Student Assistance Program (SAP)

What is the Student Assistance Program (SAP)?

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP) is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health concerns 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 remain in school, achieve, and advance.

How Does SAP Work?

The professionally trained SAP team members will use school resources to remove barriers to learning, and when the identified problem lies out of the scope of the school resources, the team may refer for a screening or an assessment for treatment in a location that serves your community. The student assistance team members do not diagnose, treat, or refer directly to treatment.

How involved is a parent or guardian in SAP?

It is a parental right to be involved in the process and to have full access to all school records under the applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

Who is on the SAP Team?

The SAP team may include administrators, school counselors, teachers, nurses, psychologists, prevention specialists, probation officers, drug and alcohol agency liaisons, and mental health agency liaisons.

There are four phases to the student assistance process:

Referral:  Anyone concerned about a student’s behavior can refer that student to SAP -- any school staff, a student’s friend, a family member, or community member. The students 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.

Team Planning:  The SAP team confidentially gathers objective information about the student’s performance in school from all school personnel who have contact with the student.  Information is also collected from the parent. The team may conference with the parent to discuss the data collected and also may conference with the student. Together, a plan is developed that includes strategies for removing the learning barriers and promoting the student’s academic and personal success.

Intervention and Recommendations:  The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community-based services and activities. The team might recommend a drug and alcohol or mental health assessment.

Support and Follow-Up:  The SAP team continues to work with and support the student and the family. Follow-up may include monitoring, mentoring, and motivating for academic success.

Activities Sponsored by SAP for all PA Cyber Students: 

The SAP team members partner with Guidance staff to provide different activities throughout the year. All students attending PA Cyber are eligible for these programs and workshops. The programs are typically offered at no or low cost. These activities include Teen Leadership, Youth Leadership, and the National Red Ribbon Campaign.

Teen Leadership: Typically offered in the fall and spring, Teen Leadership is a one-day workshop which focuses on such topics as Team Building, Good Character, Prevention, Internet Safety, Media Literacy, Service Learning, Resume Building, and more. Teens receive a letter of participation, which they can keep in their educational portfolios. This letter can be used as proof of school activity participation, scholarship applications, and they make adult connections for job resume references.

Youth Leadership: New for 2012, SAP will sponsor leadership activities twice a year for elementary aged students that focus on a variety of topics such as, prevention, getting along well with others, wellness, and study skills.

  •  Leadership helps youth develop leadership skills by making positive life choices based upon sound values and successful goals.
  • Leadership helps boost educational productivity.
  •  Leadership can provide a student with a higher level of confidence, and allow them to speak their minds to tell people how they feel.
  • Students will learn how to solve problems.
  • Students will learn valuable skills for life.

Red Ribbon:

In the month of October, PA Cyber celebrates Red Ribbon state wide. Red Ribbon is a National School Campaign to honor the anti-drug efforts of the slain U.S. Drug Enforcement  Agent  Enrique Kiki Camarena. Activities include a school-wide poster contest, Red Ribbon Halloween parade, parties, and learning activity workshops.

More information:

For more information about the Student Assistance Program, the activities they sponsor, or to make a SAP referral, please email sap@pacyber.org.  Activities will be posted in the student activities calendar, the Guidance section of Blackboard, and are typically emailed to parent and student accounts.


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