Student Assistance Program (SAP) » Overview


The Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic team process used to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. SAP is designed to assist in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues that pose a barrier to a student’s success.
The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program is to help students overcome these barriers so that they may achieve, advance, and remain in school. 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 students. 
The SAP team will work with parents/guardians to help find services and assistance within the school, or if needed, in the community for our students.  The SAP team does not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment. Instead, they will provide you with the information and you make the choice(s) that best fit your needs and wishes.

Do You See Your Child Showing Any of These Behaviors?  

  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or activities  
  • Changing friends  
  • Unexplained physical injuries  
  • Feeling sad  
  • Talking about suicide  
  • Defying authority, both at home and school  
  • Acting aggressively  
  • Hitting  
  • Lying  
  • Needing money without a good explanation  
  • Declining grades  
  • Experimenting with alcohol or drugs  
  • Back-talking staff 


Are You Concerned about Your Child’s Reaction to...?  

  • Recent death of a loved one  
  • Divorce of parents  
  • Family relocation  
  • A relationship problem  
  • Bullying  
  • Change in Residence/Homelessness  
  • Other traumatic events 


How Does My Child Become Involved in the SAP Program? Anyone can refer a child to the Windber Area SAP team. Some students are referred by teachers or other school personnel. A friend or family member can also let the SAP team know that they are worried about someone. The child can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. Schools will gather information to determine how a student is doing in their classes. However, the SAP team will not proceed unless you give your written parent permission. Once permission is received, the Windber Area SAP team will work with you to develop a plan of action to help your child achieve success in school. Participation in the program is voluntary. 

What If Someone Has Referred My Child to SAP? A SAP team member will contact you regarding your child’s referral to the program. Before a SAP team member talks to your child, you will be asked to sign a permission form. The Windber Area SAP team will work with you and your child throughout the process. As a parent, your knowledge and thoughts about your child will be helpful in developing a plan of action. If you need more information before making a decision about SAP, please feel free to talk to a SAP team member.