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SectionResources & Support

Student Assistance Program

Family School Community Student puzzleThe Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program (SAP), which is administered by the PA Department of Education’s Division of Student and Safe School Services in partnership with the PA Department of Health’s Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Programs, and the PA Department of Public Welfare’s Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, is designed to assist school personnel in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success.

SAP is a systemic process using techniques to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. The core of the program is a professionally trained team, including school staff and liaisons from community alcohol and drug and mental health agencies.  SAP team members are trained to identify problems, to determine whether or not the presenting problem lies within the responsibility of the school and to make recommendations to assist the student and the parent.   When the problem lies beyond the scope of the school, the SAP team will assist the parent and student to access services within the community.  The student assistance team members do not diagnose, treat or refer children for treatment; however, they may refer them for a screening or an assessment for treatment.

Parents have the right to be involved in the process and have full access to all school records under the applicable state and federal laws and regulations.  Involvement of parents in all phases of the student assistance program is expected. This partnership is integral to the successful resolution of problems.

 

Exciting Breaking News:

Agora Cyber Charter School has received a grant allowing us to be recognized AND designated as a Trauma Informed School! Much thanks to Alina Kitchell, Maegan Bregenser,  and Jennifer Barrios, in helping to secure the grant and identifying how this designation will positively impact our school community! At the moment, we are the only cyber school receiving this distinction!

Right now, the Trauma Team Steering Committee is working to facilitate roll out across the school; training will happen in stages over the next six months. A complete overview and introduction will be delivered to All Staff during the August 2019-2020 Professional Development Sessions. A complete overview and introduction will be delivered to parents in September 2019. Please join us in celebrating this game-changer for our students, parents, and entire school community! Stay tuned for more details as our school continues to make a positive change in the lives of our students.

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

Understanding Student Assistance Program (SAP) Talking to Children About Violence
   
Safe2Say Something Tip Line  

 

National Suicide Prevention Hotline

 
PA county crisis hotlines

 

 

AGORA STAFF HERE TO HELP YOU:

Jennifer Barrios, School Social Worker

Email:  jbarrios@agora.org
Mobile phone:   610-585-6748

Jennifer Barrios is a trained mental health professional with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Social Work. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Bloomsburg University and earned her Master’s Degree and Home and School Visitor Certification at Widener University through their Clinical Social Work Master’s program.  Jennifer is SAP certified and has worked in the social work field for many years and looks forward in continuing her work with the students and families at Agora.

 

Susan Detwiler, Family Coach Coordinator

Email:  sdetwiler@agora.org
Mobile phone:  215-498-8892

Susan Detwiler earned her Certification in Elementary Education and Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Moravian College.  Prior to coming to Agora, she taught kindergarten for seven years in New Jersey.  At Agora, she has been a Family Coach, Lead Family Coach and now a Family Coach Coordinator, supervising a team of twenty Family Coaches.  Susan completed training for the Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program in 2017 and is looking forward to using the knowledge she gained to assist the students and families at Agora.

 

Laura Goldman, Family Coach Coordinator

Email:  lgoldman@agora.org
Mobile phone:  610-952-2558

Laura Goldman earned her dual degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Temple University in Philadelphia. She continued her studies at Arcadia University, pursuing a degree in Reading Education.  After teaching 3rd grade for six years in the School District of Philadelphia, she took a break to raise her family.  During her absence from the working world, Laura homeschooled and cyber-schooled her 4 children for about 14 years before joining the Agora family as a Family Coach.  She now leads a team of 20 Family Coaches in the Philadelphia area, serving as Family Coach Coordinator.  Laura completed SAP training and became SAP certified in 2017 and is passionate about helping students succeed.

 

Pam Keth, Family Coach Coordinator

Email:  pketh@agora.org
Mobile phone:  814-320-1299

Pam Keth earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Clarion University of PA and her Master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State University.  Prior to coming to Agora, Pam served as a coordinator for a family literacy program and several years as a classroom teacher.  Pam began her career at Agora as an elementary teacher before transitioning to the roles of Family Coach and  Family Coach Coordinator.  Pam completed her SAP training in 2017 and looks forward to making a positive impact on our students.

 

Laura Manko, School Counselor

Email:  lmanko@agora.org
Mobile phone:  610-230-2254

Laura Manko earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.  She worked as a family therapist for UMPC while earning her masters in School Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Laura has been a School Counselor and SAP certified since 2007.  Laura comes with a lot of SAP experience and is looking forward to helping and supporting Agora students and families.

 

Fallon Nicholas, Middle School Counselor (7th& 8th Grade last name A-K)

Email: fnicholas@agora.org
Office Phone: 610-263-8395

Fallon Nicholas is a trained mental health professional and state certified school counselor. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Millersville University and earned her Master’s Degree and K-12 certification in Elementary and Secondary School Counseling at West Chester University. Fallon has 13 years experience working in the mental health field and 8 years experience working as a school counselor at Agora. She is trained in Trauma Informed Care and is Student Assistance Program (SAP) certified. Fallon is dedicated to using her knowledge and skills to help support students and families at Agora.

 

Gina Sczepkowski, Family Coach Coordinator

Email:  gsczepkowski@agora.org
Mobile phone:  215-510-5483

Gina Sczepkowski earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish from Penn State University.  Prior to coming to Agora, Gina was a stay at home mom to 5 sons and a National Vice President in a health and wellness company.  At Agora, she began in the roll of paraeducator then transitioned to the role of Family Coach Coordinator when the program began. Gina completed training for the PA Student Assistance Program in 2013 and hopes to positively assist students and families.  Gina is also certified in Trauma Informed Response and proud to be part of the only Trauma Informed Cyber Charter School in the world.

 

Stephanie Shivetts, 9th and 10th Grade School Counselor

Email:  sshivetts@agora.org
Mobile phone:  814-651-9135

Stephanie Shivetts received her Bachelor’s Degree at Clarion University in Psychology. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree at Slippery Rock University in Children and Adolescent Therapy while also earning her School Counseling Certification. Stephanie is SAP certified. She has been working with Agora for the last 8 years, and is looking forward to continuing her work in supporting students and families here at Agora.

 

Kristin Thatcher, College and Career Readiness Coordinator

Email: kthatcher@agora.org
Mobile phone:  724-944-9082

Kristin Thatcher received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing at Penn State University. Prior to coming to Agora, Kristin was a stay at home mom to 4 children and a sales representative for a Pittsburgh IT Company.   At Agora, she began in the roll of Family Coach and in 2018 transitioned to the role of College and Career Readiness Coordinator.  Kristin completed training for the PA Student Assistance Program in 2012 and hopes to positively assist students and families.