K-12 Student Assistance Program
SAP is a program designed to help students with a variety of adolescent issues that can interfere with their school performance. It uses a team approach which includes teachers, guidance counselors, and the nurse, who have been specially trained to recognize adolescent concerns and in ways to help students.
SAP is designed to identify and refer students to a variety of available resources, which may be of help to the student and family. SAP does not diagnose, treat, or discipline students.
Students may be referred to Student Assistance by anyone, including parents, teachers, friends, community members, or as a self-referral. Once a student is referred and parents/guardians have approved, information is gathered to help in the assessment process. This includes a review of the student’s grades, attendance, and any discipline records and of any observable classroom behaviors noted by their teachers, including an inventory of their strengths.
The student is then scheduled to meet with a member of the Student Assistance Team to help identify any areas in which the student is experiencing difficulties with the purpose of helping the student develop a plan to overcome them.
When agency assessment is requested, parents/guardians are asked to sign a release of information form which grants the school permission to share the gathered information with agency staff in order to assist in the assessment process. The release is valid for the current school year only, and may be revoked at any time by written request from the parent. It allows agency and school staff to communicate about recommendations, but never in specific detail about the issues discussed. In this way, students are given the opportunity to have their concerns addressed confidentially with counselors.
If students continue to receive counseling services in subsequent school years, families will be asked to sign this release again at the beginning of each school year.
When it appears to be indicated, students and their families are offered an assessment by the agency representatives from Crawford Co. Mental Health, (Mrs. Kitty Rodgers) and Drug and Alcohol, (Dr. Richard Chafey). After they have met with both the parent/s and student, possible resources are discussed and referrals made in accordance with agency recommendations and family wishes.
This assessment is offered at no cost and may be done either at school, or one of their Meadville offices or at a mutually convenient location depending upon the family’s preference.
Some of the signs which may indicate the need to seek help for your child include:
-Decline in classroom performance
-Sleeping in class
-Change in friends
-Difficulty in controlling emotions
-Withdrawing from others -Constant disobedience and/or aggression toward authority
-Inability to cope
-Difficulty making/keeping friends
-Self-mutilation or other self-destructive or dangerous behavior
-Persistent risk taking
-Major eating changes
We hope you find this information helpful and consider Student Assistance as a readily available resource to help your child and family. Please feel free to contact any member of the Student Assistance Team with any questions or concerns at your child’s school.
Remember, as difficult as the task of parenting may seem at times, never lose hope. Despite what your child may say, your influence is still the most powerful and makes the biggest difference in their life!