• Hollidaysburg Area School District

    Student Assistance Program

    Are You Worried About Your Child?

     The Student Assistance Program Can Help


    A Guide for Parents and Families

    How Does My Child Become Involved in the Program?

    If your child is having trouble in or out of school, we can help you. There may be times when you just don’t know how to help your child. That’s okay; someone else may know how to help.
    Don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about asking for help. When extra
    help is needed, knowing how and where to find help can be overwhelming.

    Your school’s 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.
    Rather, we will provide you with information; you make the choices.

    Remember, you are part of our team. Our goal is to help your child succeed in school.

    Students come to the SAP team in different ways. Anyone can refer a student to the Student Assistance Program.

    Some students are referred by teachers and other school personnel.

    Any school staff member, a student’s friend or family member can let the SAP team know that they are worried about someone.

    The students themselves can even go directly to the SAP team to ask for help.


    Who is on the Junior High SAP team?

    The following individuals are
    members of the Junior High SAP team:

    Robert Heinrich, Principal

    Dale McCall, Assistant Principal

    Keely Jones, Guidance Counselor

    Tina Peters, Guidance Counselor

    Veronica Sell, Guidance Counselor

    Steve Kirsch, Dean of Students

    Jane Burkholder, School Psychologist

    Mary Kay Barton, Math Teacher

    Lori Cappella, Mental Heath Counselor

    Wendy Lieb, School Nurse

    Individuals from the following agencies serve as our mental health and drug and alcohol liaisons.

    UPMC Altoona


    Blair Family Solutions

    Family Services, Inc

    The Home Nursing Agency

    Students can be referred to other agencies if these agency services are deemed appropriate for the student.

    Help is right around the corner!


    What Happens After A Referral is Made to the SAP Team

    1. The SAP team will gather
    specific information about your child’s performance in school from all school
    staff who have contact with your child. The team will review the information
    and decide what intervention, if any, is needed.

    2. The interventions may either be assigning the student a mentor, individual and/or group counseling. 

    When your child is referred for counseling,
    this may 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.

    3. 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 is the Student Assistance Program?

    In Pennsylvania, every school district has a Student Assistance Program (SAP).

    A SAP team will identify at-risk students having problems due to alcohol or drug use, behavioral problems, or mental health problems.

    Do You See Your Child Showing Any of These Behaviors?

    Withdrawing from family, friends and/or  school

    Changing friends; no longer spends time with old friends

    Unexplained physical injuries

    Talking about suicide


    Defying authority, both at home and at school

    Acting aggressively


    Needing money without an explanation

    A sudden drop in grades

    Experimenting with drugs or alcohol

    Are You Concerned About Any of These Situations?

    The recent death of a loved one

    Divorce of parents

    Family relocation

    A relationship problem

    Other traumatic events


    Contacting Information

    If you feel that your child may need help, call the Junior High School Guidance Office and speak with a school counselor

    All SAP referrals go through this office. School counselors can be reached at 695-4426 ext. 6520.
    They will be glad to help you!



    The SAP team and the school will respect you and your child’s privacy at all times.