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  • Friday, August 14, 2015 8:03 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The  PA Bullying Prevention efforts were shared by Mary Dolan during the PDE update during the August Commonwealth Approved Trainers (CATs) Executive Board meeting.  She discussed the connection of this work to school climate issues.  She also mentioned that callers contacting the bullying prevention consultation line are asked if they are aware of SAP.  For the school climate surveys, Mary indicated that schools can add questions and may want to include something about SAP, possibly if students are aware of the program. 

    Here is a link to the update PDE Office for Safe Schools BP Updates.pdf

  • Wednesday, August 12, 2015 8:39 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Compounding Stress: The Timing and Duration Effects of Homelessness on Children's Health

    Children's Health Watch, in partnership with the Center for Housing Policy at the National Housing Conference, recently released a new issue brief entitled Compounding Stress: The Timing and Duration Effects of Homelessness on Children's Health.

    According to the brief, the earlier and longer a child experiences homelessness, the greater the cumulative toll on his or her brain and body functions and the greater the likelihood he or she will suffer from a stress-related chronic disease later in life. Based on data collected from more than 20,000 caregivers of low-income children with either government-provided or no health insurance, the brief found that prenatal and postnatal homelessness were associated with poor or fair health status, developmental risks, and a higher incidence of hospitalization. .

    Visit http://www.nhc.org/Insights_CompoundingStress_final_LoRes.pdf<http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTUwODA3LjQ3OTM5NjgxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE1MDgwNy40NzkzOTY4MSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3NDA0ODc1JmVtYWlsaWQ9dGFyYXNsQHVwbWMuZWR1JnVzZXJpZD10YXJhc2xAdXBtYy5lZHUmZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&&&101&&&http://www.nhc.org/Insights_CompoundingStress_final_LoRes.pdf> to download the brief.

    PLEASE NOTE:  PDE has a brief for SAP Teams that can be accessed at:  http://www.sap.state.pa.us/uploadedfiles/SAPhomelesshandout-4-21-15.pdf


    1. As you work with the student, assist to remove barriers when possible to lessen the many burdens on these families/children by providing as stable a school environment and experience as possible. This area can be incorporated into the intervention plan so it's regularly monitored.

    2. The student's SAP case manager should work closely with the school counselor and school nurse when behavioral and medical needs are observed, as homelessness can negatively impact the emotional/mental and physical health of the children. Review the child's need for counseling or other supportive services offered by school counselors or through referral.

    3. Continue to include SAP, IST, SWPBIS and PBIS team members in communications and issues, as appropriate, related to any serious conditions of the student, to ensure teamwork and information sharing.

    4. Utilize your district's homeless liaison as a resource in order to provide comprehensive services.

  • Monday, July 27, 2015 8:33 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Here are 5 things to know about Act 26.

    1. The new law creates the offense of "cyberharassment," which would include:
      • making seriously disparaging statements about a child's physical characteristics,
      • sexuality,
      • sexual activity or
      • mental or physical health
      • threats to inflict harm.
    2. The harassment could be made electronically, either directly to the child or through social media.
    3. For a juvenile charged with the crime, a diversionary program, which might include an educational program on cyberharassment, would be considered first. Successful completion could lead to the juvenile's record being expunged.
    4. The law makes cyberharassment of a child a third-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum $2,500 fine and/or one year in prison.
    5. The law could help schools, which are often expected to handle cyberbullying whether it happens on school grounds or not. “An offense under subsection (a.1) may be deemed to have been committed at the place where the child who is the subject of the communication resides.”


  • Wednesday, June 24, 2015 7:34 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Legislation to make Pennsylvania the next state to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes and other related “vaping” products to minors unanimously passed the state House in mid-June

    According to the latest data, more than 16 million children, ages 17 and under, are living in 10 states where they can purchase e-cigarettes almost as easily as a pack of gum or a candy bar. It is imperative that the Legislature act now to add Pennsylvania to the list of 40 other states that have already taken the necessary steps to keep e-cigarettes, e-cigars and all other similar adult-only products out of our children’s hands by adopting House Bill 954.”

    House Bill 954 would add nicotine delivery products to the list of tobacco products that are illegal to sell to minors, including electronic cigarettes. It would still be legal to sell e-cigarettes and vape pens in Pennsylvania – just not to children. The penalties would be the same as under current law for selling cigarettes and other traditional tobacco products to minors.

    E-cigarettes, sometimes known as “vape pens,” are used to deliver nicotine and other substances into the body in the form of a vapor. The products come in a variety of flavors and generally resemble the size and shape of traditional cigarettes, which may increase their appeal to minors. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials have confirmed that calls to poison centers involving e-cigarettes have surged in recent years.

    In 2014, the CDC reported a dramatic increase in the number of high school students who indicated they had tried e-cigarettes, including many who previously had never smoked. 

  • Wednesday, June 24, 2015 7:25 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    LGBT studies course at San Francisco high school one of the first

    CBS San Francisco

    Ruth Asawa High School is one the first high schools in the country to offer an LGBT studies course. The course will cover terminology, and the broad history of LGBT issues. The curriculum stretches back to ancient times. Read more>>


  • Thursday, May 07, 2015 10:37 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)


    On Wednesday, May 6th, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee voted unanimously for Gary Tennis to become the Secretary of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

    His re-appointment will be taken up by the full Senate soon.  No problems are anticipated.

  • Wednesday, May 06, 2015 7:25 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Click here to download a copy 

  • Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:50 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Click here to download a copy. 

  • Thursday, April 23, 2015 1:50 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    April 21, 2015

    PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Announces Next Steps to Address the Heroin and Opioid Crisis in Pennsylvania

    Harrisburg, PA – As part of Governor Wolf’s 2015-16 budget proposal, the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) announced today that it is seeking proposals from the local county drug and alcohol agencies to address the heroin and opioid overdose epidemic. 

    “We know that individualized treatment conducted with clinical integrity, is an effective solution in addressing the current epidemic,” said the DDAP Acting Secretary Gary Tennis.  “This funding opportunity will improve intervention strategies, increase the use of best practices, and increase access to treatment through the local counties.”

    The proposal asks counties to develop and implement strategies that will provide individuals the full continuum of care while facilitating their application for funding through Medicaid or private insurance. In addition, the proposal calls for the participating county to track the outcomes of opioid addicted individuals who are referred into treatment. 

    Additional proposal options include developing or enhancing current methods to access funding for treatment services, use of medications as companions to clinically appropriate treatment, ensuring overdose survivors are referred to treatment, and utilizing evidence-based prevention programs.

    “Many counties are already striving towards these important initiatives and are ready to work with Pennsylvania to ensure that the right level of treatment is provided with sufficient lengths of stay to get good outcomes. We are excited to move forward with this initiative,” said Tennis.

    DDAP’s 2015-16 budget proposal will direct $5 million toward this funding initiative and will disburse monies to the local counties based on the following criteria:           

    • Commit at least 80 percent of the total grant award to clinically appropriate treatment and supportive medication expenses;
    • Spend no more than 20 percent of the total grant award for outreach, education, training, prevention and case management;
    • Spend no more than 20 percent of the total grant award for data collection, performance measurement, performance assessment and publication of outcomes data.

    For more information, visit www.ddap.pa.gov.

    MEDIA CONTACT:  Carey Miller, DDAP, 717-547-3314

  • Wednesday, April 01, 2015 12:18 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Center for Safe Schools is pleased to host a Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS).  This training is intended for school psychologists, school social workers, SAP mental health liaisons, and community mental health partners (psychologist or psychiatrist).  Our trainer, Dr. Sharon Stephan is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

    CBITS is a skill-based, group intervention that is aimed at relieving symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, and general anxiety among children exposed to trauma.  Children are provided with normalizing education about common reactions to stress and trauma and learn skills such as relaxation, how to challenge and replace upsetting thoughts, and social problem solving.  Children also work on processing traumatic memories and grief in both individual and group settings.  The program consists of ten, 1 hour group sessions (6-8 children) usually conducted once a week in a school or mental health clinic setting.

    Cost: $150.00

    The dates of the training are Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (9:00 am – 4:00 pm) and Wednesday April 29, 2015 (9:00 am – 3:00 pm).  The training will be held at the Center for Safe Schools/Center for Schools and Communities in Camp Hill, PA.

    Register on the Safe Schools website under the professional development tab.



Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals
PO Box 1254
State College, Pennsylvania 16804 

Email us: support@pasap.org 

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