What is the Student Assistance Program?

  • Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a multidisciplinary school based program mandated by the state of Pennsylvania. SAP is a free, confidential service for students who are experiencing any barriers that may affect their ability to learn. Some barriers could include mental health concerns, changes in family, depression, lack of social skills, etc. SAP is a process, not a quick fix.


SAP Services Offered

  • SAP Services offered at SVES include:

    School based mental health counseling services through contracted agencies:

    1) PATHS programming (Classroom or small group setting)

    • PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) is an interactive and engaging curriculum created to help elementary school children develop better thinking skills, and more mature and responsible behaviors. PATHS helps students change their language around the labeling of feeling words and helps them work on positive ways to cope with uncomfortable feelings.

    2) Psychoeducational Support Groups

    • Small groups of 4-8 students will focus on skill building. Groups are not therapeutic in nature. Groups run one time per week for 30-minutes for an average of 6-8 sessions. 
    • Groups can include: Grief and Loss, Changing Family, Kids of Promise (children dealing with a loved one’s addiction or mental health concerns), Coping Skills, Anger Management, Anxiety, Social Skills, Self-Esteem, Study Skills, and PATHS.

    3) Parent meetings

    4) Helping families access school and community resources

SAP Referral Process

  • 1) Referral

    Anyone can make an anonymous referral to the SAP team, including students, faculty, and parents.

    2) Team Planning and Data Collection

    The SAP team meets and decides who will be the Case Manager regarding the referral.

    Teacher input forms are sent out to school staff and data is collected to determine appropriate school- or community-based interventions and supports.

    3) Parent Contact 

    Parents are contacted by the SAP Case Manager, this may not be the child’s teacher. If parents are interested in support from the SAP team a permission slip must be signed. Parents may decline assistance from the SAP team.

    4) Intervention and Recommendations

    After parent permission is received, interventions are put in place and monitored by the SAP Case Manager. 

    5) Support and Follow Up          

    The school and SAP Specialist are available to help access recommended services.

    **Information gathered on student’s throughout the SAP process is confidential.**

Reasons to Make a Referral to SAP

    • Decline in academic grades
    • Trouble with child at home
    • Frequent visits to the nurse or counseling office
    • Decreased attention span
    • Observed a significant weight gain or loss
    • Divorce, separation of parents
    • Changes in family, including new baby, moving, etc.
    • Drug use discussed by parents or caregivers
    • Observing a distinct behavior change
    • Any observable behavior that is concerning!!


    Referral forms can be found in the main office lobby, or can be given verbally or in email to any of the SAP team members.

SAP Team Members

  • Amy Braxmeier - principal

    Tom Halcisak - assistant principal

    Kelly Wehr - school counselor 3, 4, 5

    Amanda Hicks - school counselor 1, 2, 3

    Sarah Roncolato

    Joanna Lemay

    Randi McCullough - school psychologist

    Tami Coughlan

    Linda VanVliet - school nurse

    Debra Lacey

    Amanda Betz

    Cheryl Kittle

    Beth Mansfield - Caron SAP Specialist*

    *Caron provides in school support services including classroom presentations, in school support groups, as well as parent meetings and follow up. A Caron SAP Specialist also sits on the SAP team and can help connect parents with resources in order to help eliminate any barriers to learning.