The PANTHER ASSISTANCE TEAM (PAT) is directly affiliated with the Student Assistance program.  This is a process for identifying students who are experiencing behavior and/or academic difficulties which pose a barrier to their learning and success in school. PAT offers support to those students and their families. PAT is a team who has received specialized training from Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Approved SAP Training providers and other related continuing education.  One of the most important tasks of a student assistance team is building a partnership with families, focusing on the student’s success as their common goal. Participation in the Student Assistance process is voluntary.


    Members of the SVHS PAT team are (meet on Wednesday during Activity Period):


    High School PAT/SAP Team Members:

    Sarah Yoder, Principal                                                           Stephanie Burkart, School Counselor

    Sarah Reed, School Counselor                                         Kathy Reedy, School Nurse

    Becky Boland, FACS Teacher                                             Tony Deininger, Instrumental Music Teacher

    Patricia Lacey, Business Ed. Teacher                             Matthew Wisotsky, Mathematics Teacher                                 

                                                     Jenn Guigley, Caron Liaison/SAP Specialist



    • Referral:
      • Individuals who know of students experiencing barriers to education can refer them to SAP. Parents, guardians, teachers, or classmates may refer students. The students may also refer themselves.
    • Family Involvement:
      • Families are directly involved once the student has been identified. Lines of communication are open at all times. The SAP process does not replace the parents’ decision-making responsibility.
    • Intervention:
      • Our aim is to intervene between a student and anything that may hinder learning. This includes offering a wide-range of supports including school and community resources.
    • Support and Follow-up:
      • SAP strives to offer continued contact and support to aid students and parents in maintaining all successful interventions.


     Who can refer a student to PAT/SAP?

    Anyone who has observed concrete student behaviors that may pose a barrier to their learning and success may make a referral to the SAP team. Referrals can be made by school staff, students, family members, community members, and students themselves.

    What are examples of student behaviors that are appropriate for a PAT/SAP referral?

    Possible barriers to learning which can yield a PAT referral:

    • Academic decline
    • Attendance Concerns
    • Change in Friends
    • Sadness or mood swings
    • Decreased attention span
    • Disciplinary Problems
    • Drop in motivation
    • Engages in dangerous behaviors
    • Expresses hopelessness
    • Expresses openly alcohol, tobacco, or drug use
    • Fatigue and listlessness                
    • Frequent visits to the School Nurse and/or Guidance office
    • Glassy or bloodshot eyes
    • Isolation
    • Loss of Interest in School/Activities
    • Noticeable change in weight
    • Odor of alcohol or marijuana
    • Poor Hygiene
    • Self injury or abuse


    How is a referral made to the SAP Team?

    There are two ways that referrals can be made to the SAP Team:

     1. Contact the student's school and ask to speak to the school counselor or another member of the SAP team regarding your concern.

     2.  Complete a google PAT referral form that can be found on the website listed below for 2020-2021 school year. The referral form will be electronically submitted and it will be reviewed at the weekly PAT meeting.



    What happens after a referral is made to PAT/SAP?

    The SAP Team will obtain observable information about the student's performance and behavior from a variety of sources (including teachers, counselors, nurses, administrators, and other staff members as needed). A SAP team member will notify the parent/guardian and obtain permission to proceed with the SAP process. Parent/guardian notification, involvement, and contact are required and necessary for the SAP process to be successful. Once consent is obtained from the parent/guardian, the SAP Team develops strategies for supporting the student.


    The SAP team meets weekly to discuss the progress of any pending referrals and to assign new referrals for processing. For those students appropriate for SAP, faculty and staff members are specifically requested to identify current behaviors they have observed on the SAP checklist. Students may be referred as a result of observable needs in the areas of academics, behavioral, attendance or mental health concerns.


     The SAP process is confidential and should NOT be used for crisis situations that require immediate attention.