What is the Student Assistance Program (SAP)

A Student Assistance Program utilizes a systematic process by which school personnel, parents, or friends may identify students who are having problems in school due to difficult life experiences, mental health problems, or drug and alcohol problems, and refer them for help.

The heart of the program is the Student Assistance Team. This is a group of school personnel who are trained to work with these at-risk students and their families.

Behaviors that cause concern:

  • Drop-in grades
  • Decrease in-class participation
  • Increased absences/tardiness
  • Attention-getting behavior
  • Defiance of rules
  • Outbursts of anger
  • Grief
  • Substance Abuse
  • Withdrawn behavior
  • Self-mutilation
  • Expression of depression

The SAP Process

Referrals are made to the SAP Team by teachers, counselors, principals, parents, peers, and sometimes by students themselves. After reviewing the referral, if the team finds reason to believe that there is a problem, a formal, confidential information-gathering process is initiated. Parents are contacted to gain consent for the process to continue. The SAP Team works with the student and his or her family to develop a course of action to resolve identified problems. Parents may contact the SAP Team by calling their student’s guidance counselor or any of the team members. Referrals can be made in the guidance office and can be placed in a confidential-lock box for the team to review. Any concern is worth a referral. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does My Child Become Involved in the Program?

Your school’s SAP team will help you find services and assistance within the school and if needed, in the community. We do not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment. Rather, we will provide you with information you make the choices. Remember, you are part of our team. Our goal is to help your child succeed in school.

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 worried about someone.  The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help.  However, the SAP team will not become involved unless we receive your permission. 

What if Someone Has Already Referred My Child to the Program?

First, know that your child was referred because someone is concerned about observable changes they are seeing in your child.  Perhaps a teacher or friend has noticed changes in behavior and habits that you may or may not have noticed at home.  Your observations of your child at home are important.

The SAP team will request that you sign a permission form for your child to become involved in the program. Once you sign, the SAP team will begin to work with you and your child.  If you feel you need more information before making a decision, please let your SAP team know.  If you do not sign the permission form, the SAP team will not become involved.  Participation is voluntary. 

What Happens After I Give My Permission?

There are several steps that the team will take after you sign the permission form:

The SAP team will gather specific information about your child’s performance in school from all school staff who have contact with your child.  An SAP team member will also talk with you either in person or over the phone about your observation, your child’s strengths, and your concern.

Together, you and the SAP team will develop a plan of action to help children achieve success in school.  The plan might include services and activities in school and/or services from a community agency.  If necessary, the SAP team will talk with you about services in the community and give you information on how to contact others who may be able to help.

The SAP team will continue to work with and support your child.  They will stay in touch with you to talk about your child’s progress and success in school.  Your continued involvement is very important.


The SAP team and the school will respect you and your child’s privacy at all times.


Sheileemarie Carrio – Phone: 215-365-9068

Keana Schoennagle – Phone: 267-400-9698

Albania Luciano – Phone: 445-233-2309

Arlene Hayles – Phone : 267-907-6785