Student Assistance Program
Do You Have Concerns About Your Child?
THE STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM CAN HELP
Do You See Your Child Showing Any of These Behaviors?
*Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or school
*Changing friends; no longer spends time with old friends
*Unexplained physical injuries
*Talking about suicide
*Defying authority, both at home and at school
*Needing money without an explanation
*Sudden drop in grades
*Experimenting with drugs
Are You Concerned About Your Child's Reaction to:
*Recent death of a loved one
*Divorce of parents
*A relationship problem
*Other traumatic event
WHAT IS THE STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
Every public secondary school in the state of Pennsylvania is required to have a program in place to help identify and assist students who may experience problems/issues that may put them at risk for being successful in school. Some of these behaviors may include, but not be limited to: use/abuse of alcohol or other drugs, mental health issues, depression, suicidal ideation, attendance issues, discipline problems, eating disorders, or coping/anxiety concerns. Student Assistance Programs (SAP) were established to assist parents and school personnel in removing these barriers to learning. The SAP team, made up of specially trained school and agency staff, is available to help you in accessing school and community services for your child.
We do not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment. Rather, we can provide you with the information necessary to make an informed decision about possible treatment for your child. Our goal is to help your child be successful in school.
HOW DOES MY CHILD BECOME INVOLVED IN SAP?
Students come to the SAP team in different ways. Anyone can refer a student to the Student Assistance Program. Some students are referred by teachers and other school personnel. Any school staff member, a student's friend or family member can let the SAP team know that they are concerned about someone. The student can also refer him/herself for help. However, the SAP team will not become involved with the student unless we have the permission of the parent.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE MY CHILD HAS BEEN REFERRED?
First, know that your child was referred because someone has a genuine concern about observable behaviors/changes they are seeing in your child. Perhaps someone has noticed changes in behavior and/or habits that you may have also noticed at home. Once a child has been referred to the program, the SAP team sends out confidential behavioral checklists to those involved in working with the student (teachers, discipline office, guidance) to find out if others are noticing anything that may be a cause for concern.
After the information is collected and presented to the team, contact is made with the parent to discuss the referral and to request that you sign a permission form for your child to become involved in the SAP process. Unless a specific school policy has been violated, participation in the SAP process is completely voluntary. Once you sign the permission form, the SAP team will begin to work with you and your child.
WHAT HAPPENS ONCE I GIVE WRITTEN PERMISSION?
Together, you and the SAP team will discuss a plan of action to help your child achieve success in school. This may include services and/or activities available in school. Most often, this plan includes setting up a screening for your child. Conducted by our SAP agency liaison, the screening is a process designed to help identify any problems/issues/behaviors that may be impeding your child. The screening takes place during regular school hours here in our building and is performed at no cost to the parent. It includes both parent and student (we cannot conduct the screening without a parent being present), and lasts for approximately 1 1/2 hours. Based upon the observable behavioral information collected from the school personnel and the information gathered from the screening, our SAP liaison will make a recommendation to the student and parent regarding what kind of interventions (if any) might be helpful for your child. Because the program is voluntary (except in cases of school policy violations), it is completely up to the parent and child to decide if you will follow through with the recommendation that is given. Either way, know that the SAP team will continue to monitor your child's progress and welcomes your support and involvement regarding your child's success in school.
The members of the PAHS SAP Team for the 18-19 School Year are: Miss Hand, Mrs. White, Mrs. Cassidy, Mr. Barbazzeni, Mrs. Overly, Mrs. Good, Mrs. Hayden, Mrs. Cesario, Ms. Strouse (SAP agency liaison)
IF YOU FEEL THAT YOUR CHILD MAY NEED HELP, PLEASE CALL YOUR CHILD'S SCHOOL AND ASK TO SPEAK WITH A COUNSELOR FOR A REFERRAL TO THE STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. THE SAP TEAM WILL RESPECT YOUR PRIVACY AND DO WHAT THEY CAN TO ASSIST YOU.