Being a teenager can be stressful at times. Sometimes the many changes and pressures students face can be overwhelming.

    STC’s Student Assistance Program is here to help.

    STC’S Students Assistance Team (SAP) is a group of school and community agency staff who are here to help students and their families deal with problems that might be interfering with the student’s learning. SAP was developed in the 1980’s as a state wide program, mandated in high schools and funded by the PA Department of Health and the PA Department of Public Welfare.

    The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to help students overcome these barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school, and advance. While Student Assistance Programs exist in other areas of the country, the structure and operation of the program in Pennsylvania is a unique expression of an integrated model serving the needs of Pennsylvania families and their students.

    SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from community alcohol and drug and mental health agencies. SAP team members are trained to identify problems, determine whether or not the presenting problem lies within the responsibility of the school and to make recommendations to assist the student and the parent. When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the SAP team will assist the parent and student so they may access services within the community. The student assistance team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.

    There are four phases to the student assistance process:

    • Referral - Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about someone’s behavior -- any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member or community member. The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. The SAP team contacts the parent for permission to proceed with the SAP process. At STC, our referral forms are bright pink, easy to identify, and accessible to all staff and students as they are in every classroom and office.
    • Team Planning – The SAP team gathers objective information about the student’s performance in school from all school personnel who have contact with the student. Information is also collected from the parent. Together, a plan is developed that includes strategies for removing the learning barriers and promoting the student’s academic and personal success to include in-school and/or community-based services and activities.
    • Intervention and Recommendations – The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community-based services and activities. The team might recommend a drug and alcohol or mental health assessment.
    • Support and Follow-Up – The SAP team continues to work with and support the student and their family. Follow-up includes monitoring, mentoring, and motivating for academic success.
    How Do I Make A Referral?

    Any Student, parent, or staff member can make a referral. Referrals can be anonymous which is intended to help students feel more comfortable referring a friend. Referral forms are uploaded to this website. Forms are also available on the teachers’ desks or in the main office of each building. Once a referral is received by the Team, questionnaires are distributed to the staff members who interact with the student throughout the day. If the surveys come back with indicators of concern (student is failing, student is sleeping in class, student is anxious, etc.), then a phone call is made to the parent who then has the option of granting permission for the student to participate in the program. The SAP team can help the parent find services in the community that can help. The Team can also monitor the student’s progress and offer services such as mentoring and tutoring.