe absenteeism, significant declines in academic performance, drug and alcohol use, and/or mental health concernsthat pose a barrier to a student’s learning and/or school success"Student Assistance" is not a treatment program; rather, it is a systematic process using effective and accountable professional techniques to mobilize school resources. Where the problem is beyond the scope of the school, the program assists the parents or caregivers and the student with information for accessing services within the community. 

The SAP Team does not diagnose, treat, or refer for treatment.

The SAP Team is made up of professional school personnel who have been trained and certified in all phases of the student assistance process and is approved by the Department of Education, Health, and Public Welfare. Referral forms can be found on the school website or in the guidance office.  Referrals may be submitted by teachers, administrators, parents, the nurse, school counselors or students.

Want more information? Visit the Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program Website or contact your school counselor


While each individual student situation is unique, the SAP team will typically:

  • Receive referrals from concerned individuals
  • Communicate with parents regarding the reported concerns and affirm family consent prior to providing support service
  • Gather observable, objective data from multiple parties to assess the nature and extent of the student’s concern
  • Discuss and develop a helping plan of action
  • Provide follow-up by monitoring student progress and developing a working relationship with students and families.
  • Provide families with appropriate referrals to school and/or community programs as needed
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