WHAT IS THE STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
Student Assistance Programs (SAP) in Pennsylvania help schools identify students whose barriers to learning are affecting their school experience. SAP offers support to those students and their families.
Student Assistance Program team members have all received specialized training from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our team has representatives from faculty, nursing staff, and administration. We meet once weekly.
SCHOOLS NEED FAMILIES - FAMILIES NEED SCHOOLS
The program's success depends on a strong working partnership with families. An ideal partnership between the family and student assistance includes:
- A shared goal of helping the student
- Mutual respect
- Appreciation of strengths, ideas, feelings, and culture
- Open communication
- Identification of student strengths
- Joint problem-solving
- Shared responsibility for follow-through
BARRIERS TO LEARNING
Some of the barriers to learning students may experience include:
- The use of, or pressure to use, alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
- Depression or anxiety
- Relationship problems
- Emotional disorders
- Aggression toward or from others
- Grief, due to separation or death
- Disruptive life changes
- Violence or safety concerns
FAMILIES AND STUDENT ASSISTANCE – HOW DOES IT WORK?
- The SAP team contacts the family, usually by phone, when they receive information that a student's academic or behavioral performance is affected.
- The family is then invited to meet with the team to share information, observations, student strengths and common concerns.
- The team then moves forward with a personalized plan for the student and family.
- The SAP team can connect families with a multitude of resources to help remove barriers to learning, including in-school support and community support services.
- The team then follows up with the student and family to provide assistance as necessary. It is a voluntary program that families may opt into or out of as needs or wishes change.
THE FAMILY/STUDENT ASSISTANCE PARTNERSHIP
The goal of a family/student assistance partnership is to encourage and support student success in school. As in all good partnerships, both parties have rights and responsibilities.
The SAP team provides the family with information about observations, identifying learning barriers, connections to resources, and help with understanding options. It does not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment.
The family is ultimately responsible for choosing the services that best fit their situation and following through with those choices.
Through this unique partnership, schools and families work together to encourage and support student success.
The Student Service Referral Form can be filled out by parents, teachers and students.