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SAP (Student Assistance Program)

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a service designed to help students who are having difficulty experiencing success in school. Students may be referred to SAP by parents, teachers, administrators, or other students.  

Situations such as grief or loss, divorce, addictions, and stress/anxiety can contribute to this lack of success. A drop in grades, irregular attendance, difficulty in interpersonal relationships, chronic disciplinary problems, etc., may indicate a need for the type of help that the SAP team will provide.

SAP consists of teams made up of teachers, counselors, principals, and a nurse. The teams meet regularly to develop interventions to assist the student. Discussions are kept in confidence. Once a plan is organized, a member of the team meets with the student and contact his/her family. Suggestions are made to help resolve the problem and thus open the way to a more successful social and academic life at school.

Every member of the team is trained in the Student Assistance Model. For more information:

If you would like to make a confidential referral, please contact the school counseling office.


Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services (SPHS) 1-877-225-3567 

SPHS provides a Crisis Telephone Service: Immediate response to callers on a 24/7 basis. The professional staff assists callers by offering assessment, crisis intervention, suicide prevention, crisis resolution and referral to a vast array of local agencies and support groups. All referrals for Crisis Intervention Services come through the Crisis Telephone Service by calling 1-877-225-3567. The crisis telephone staff will determine priority and initial referral to the appropriate level of crisis services.

Program Overview


The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic, professional, and realistic response to students who are having trouble not only in their academic performance, but also with their physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being. This is a state mandated program for all secondary level schools in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Ringgold High School Student Assistance Team members 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. Rather, we will provide you with information and you make the choices. Parents/Guardians of the identified student, as well as the student, are actively engaged in the SAP process. Strict rules of confidentiality apply to all phases of the Student Assistance Program. Parent/Guardian permission is required for a student to participate in this program.

“Even as kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go. It's about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.” Ron Taffel


Q: Who coordinates this program?

A: SAP is coordinated by a group of the professional staff that are concerned and are trained to recognize at risk behaviors which impede on students’ academic, social, and personal development.

Q: Who can make a referral to the SAP Team?

A: Referral can be made by concerned adults, peers, school administrators, faculty/staff, or by the student themselves.

Q: How is the referral made?

A: A referral is made by contacting any member of the SAP Team, contacting administration, and/or school counselor with your concern.

Q: When is a referral made to the SAP Team?

A: A referral can be made when there are concerns about attendance, academics, behavior, and/or health that may require additional support for the student.

Q: What happens after a student is referred?

  • A: The SAP Team assists staff with the identification and description of the behavior that may be a barrier to learning and may leave the child at risk.
  • Information used to gain an understating of the student’s current situation and possible solutions to the identified concern about the student is collected through informational checklists, school records, meeting with the student, and parental contact.
  • Once the information is gathered and it is determined that more support is needed, the SAP Team may make referrals to community or private agencies for help.
  • The SAP team maintains communication and follows-up with the team members, parents, and referral sources for the identified student.
  • The SAP Team will provide necessary support to the identified student to help make the necessary changes an easy transition. Support is essential in the student’s success.  Additional supports may be offered to assist the student such as educational support groups.

“Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.” -Margaret Mead