STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
WHAT IS THE STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM?
SAP IS A STATE-MANDATED PROGRAM DESIGNED TO HELP PARENTS AND STUDENTS REMOVE BARRIERS TO LEARNING AND SCHOOL SUCCESS SO THAT STUDENTS CAN ACHIEVE, REMAIN IN SCHOOL AND ADVANCE.
THE HEART OF THE PROGRAM IS A PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED TEAM, INCLUDING SCHOOL STAFF AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT FROM DRUG AND ALCOHOL AND MENTAL HEALTH AGENCIES. SAP TEAM MEMBERS ARE TRAINED TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS, DETERMINE IF THE CONCERN LIES WITHIN THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SCHOOL AND TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO ASSIST BOTH THE PARENT AND STUDENT. IF THE PROBLEM LIES BEYOND THE SCOPE OF THE SCHOOL, THE SAP TEM WILL ASSIST THE PARENT AND STUDENT SO THEY MAY ACCESS SERVICES IN THE COMMUNITY. IN OTHER WORDS, WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!
SOME COMMON REASONS FOR REFERRAL ARE:
- A CHANGE IN FRIENDS OR STUDENT BEHAVIOR
- DROP IN GRADES
- CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DRUGS, ALCOHOL OR DESTRUCTIVE DECISIONS
- WITHDRAWAL FROM FRIENDS AND ACTIVITIES
- COMMENTS ABOUT PROBLEMS AT HOME
- SIGNS OF ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION
REMEMBER, ANYONE MAY MAKE A REFERRAL!
WHAT PARENTS/GUARDIANS NEED TO KNOW:
1. What service does the Students Assistance Program (SAP) provide?
The primary goal of SAP is to help students overcome barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school and advance.
2. Why do we need a Student Assistance Program?
Our students live in a complex and often challenging world filled with many stressful situations that may contribute to a variety of problems.
Helping parents and students identify healthy solutions and support systems to reduce the negative barriers to learning may be the primary function of the SAP Team. The process is based upon state guidelines, professional standards, policies and procedures adopted by the local school board and has been in effect since 1988. Over a million referrals have been made since the beginning of the Student Assistance.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, every 29 seconds, another student gives up on school, resulting in more than one million dropouts per year. SAP is here to assist long before the student terminates his/her education prior to earning a diploma.
3. Why might a parent seek out help from the Student Assistance Program?
A parent may notice a dramatic change in behavior, a drop in grades, withdrawal from typical activities or engagement with family, increased emotionality such as sadness, irritability, anger, difficulties coping with family or personal stressors, problems getting a child to school, frequent physical complaints of not feeling well that don’t appear related to any medical condition, unresolved or complicated patterns of grief, or concerns with substance abuse just to name a few.
4. Who can make a referral?
Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about them for some of the reasons already shared. The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP Team to ask for help. Referrals can be made anonymously. The SAP Team contacts the parent for permission to proceed with the Student Assistance process and if declined, the process ends.
5. How is confidentiality and privacy maintained?
Parents need to know that professionals on the SAP Team are trained and certified by the state prior to being able to serve on the team. Team members may include school nurse, teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, social workers and the psychologist. They understand the sensitive nature of the information they receive and the need for it to be handled in a confidential, nonjudgmental and caring manner. In addition, parents are encouraged to actively participate in SAP and permission is required for the child to receive services through the Student Assistance Program.
6. What if my child is referred, what will the Student Assistance Team do?
The SAP Team gathers objective data about the student’s performance in school from school personnel who interact with the child, as well as information from the parent. If someone other than the parent refers the child, a member of the SAP Team will call the parent to discuss the referral and SAP with him or her. The data is reviewed and the team develops a plan that includes strategies to remove potential barriers to the student’s academic or personal success. This may include in-school or community based services and activities. The SAP Team does not diagnose, but instead works with the child’s strengths and links the child to appropriate, available supports. If parent permission is received, the team will also continue to monitor the student’s progress throughout the school year and communicate with the parent as needed. Involvement of the parents in all phases of the program underscores the parents’ role and responsibility in the decision-making process affecting their child’s education and is key to the successful resolution of problems.
7. How does a parent find out more about the Student Assistance Program at Shoemaker?
Parents are welcome to contact any member of the Shoemaker SAP team. Parents can also find additional information and helpful articles on the PA Network for Student Assistant Services (link below).
8. What SAP is not:
It is not related to discipline or punitive consequences.
It does not diagnose.
It is not special education.
Click HERE for the PA Network for Student Assistant Services
Click HERE for the Shoemaker SAP Referral Form
Click HERE for the Shoemaker SAP Parent Brochure
Shoemaker SAP Team: