Student Assistance Program
The 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. 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.
Pennsylvania Student Assistant Program Model
The Four Phases of the SAP Process:
Phase 1: Referral
Phase 2: Team Planning
Phase 3: Intervention and Recommendations
Phase 4: Support and Follow-up
For more information on SAP please visit the website at pnsas.org
|Understanding Student Assistance Program (SAP)||Talking to Children About Violence|
|Safe2Say Something Tip Line|
|National Suicide Prevention Hotline|
|PA county crisis hotlines|
|Crisis Text Line
Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741741 or https://www.crisistextline.org/
Agora SAP Team Members:
Jennifer Barrios, School Social Worker
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.
Nancy Compton, School Social Worker
Nancy Compton earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, each from the University of Pittsburgh. Nancy’s graduate concentration was in clinical social work, with a specialization in Children and Youth. Prior to coming to Agora in 2019, Nancy worked for many years in clinical practice with children and families. Nancy is SAP certified and is committed to using her knowledge and clinical skills to support the healthy growth and development of Agora student and their families.
Susan Detwiler, Family Coach Coordinator
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.
Linda Dupes, Middle School Teacher
Linda Dupes earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Juniata College, then earned her K-6 Certification from West Chester State University. She went on to earn her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Scranton. Linda has worked in a variety of fields, including head injury, human resources, and customer service before coming to Agora in January 2007 as an Elementary Teacher. Linda is SAP certified and looks forward to continuing to support our Agora students and families.
Brittany Fink, Emotional Support Case Manager
Brittany Fink earned a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from California University of Pennsylvania. She is certified to teach Pre-K-4 and Special Education Pre-K-8. In the fall of 2015, Brittany began her teaching career at Agora and is now moving into her 6th year teaching at the middle school. Brittany completed training for the PA Student Assistance Program in 2020 and is looking forward to being an active member of the Agora SAP team this year. She hopes to make a positive impact on students and families here at Agora.
Laura Goldman, Family Coach Coordinator
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
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, SAP Coordinator/High School Counselor
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.
Chris Moser, Lead Family Coach
Chris Moser earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from Bloomsburg University. Prior to coming to Agora, she has worked at bank as a Branch Manager and in the Retail Lending department. Chris joined Agora in February of 2010 as a paraeducator and transitioned into the role of Family Coach and then Lead Family Coach. Chris completed the Student Assistance Program training in 2012 and is passionate about helping students be successful.
Sarah Pittman, Emotional Support Teacher
Sarah Pittman earned a Bachelor of Science in Education Degree from La Roche University. She received a Masters of Education in Reading. She is certified to teach Pre-K-5 and Special Education K-12. Prior to coming to Agora, Sarah taught Emotional Support at Holy Family Institute in Allegheny County. In the fall of 2011, Sarah began her teaching at Agora and is now moving into her 10th year. She has worked with elementary and middle school in the Special Education classroom. Sarah completed training for the PA Student Assistance Program in 2020 and is looking forward to being an active member of the Agora SAP team this year. She hopes to make a positive impact on students and families here at Agora.
Michael Scheirer, Instructional Coach
Mike Scheirer earned his bachelor’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Moravian College and his teaching certification from Kutztown University. Prior to joining Agora in 2012, Mike served as a training and coach consultant. Mike serves on Agora’s Trauma Informed Team, is a Certified Trauma Practitioner Educator (CTP-E), and is SAP certified as well. Mike looks forward to continually supporting the students and families at Agora.
Jaclyn Scherrbaum, High School Teacher
Jaclyn Scherrbaum received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education at Penn State University. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree at Gannon University in Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to coming to Agora, Jaclyn was an alternative education teacher at Highlands High School for 2 years. At Agora, Jaclyn has been teaching high school Psychology for over 12 years now. She received her SAP certification in Spring of 2020. Jaclyn loves helping students succeed as well as being a positive influence in their lives.
Gina Sczepkowski, Family Coach Coordinator
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.
Ginger Shaffer, Family Coach
Ginger Shaffer earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology, both from Bloomsburg University. She worked with teen-aged parents through the PARENT/ELECT programs and served as a home visitor for at risk families using the Parents As Teacher’s model. After receiving her Master’s degree she worked in online course design and development, but realized she needed to be more hands-on with families again. She has been SAP certified since starting with Agora in 2008. Her goal is to support Agora students and families in reaching their full potential.
Stephanie Shivetts, 9th and 10th Grade School Counselor
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.
Cathy Stabilito, Family Coach
Cathy Stabilito earned her Bachelor’s Degree in secondary education at Bloomsburg University and her Master’s Degree in education at Arcadia University (formally Beaver College). She taught several years teaching in brick and mortar schools in Maryland and Pennsylvania. She began working at Agora in 2009. While at Agora she has served as a paraeducator, teacher, family coach and family coach lead. She is SAP certified and is looking forward to supporting Agora’s students and families.
Kristin Thatcher, College and Career Readiness Coordinator
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.
Kimberly Watson, 9th year Agora Family Coach.
Kimberly Watson has 3 children, and the oldest is an Agora graduate. Former writing instructor and restaurant owner. I love creative problem solving and I think this makes me a good fit for the family coach position at Agora.
For more information please reach out to your Family Coach or contact us at SAP@agora.org