Student Assistance Program (SAP)
Manheim Central School District offers a Student Assistance Program (SAP)/Elementary Student Assistance Program (ESAP) to all students.
The Student Assistance Program (SAP) can help children experiencing barriers to learning.
What Is SAP?
A SAP team is made up of trained school and agency staff who is available to help you access school and community services for your child.
The SAP team will help you find services and assist students 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(s) that best fit your needs and wishes. As the parent/guardian you are an important part of the team.
What is ESAP?
ESAP is the Elementary Student Assistance Program. The function of ESAP is to provide support to students who have some barrier to their educational success. Sometimes, an assessment from our community SAP consultant is recommended. The consultant may recommend additional services for the student and their family. These services may include after-school programs, tutoring, outpatient counseling. Sometimes, when students are struggling in school, it can be an indication that something may be going on in the student’s personal life. These services are provided to assist students with these issues, in order to promote a more successful school experience.
What is an appropriate referral?
Any student that you may have concerns for, who is struggling in your class, academically and or emotionally or behaviorally could be referred to SAP/ESAP. When the team receives a referral, it is reviewed for further follow up and considered for additional support. Some signs and behaviors to look for include:
- Withdrawing from family or friends
- Changing friends; no longer spending time with old friends or hanging out with older children
- Defying authority, at home and school
- Acting aggressively
- Depression; talk indicative of low self-esteem
- Unexplained physical injuries
- Talk of suicide or self-harm
- Sudden drop in grades
- Experimenting with drugs, alcohol or inhalants
Or maybe you are concerned about your child's response to:
- Recent death of loved one
- Divorce or separation of parents
- Family relocation
- Relationship problems with peers, etc
- Other traumatic event
How Does My Child Become Involved?
Anyone can refer a child to the SAP/ESAP team. Some students are referred by teachers or other school personnel. A friend or family member can also let the team know that they are worried about someone. The child can even go directly to the 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 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.
How do I utilize SAP/ESAP?
There are several ways for you to utilize SAP/ESAP services. As a parent, guardian, or teacher, you can refer a student by filling out a SAP Referral Form and returning it to the building. You may also call and speak with a school counselor or any member of the SAP/ESAP Team directly. If you have any questions or you feel that your child may need help, please call your child’s school and ask to speak with a counselor regarding concerns and a SAP referral.
What If Someone Has Referred My Child to SAP/ESAP?
A team member will contact you regarding your child’s referral to the program. Before a SAP/ESAP team member talks to your child, you will be asked to sign a permission form. The 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, please feel free to talk to a team member.
Stacy McEligot, MSW, MAT, has worked with children and families throughout her career in a variety of settings including therapeutic foster care, inpatient treatment, and schools. Her experience ranges from working with teens who have been dually diagnosed with mental health and substance abuse issues in an independent living program to teaching students at the middle and preschool levels. She believes in utilizing a strengths-based approach with families and children to help each individual develop personal awareness and growth. Additionally, she currently facilitates a parent support program to assist families of children with challenging behaviors.