Student Assistance Program (SAP)

What Is SAP?

A SAP team, made up of school and agency staff, is available to help you access school and community services for your child. In Pennsylvania, every school district is required to have a plan for identifying and assisting students who experience barriers to learning. Our school’s Student Assistance Program team name is the MPS Core Team.

The MPS SAP Core Team will help you find services and assistance within the school and, if needed, in the community. We do not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment. We will provide you with information, and you make the choices that best fit your needs and wishes. As the parent/guardian, you are an important part of the team.


The SAP Core Team information is completely confidential, and the team will respect you and your child’s privacy at all times.

The student assistance program is all about YOU!  MPS is involved in Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP) through which faculty members are trained to identify students with possible emotional, behavioral, or chemical difficulties.

Students may refer themselves and others when they recognize the need for support. Parents, teachers, or administrative staff may also act as referral agents by contacting the appropriate grade counselor with parental permission.  Once referred, an intervention Core Team will assist in determining the best course of action for the student.  The MPA Core Team is made up of guidance, teaching, and administrative personnel, as well as ad hoc resource personnel from an outside provider for mental health services and drug and alcohol prevention services.  The team meets weekly throughout the school year to address faculty, parent, and student concerns.

When the situation warrants, referrals are made for assessment purposes to the appropriate ad hoc person after obtaining parental permission.  Recommendations produced by the assessment will guide the Core Team in its handling of the situation.

In short, SAP is set up to make the considerable resources of the school and outside agencies accessible to the families of students in need of help.  The school community plays a role in observing the child and facilitating any recommended support, intervention, accommodation, and/or treatment.  Hopefully, this will allow families to make sound, well-informed choices for the well being of students.  Your role (as a parent, teacher, student, or friend) in initiating the process when needed may make a great difference in the life of a student in need.

If you would like to make a referral, please complete this SAP Referral Form and return to your student’s guidance counselor. For more information, please review the SAP Parent Brochure.

Are You Concerned about Your Child’s Reaction to…?

  • The recent death of a loved one
  • Divorce/Separation
  • Anxiety/Depression
  • Family relocation
  • A relationship problem
  • Bullying
  • Family tension/strife
  • Other traumatic events

Do You See Your Child Showing Any of These Behaviors?

  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or activities
  • Changing friends
  • Having unexplained injuries
  • Self-injuring/cutting
  • Feeling sad
  • Talking about suicide
  • Defying authority (School and/or Home)
  • Acting aggressively
  • Hitting
  • Lying
  • Needing money without a good explanation
  • Declining in school performance
  • Experimenting with alcohol or drugs

Core Team Process

Step #1: Referral

Student may be referred to SAP by a concerned parent, teacher, friend, or self.

Step #2: Parent Contact

A parent or guardian is contacted to involve him or her in the process. Written permission from a parent is required before any student may participate in the counseling component of the program.

There is no cost for the process. All SAP services are voluntary and free of charge.

Step #3: Information Gathering

The Core Team gathers relevant data from teachers, counselors, and administration.

Step #4: Evaluation/Assessment

The Core Team evaluates data to determine possible interventions or services available to assist the student.

If necessary, intervention or services are offered to the student and parent/guardian.

Step #5: Review/Recommendation

The Core Team reviews each referral and then joins with the parents to review in