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SAP (Student Assistance Program) » SAP (Student Assistance Program)

SAP (Student Assistance Program)


The mission of the Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance Services is to provide leadership for developing a safe and drug-free environment and mental health wellness in schools and communities across the commonwealth. Barriers to learning will be removed and student academic achievement will be enhanced through collaborative prevention, intervention, and post-intervention services. 

Now in its 30th year, SAP helps schools identify students who are experiencing behavior and or academic difficulties that are posing a barrier to their learning and success in school. SAP offers support to those students and their families.



The Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic team process used to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. SAP is designed to assist 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 is to help students overcome these barriers so that they may achieve, advance, and remain in school. 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 students.


The SAP Team at California Area High School

CAHS SAP consists of a team of professionals which may include the school counselor, principal, mental health liaison, drug and alcohol liaison, drug and alcohol prevention specialist, SAP-trained teachers, school nurse, social worker, resource officer, para-educator, and other trained supports.  It is the goal of our team to identify barriers to learning, gather information for assessment, and provide resources to help meet the needs of students in order for them to be successful.  SAP can assist students dealing with the recent death of a loved one, divorce, family relocation, a relationship problem, and other traumatic events.  Behaviors for identification may be withdrawing from family/friends/school, changing friends, unexplained physical injuries, talking about suicide, depression, defying authority, acting aggressively, lying, needing money without an explanation, sudden drop in grades, experimenting with drugs, etc. 


Who can refer a student to SAP?

  • Student self-referral
  • Parent/Guardian
  • Teacher
  • Principal
  • School Personnel
  • Friend 
  • Community Member


How do I make a SAP referral for a high school student I care about?

  • Contact Mrs. Uhall: [email protected] or 724-785-5800 x 1204
  • Complete a referral sheet
  • Parent/Guardian permission is required for the SAP process to continue 


PA State Site Additional SAP Information