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The Student Assistance Program (SAP)

In Pennsylvania, every school district is required to have a plan for identifying and assisting students who experience "barriers of learning." The Secretary of Education established the Student Assistance Program as a Pre-K through 12th Grade system for assisting parents and school personnel in removing those barriers. An SAP team, made up of school and agency staff, is available to help parents access school and community services for their child. 

Marian Catholic's SAP team will help parents find services and assistance within the school and, if needed, in the community. We do not diagnose, treat, or refer the child for treatment. Rather, we will provide parents with information; parents make the choices. Remember, parents are a part of our team. Our goal is to help the child succeed in school. There may be times when parents just don't know how to help their child. If your child is having trouble in or out of school, we can help you.

Does the child show signs of these behaviors?

  • Withdrawing from family, friends and/or school

  • Changing friends; no longer spends time with old friends

  • Unexplained physical injuries

  • Talking about suicide

  • Depressed

  • Defying authority, both at home and/or at school

  • Acting aggressively

  • Lying

  • Needing money without an explanation

  • Sudden drop in grades

  • Experimenting with drugs or alcohol


How to get the child involved in the program?

Students come to the SAP team in different ways. Anyone can refer a student to the SAP. 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 student themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. However the SAP team will not become involved unless we receive parent permission.

What if someone has already referred a child to the program?

First, know that any child who is referred to the SAP team is because someone is concerned about observable changes they are seeing in their behavior. Perhaps a teacher or a friend has noticed these changes in habits that a parent may or may not have noticed at home. 

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

What happens after a parent gives permission?

There are several steps that the SAP team will take after you sign the permission form. Together, the parent and SAP team will develop a plan of action to help the child 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 the parent about services in the community and provide information on how to contact others who may be able to help. The SAP team will continue to work with and support the child. They will stay in touch with the parent to talk about their child's progress and success in school. A parent's continued involvement is very important. 

Contacting the Student Assistance Program:

If you feel that a child may need help, please contact the school and ask to speak with a member of the SAP team. Someone will be there to help. The SAP team and the school will respect a family's privacy at all times. Call 570-467-3335.

Our Marian Catholic Team Members: 

Ms. Annette Bechtel, Rev. Allen J. Hoffa, Ms. Judy Martini, Mrs. Matunis, Mr. Pete Sanfilippo, Mr. Patrick Smith, and Mr. Robert Valente.

Are you concerned about your child's reaction to:

  • Recent death of a loved one

  • Divorce of parents

  • Family relocation

  • A relationship problem

  • Other traumatic event

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