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Student Assistance Program


The DMS Student Assistance Program (SAP) can help children experiencing barriers to learning.

The SAP process is completely free and confidential. The SAP team respects student and parent/guardian privacy at all times. If parents/guardians would like more information on the SAP, they can contact any of the SAP team members by calling the school at 412-767-5343 or by calling one of the numbers above.

A Guide to SAP

What Is SAP?

A SAP team composed of school and agency staff is available to help you access school and community services for your child/student. The SAP is a voluntary, confidential, no-cost program and process. In Pennsylvania, every school district is required to have a plan for identifying and assisting students who experience barriers to learning. These barriers may include alcohol, tobacco or other drugs, and mental health or behavioral issues.

The DMS SAP team can help children and families find services and assistance within the school and/or community. We do not diagnose, treat, or refer children for treatment, but we may refer a student to a liaison who may screen or assess them for further community-based services and support. We provide children and families with information, and help them make the choice(s) that best fit their needs and wishes. DMS parents/guardians, teachers, and staff are important members of our team.

Do you see your child showing any of these behaviors?

  • Withdrawing from family, friends, and/or activities
  • Declining grades
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Changing friends
  • Feeling sad
  • Talking about self-injury or suicide
  • Defying authority, both at home and school
  • Lying
  • Acting aggressively
  • Experimenting with alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

Are you concerned about your child's reaction to any of these circumstances?

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

How Does My Child/Student Become Involved?

There are four phases to the student assistance process:

Referral – Anyone can refer a student to SAP when they are concerned about someone’s behavior – any parent/guardian, teachers and school staff, a student’s friend, a family member, or community member. The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help. A member of the SAP team contacts the parent/guardian for permission to proceed with the SAP process.

Team Planning – The SAP team gathers objective information about the student’s performance in school from all school personnel who have contact with the student. Information is also collected from the parent/guardian. All information collected is confidential and DOES NOT become part of a student’s permanent record. The team meets with the parent/guardian to discuss the data collected and also meets with the student. Together, a plan is developed that includes strategies for removing the learning barriers and promoting the student’s academic and personal success. The plan includes specific in-school and/or community-based services and activities.

Intervention and Recommendations – The plan is put into action. The team assists in linking the student to in-school and/or community-based services and activities. The team might recommend a drug and alcohol or mental health screening or assessment.

Support and Follow-Up – The SAP team continues to work with and support the student and their family. Follow-up includes monitoring, mentoring, and motivating for academic success.

How Do I Contact the SAP Team?

If you feel that your child or student needs help, please contact any of the team members below. Teachers and school staff are encouraged to complete a SAP referral form. If you have any questions about SAP or the referral process, please feel free to speak with any of the following team members:

Laura Miller, DMS Program Principal, 412-967-2400, ext. 2521

Bevin Kovalik, MAPS Social Services Liaison, 412-967-2400, ext. 2534

Jason Braun, RTII Facilitator, 412-967-2400, ext. 2008

Jane Hudok, Educational Support Teacher, 412-967-2400, ext. 2058

Jennifer Pro, Educational Support Teacher, 412-967-2400, ext. 2067

David Dadowski, Science Teacher, 412-967-2400, ext. 5041

Karen Meinert, School Nurse, 412-967-2400, ext. 2523

Craig Reinhard, School Counselor, 412-967-2400, ext. 2526

Breane DeComo, School Counselor, 412-967-2400, ext. 2527

Kristin Pollick, School Counselor, 412-967-2400, ext. 2528

Carrie Clutter, HSAO SAP Liaison, 412-651-6003 (work cell)

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