Student Assistance Programs

What is the Student Assistance Program (SAP)?

The Pennsylvania Departments of Education, Health, and Public Welfare have joined together to create a unique program designed to help all of our students statewide. The SAP was developed to help school personnel identify any substance abuse or mental health issues that may pose problems in a child’s education. Through a four-tier process, the SAP team is able to gather information on the problem, offer recommendations to solve the problem, and conduct follow-up research to assure that the problem is being handled. All of this takes place with open communication between the school and the parents. The following websites can provide more information on available SAP programs in Pennsylvania.

PA Department of Education – Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities

In 1990, Section 1547 of the PA School Code was passed as Act 211, requiring districts to implement a comprehensive classroom program dealing with drugs and alcohol. Further, the act established appropriate counseling services for any students experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol.

PA Department of Education – Basic Education Circulars (Purdon’s Statutes)

This website provides further information on the details of Section 1547, including specifics on the education requirements, counseling needs, and school responsibilities.

History of Student Assistance Programs in Pennsylvania

This website chronicles the state’s previous success with SAP programs (prior to Act 211) as well as detailing what steps have been taken with the programs since the passing of Act 211.

For more on the History of Student Assistance Programs in Pennsylvania, click here.