• Student Assistance Program

    Elizabethtown Area School District's Student Assistance Program (SAP) is part of a state-wide initiative designed to help school systems identify and support students who are experiencing barriers to learning. Through a systematic process, Elizabethtown's SAP will help identified students, and their families, access school and community resources with the goal of removing the barriers to learning and helping the student succeed in school.
    At the core of the program are the district's SAP teams, which are made up of school staff who have been trained to work with at-risk students. At Elizabethtown, the SAP targets students in grades 4-12 and is comprised of three teams - Bear Creek School, Elizabethtown Area Middle School, and Elizabethtown Area High School. The number one priority for each team is to help students and/or their families find the services and assistance within the school and, if needed, in the community. 
    Make A Referral

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How does my child become involved in the program?
    Students come to the SAP team in different ways.  Anyone can refer a student tothe Student Assistance Program.  Some students are referred by teachers, others by fellow students, and some by a family member. A student himself/herself can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help.  However, the SAP team will not become involved unless parent/guardian permission is secured. If you feel your child may need help, call your child's school and ask to speak with a member of the SAP team. The SAP team and the school will respect you and your child's privacy at all times.

    What are some barriers to learning?
    Every day, students are confronted with a variety of problems that interfere with their ability to succeed in school. These barriers are not always noticeable and may be as a result of a particular event or situation. To help families better identify barriers, a list of events and warning signs to look out for that might be a good reason for referral to the district's SAP are listed below.

    Events ---

    • Recent death of a loved one
    • Divorce of parents
    • Family relocation
    • A relationship problem
    • Other traumatic event

    Warning Signs ---

    • Withdrawing from family, friends and/or school
    • Changing friends; no longer spends time with old friends
    • Unexplained physical injuries
    • Talking about suicide
    • Depressed
    • Defying Authority, both at home and at school
    • Acting aggressively
    • Lying
    • Needing money without an explanation
    • Sudden drop in grades
    • Experimenting with drugs or alcohol

    EASD's SAP team does not diagnose, treat, or refer your child for treatment.  Rather, we will provide you with information on appropriate resources and assist you with making a choice that will best help your child succeed in school.  Remember, you are part of our team.
    What Happens After I Give My Permission?
    There are several steps that the team will take after you sign the permission form:

    • Together, you and the SAP team will develop a plan of action to help your child achieve success in school.  The plan might include services and activities in school and/or services from a community agency.  If necessary, the SAP team will talk with you about services in the community and give you information on how to contact others who may be able to help.
    • The SAP team will continue to work with and support your child.  They will stay in touch with you to talk about your child's progress and success in school.  Your continued involvement is very important.

    What Can You Do To Help?
    A student may have a problem or have a friend who has a problem. You may be the only one who recognizes the problem or the only one who can help. Referring someone for help is not being disloyal. What you are being asked to do is help yourself or your friend. Parents and teachers with concerns about a student regarding behaviors that may indicate high risk behaviors or social, emotional, or mental health problems, may refer a student. A SAP team member will follow-up with you.
    Will anyone know if a child has been referred to the SAP?
    The SAP Team is committed to the utmost confidentiality in all aspects of the intervention process. Matters brought before the team members will not be shared outside the team, unless there is a professional/ parental need to know. However, as school personnel, the team members are obligated to report to the proper authorities cases of child abuse and neglect (as defined by the Pennsylvania Child Protective Services law) and situations where a student may deliberately harm himself or others.
    Does the SAP team provide comprehensive services to student referred to the program for at-risk behaviors?
    No. Members are trained to recognize high risk behaviors associated with chemical dependency, suicide, and other mental health concerns.This team is not a disciplinary team, nor does it provide therapy, but it will refer students to appropriate sources of help.

    For questions about the district's SAP, contact Mr. Rich Schwarzman, Assistant to the Superintendent for Compliance and Support Services, at (717) 367-1521, ext. 10003 or richard_schwarzman@etownschools.org.