Student Assistance Program (SAP)
Student Assistance Programs are mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. The purpose of these programs is to identify students who may be experiencing barriers to learning. Once identified, the Student Assistance Program is designed to help these students overcome those barriers that may be keeping them from being successful students.
Wyoming Valley West High School has a Student Assistance Program (SAP) Team that meets on a regular basis during the school year.
Who is the SAP Team?
The SAP Team is composed of a group of specially trained school staff and community agency liaisons that work together to remove possible barriers to student success and learning. Team members meet weekly to discuss and manage cases that are referred to SAP.
Who can refer a student to SAP?
Anyone who is concerned about a student and has observed any behaviors or actions that may be posing as a barrier to the student can refer that student to SAP. Referrals can be made by school staff, peers, family members, and community members. Self-referrals are also accepted.
When is a referral made to SAP?
Referrals are made to SAP when someone is concerned about a student's behavior and the impact it may be having on their learning.
Behaviors that are appropriate for referral to the SAP Team include, but are not limited to...
- Academic decline
- Disciplinary problems
- Attendance issues
- Decreased attention span
- Observable expressions of anger, sadness
- Frequent visits to the School Nurse and/or Guidance Office
- Observable behaviors such as overheard conversations about alcohol or other drugs (firsthand), or parties where drugs and/or alcohol were present
- A student expressing concern or fear about a fellow student's use of mood altering substances
- Smell similar to marijuana or alcohol on a student or their belongings
- Odors on student's clothes or belongings that are similar to those associated with the use of alcohol, other drugs, or inhalant abuse
- Observable behaviors such as overheard (firsthand) conversations about feeling very sad or depressed
- Observing a significant weight loss or gain
- Observing frequent trips to the restroom
- Observing a distinct behavior change or a change in friends
- Observing drug-related, satanic-related, gang-related, or death-related language or drawings
- Observing glassy-eyes, red eyes, agitation, loss of interest in academic and extracurricular activities, frequent cold-like symptoms, rash around the nose/mouth, and/or chemical smell.
How is a referral made to the SAP Team?
There are two ways that referrals can be made to the SAP Team.
- Contact a guidance counselor or principal about your concern and follow up by referring to a SAP team member.
- Submit a form online through the following link: Click for ONLINE SAP FORM
What happens after a referral is made to SAP?
The SAP Team member will contact a parent or guardian to notify them about the referral. Once parental permission is obtained to proceed, observable information about the student's performance and behavior from a variety of sources will be collected (including teachers, counselors, nurses, administrators, and other staff members as needed). Parental notification, involvement, and contact are required and necessary for the SAP process to be successful. Once written consent is obtained from the parent, the SAP Team develops strategies for supporting the student.
The Student Assistance Program does not provide therapy or implement disciplinary consequences. The SAP Team may recommend connecting the family / student with services through Children’s Service Center, Wyoming Valley Drug & Alcohol and Bridge Youth Services.
The SAP process is strictly confidential. All information that is collected by the SAP Team is kept separate from the students' school file.
About SAP in Pennsylvania
http://pnsas.org/About-SAP/General-SAP-in-PAPennsylvania Department of Education
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