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Student Assistance Program (SAP)

      R.A.S.D  Student Assistance Program

The aim of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to help children experiencing barriers to learning.

One of the most important tasks of the SAP team is to have a partnership with families, with the focus being on the student's success as their common goal. An ideal partnership would include mutual respect, appreciation of strengths, ideas, feelings, culture and open communication.  The SAP team and the school will respect every student and family's privacy at all times.  Parents are a key part of the Student Assistance Program.  Their participation and information is invaluable when working toward student success.  Together, parents and Rochester staff can help break down barriers to learning so all students can succeed.

 Important Links:

More information and resources:


What Is SAP?

  • A SAP team made up of professionally trained school and agency staff is available to help you access school and community services for your child. 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.The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) is to help students overcome personal or social barriers in order that they may achieve, remain in school, and advance. SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. For more information you can contact the school or visit on the web.

In Pennsylvania, EVERY school district is required to have a plan for identifying and assisting students who experience barriers to learning.

  • The RASD SAP 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 choice that best fits your needs.  As the parent or guardian, you are an important part of the team. All information that is discussed with the SAP team is CONFIDENTIAL.


Do You See Your Child Showing Any of These Behaviors?

  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or activities

  • Lack of motivation, apathy

  • Unexplained physical injuries

  • School refusal

  • Needing money without explanation

  • Feeling sad or lacking a sense of belonging

  • Talking about suicide/depression

  • Defying authority, both at home and school

  • Acting aggressively

  • Hitting

  • Lying

  • Declining grades

  • Experimenting with cigarettes, alcohol or drugs


Are You Concerned About Your Child’s Reaction to Any of the Following?

  • Recent death of a loved one

  • Divorce of parents

  • Family relocation

  • A relationship problem

  • Bullying

  • Other traumatic event


How Does My Child Become Involved in the SAP Program?

  • Anyone can refer a child to the RASD SAP team.  Some students are referred by teachers or other school personnel.  A friend or family member can also let the SAP team know that they are worried about someone.  The child can even go directly to the RASD SAP team to ask for help.  Schools will gather information to determine how a student is doing in their classes.  However, the SAP team will not proceed unless you give your written parent permission.  Once permission is received, the RASD SAP team will work with you to develop a plan of action to help your child achieve success in school.  Participation in the program is voluntary.


What If Someone Has Referred My Child to SAP?

  • A RASD SAP team member will contact you regarding your child’s referral to the program.  Before a RASD SAP team member talks to your child, you will be asked to sign a permission form.  The RASD SAP team will work with you and your child throughout the process.  As a parent, your knowledge and thoughts about your child will be helpful in developing a plan of action.  If you need more information before making a decision about SAP, please feel free to talk to a RASD SAP team member.  



  • It is important to know that SAP is not a treatment program.  The SAP team will help parents find services and assistance within the school and if needed, in the community.  The RASD SAP team does not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment.  Rather, the RASD SAP team will provide you with information; you make the choices.  Remember that parents are part of the SAP team.  The goal of SAP is to help the student succeed in school.


How Do I Contact the SAP Team?

  • If you have any questions about SAP or you feel that your child may need help, call your child’s school and ask to speak with any of the following team members:


Michael Damon, Middle/High School Principal

Amanda Cwynar, Elementary School Principal

Chris Barsic, School Nurse

Steve Proctor, RASD SAP Coordinator (HS)

Benita Lambert, RASD SAP Coordinator (Elem)