Student Assistance Program (SAP)

  • SAP logo

    Student Assistance Programs are collaborative teams of trained school district and County Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Service agency personnel who meet regularly to assess, refer, and support student needs in order to remove barriers to their learning.

    Who is the SAP Team?

    All schools in the Berwick Area School District have active SAP teams composed of any of the following members including School Counselors, Nurses, Teachers, Administrators, and a county Mental Health/Drug & Alcohol liaison.

    Who can refer a student to SAP?

    Anyone who has observed concrete student behaviors that may pose a barrier to their learning and success may make a referral to the SAP team. Referrals can be made by school staff, students, family members, community members and students themselves.

    What are examples of student behaviors that are appropriate for a SAP referral?

    Changes observed in behavior such as:
    • Academic decline
    • Truancy
    • Disciplinary and behavior problems
    • Frequent visits to the School Nurse and/or Guidance office
    • Observable behaviors related to expressions of sadness, depression, or drug/alcohol use
    • Students expressing significant concerns or fears of others
    • Observing significant weight loss or gain
    • Any other distinct observable change in behavior

    How is a referral made to the SAP Team?

    There are two ways that referrals can be made to the SAP Team.
    1. Contact the student's school and ask to speak to the school counselor or another member of the SAP team regarding your concern.
    2. Complete a confidential SAP referral form that can be found in the main office or guidance office at the student's school. The referral form may be given to the building secretary, a SAP team member, or placed in the SAP mailbox.
         SAP mailbox locations:
    High School - hallway outside of the Guidance Office
    Middle School - Guidance or Nurse's Office

    What happens after a referral is made to SAP?

    The SAP Team will obtain observable information about the student's performance and behavior from a variety of sources (including teachers, counselors, nurses, administrators, and other staff members as needed). A SAP team member will notify the parent/guardian and obtain permission to proceed with the SAP process. Parent/guardian notification, involvement, and contact are required and necessary for the SAP process to be successful. Once consent is obtained from the parent/guardian, the SAP Team develops strategies for supporting the student.

    Why should I make a referral to the SAP team?

    The results of a 3-year study completed by the University of Pittsburgh indicated the following about students who participated in the SAP process
    • 66% of students improved attendance
    • 65% were promoted and/or graduated High School
    • 60% had no additional suspensions
    The SAP process is confidential and should NOT be used for crisis situations that require immediate attention.
    For more information about SAP, please visit: