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Student Assistance Program

The Student Assistance Program (SAP) can help children experiencing barriers to learning. A SAP team made up of school and agency staff is available to help you access school and community services for your child. In Pennsylvania, every school district is required to have a plan for identifying and assisting students who experience barriers to learning.  

The Northgate 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(s) that best fit your needs and wishes.  As the parent/guardian you are an important part of the team.

Do You See Your Child Showing Any of These Behaviors?

  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or activities
  • Changing friends
  • Unexplained physical injuries
  • Feeling sad
  • Talking about suicide
  • Defying authority, both at home and school
  • Acting aggressively
  • Hitting
  • Lying
  • Needing money without a good explanation
  • Declining grades
  • Experimenting with alcohol or drugs

Are You Concerned about Your Child’s Reaction to a Difficult Situation?

  • 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 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 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 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 SAP team member will contact you regarding your child’s referral to the program.  Before a SAP team member talks to your child, you will be asked to sign a permission form.  The 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 SAP team member.

How Do I Contact the SAP Team at Northgate?
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:

Austen Tarabay, Avalon Elementary Guidance Counselor
Zack Burns, Bellevue Guidance Counselor
Stacy Gallagher, Middle School Counselor (Grades 7-9)
Brian Talbert, High School Counselor (Grades 10-12)
Malla Mizikowski, School Nurse

The SAP team information is completely confidential and the team will respect you and your child's privacy at all times.