Student Assistance Program (SAP)

  • Student Assistance Program (SAP)

        Student Assistance Programs are mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.  The purpose of these programs is to identify students who may be experiencing barriers to learning.  Once identified, the Student Assistance Program is designed to help these students overcome those barriers that may be keeping them from being successful students.

    Southern Lehigh High School has a Student Assistance Program (SAP) Team that meets on a regular basis during the school year.

    The SAP process is strictly confidential.  All information that is collected by the SAP Team is kept separate from the students' school file.

How Does it Work?

  • Who is the SAP Team?

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    The SAP Team is composed of a group of specially trained school staff and community agency liaisons that work together to remove possible barriers to student success and learning.  Team members meet weekly to discuss and manage cases that are referred to SAP.


    SAP Team members can be contacted by calling 610-282-1421 and asking to speak with a team member.  

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  • Who can refer a student to SAP?

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    Anyone who is concerned about a student and has observed any behaviors or actions that may be posing as a barrier to the student can refer that student to SAP.  Referrals can be made by school staff, peers, family members, and community members.  Self-referrals are also accepted.

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  • When is a referral made to SAP?

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    Referrals are made to SAP when someone is concerned about a student's behavior and the impact it may be having on their learning.


    Behaviors that are appropriate for referral to the SAP Team include, but are not limited to...

    • Academic decline

    • Disciplinary problems

    • Decreased attention span

    • Observable expressions of anger, sadness

    • Frequent visits to the School Nurse and/or Guidance Office

    • Observable behavior such as excessive talking in class, laughing inappropriately, poor anger management, disrespect to staff members

    • Observable behaviors such as overheard conversations about alcohol or other drugs (firsthand), or parties where drugs and/or alcohol were present

    • A student expressing concern or fear about a fellow student's use of mood altering substances

    • Smell similar to marijuana or alcohol on a student or their belongings

    • Odors on student's clothes or belongings that are similar to those associated with the use of alcohol, other drugs, or inhalant abuse

    • Observable behaviors such as overheard (firsthand) conversations about feeling very sad or depressed

    • Observing a significant weight loss or gain

    • Observing frequent trips to the restroom

    • Observing a distinct behavior change or a change in friends

    • Observing drug-related, satanic-related, gang-related, or death-related language or drawings

    • Observing glassy-eyes, red eyes, agitation, loss of interest in academic and extracurricular activities, frequent cold-like symptoms, rash around the nose/mouth, and/or chemical smell.

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  • How is a referral made to the SAP Team?

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    There are two ways that referrals can be made to the SAP Team.

    1. Contact any school staff member and request to speak to a  member of the SAP Team.
    2. Fill out a confidential SAP referral form and hand it in to any staff member. 


    Referral forms are located in each classroom, main office, nurse's office, and guidance office. 

    Forms can be handed in to any staff member or dropped off into an anonymous wooden box located in the main office.

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  • What happens after a referral is made to SAP?

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    The SAP Team collects observable information about the student's performance and behavior from a variety of sources: teachers, counselors, nurses, administrators, and other staff members as needed. 


    Parental notification, involvement, and contact are required and necessary for the SAP process to be successful.  If the referral is appropriate, parental consent is requested by a member of the SAP Team.  Once written consent is obtained from the parent, the SAP Team develops strategies for supporting the student.

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  • What services are offered by SAP?

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    The Student Assistance Program does not provide therapy or implement disciplinary consequences. 


    In school resources that are available to students through the SAP Team include:

    • SAP Team mentoring - a member of the SAP Team meets regularly with the student.   The purpose of the mentoring is to provide an extra support system to the student throughout the school day.

    • Meeting with a member of the guidance department

    • Meeting with an Administrator or School Resource Officer


    Out of school resources that are available to students include:

    • Referral for a comprehensive behavioral health assessment through Mid-Atlantic Rehabilitation Services (M.A.R.S.).  The M.A.R.S. assessors are available to conduct the assessment at the agency or school.  

    • Referral to other outside agencies

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