Student Assistance Program

Student Assistance Program

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is administered by the PA Department of Education’s Safe Schools Office in partnership with the PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ Division of Prevention and Intervention, and the PA Department of Human Services’ Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to help students overcome these barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school, and advance. 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 their students.

How Does SAP Work at Clarion Area?

SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from community alcohol and drug and mental health agencies. SAP team members are trained to identify problems, determine whether or not the presenting problem lies within the responsibility of the school and to make recommendations to assist the student and the parent. When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the SAP team will assist the parent and student so they may access services within the community. The student assistance team members do not diagnose, treat or refer to treatment; but they may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment.

Common signs and symptoms of drug/alcohol involvement

· Deterioration of relationships with family members

· Change in friends

· Unexplained moodiness, resentment, or anger

· Excessive need for privacy

· Unusual fatigue or bursts of energy

· Marked decline in academic performance

· Change in behavior/personality

· Change in appearance or personal hygiene

· Impaired thinking or judgment

· Possession of alcohol, drugs, or drug paraphernalia

· Unusual physical symptoms such as red or watery eyes or constant sniffing

· Poor school attendance

· Loss of interest in hobbies, sports and other favorite activities

Who Can Refer A Student In Need?

Referral - Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about someone’s behavior, health, or academic standing-- any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member or community member. The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. The SAP team contacts the parent for permission to proceed with the SAP process.

Anyone concerned about an individual can refer that student by calling

Clarion Area Jr. Sr. High School at 814-226-8112


Fill out the form above. When you are finished, simply click the submit button at the end of the form and it will automatically be sent to a SAP team member. The form will be reviewed by a SAP team member who will initiate the appropriate response based on school policy.