Pennsylvania Association 
of Student Assistance 







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  • Saturday, February 17, 2018 9:29 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    1. Act 71 Suicide Awareness/Prevention: The previous Model Policy along with the Administrative Regulations available for schools to use have been update with minor revisions. Links to these two updated documents will be sent out to all districts, as well as to Commonwealth Approved SAP Trainers by late February.

    2. DDAP’s State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant: Funding through this grant has gone to county drug and alcohol offices. They were permitted to use the funds for SAP training (to include paying for substitute teachers for school staff who attend the training) and purchasing program curriculum, workbooks and other program materials for certain evidence-based prevention programs. DDAP has applied for a second year of funding under this grant and expects to know the outcome of that application in April or May.

    3. Truancy Prevention: PDE’s Legal team is currently developing the Basic Education Circular and is scheduled for completion in March.

    4. Opioid Bill 1190:

    The Bill was not passed; however, some of the statutory language from Section 1547 (PS 15-1547 formerly Act 211) of the School Code, was amended by Act 55 of 2017 (HB 178). PDE is charged with developing, in collaboration with DOH and DDAP, a model curriculum for use in grades 6-12 as well as in-service training programs for LEAs to be used beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

    5. Course Development: A PILS course, "Equity in Schools" is currently being developed by PATTAN, Harrisburg.

    6. Safe Schools Office/PDE:

    a.) The PA Career Ready Skills were created to support schools with non-academic skills all students need to be successful in school, jobs and adult life. The committee working with this initiative will release a document to introduce the skills as well as a toolkit for schools.

    b.) 2017-18 PDE School Climate Surveys Participation

    The non-School Climate Leadership Initiative group:

    Total surveys – 77

    Participants - 12,194

    LEAs Participating - 18

    The School Climate Leadership group:

    Total surveys 273

    Participants - 35,747

    LEAs Participating – 59

    c.) PA Bullying Prevention Consultation Line (866-716-0424): The Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is a toll-free number available to school staff, students and parents across the Commonwealth. The consultation line offers discussion of effective strategies and resources available to deal with school-based bullying. Approximately 4-5 calls come into the line on a weekly basis. In addition, parents and guardians call or email the PA Department of Education directly seeking support for unresolved bullying situations. During the 2016-2017 school year, over 250 calls came into the PA BP Consultation Line.

    For more information contact: Joe Loccisano, PDE Safe Schools Office:

  • Friday, February 16, 2018 12:36 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association of Student Professionals (PASAP) sends it heartfelt sympathy to all those who have been impacted by the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida.  The immense challenge of those working to recover from this most recent act of violence is truly unimaginable.  Strong and effective Student Assistance Programs become increasingly important as we work to identify those students who are struggling with at-risk issues.  As an organization, we stand ready to provide resources and information that may assist educators, agency providers, parents and the community as they deal with the aftermath of this terrible incident.  Please don’t hesitate to let us know how we can be of support.

  • Friday, February 02, 2018 3:18 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The goal of the program is to create healthier school environments that experience positive, sustainable, and lasting change through comprehensive strategies. The Highmark Foundation has a new look and feel with some changes that are intended to make it easier for schools to apply for the grants and implement the programs. Your school may apply for a school grant in one of four areas: Bullying Prevention, Child Injury Prevention, Environmental Health, or Healthy Eating & Physical Activity. Public, private, vocational high school, parochial and charter schools throughout West Virginia and Pennsylvania (excluding Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties) are invited to apply. Now entering its sixth year, the Highmark Foundation’s School Grant and Awards Program has provided more than $1.8 million of support to schools in communities served by Highmark Inc. in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

    Click here to access the grant. All applications must be submitted online.

  • Thursday, February 01, 2018 2:58 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    When a suicide or tragedy occurs in a school district, STAR Center Outreach staff are available to consult with educators on how to provide postvention services. STAR Center Outreach staff are available by telephone to any district or agency following a suicide or tragedy that occurs in their school community 24/7 (412-864-3346). Many school districts across the country have come to rely on the Postvention Standards Manual: A Guide for a School’s Response in the Aftermath of a Sudden Death. Click here to contact the STAR Center or request a training.

  • Thursday, February 01, 2018 2:49 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    The Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS): How-To Guide & Workbook with Supplemental Materials. The PAYS How-To Guide & Workbook was designed to help you and your team to get the most out of your PAYS data. Throughout the guide you'll find worksheets that prompt you to answer thought-provoking questions about your data. Because this PDF document contains editable fields, if you're working online you may type your responses directly into the worksheets and save or print your completed guide. Access the updated guide here.

  • Thursday, February 01, 2018 2:20 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)


  • Monday, December 11, 2017 7:53 AM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Prevent Suicide PA and the Pennsylvania Garrett Lee Smith Youth Suicide Prevention Grant are pleased to announce that the Suicide Prevention Online Learning Center is now live!  This site is designed to provide current and evidence-based information to anyone who may come into contact with individuals struggling with suicidal thoughts and behaviors, including educators, mental health professionals, medical professionals, and the general community.  

    The Online Learning Center can be accessed by visiting

    Select featured courses include the following:

    • Suicide Prevention for Educators (an 8-class course that can fulfill Act 71 requirements for schools)
    • Clinical Approaches to Suicide Prevention for School-based Counselors
    • Method Restriction: Primary Care and Public Health Approaches

    When visiting the site for the first time, users must click the “login” tab to register, creating a username and password.  Then, click the “All Courses” tab to view all site content.  Any trainings that users complete will be documented on a transcript that may be downloaded, and some courses will offer printable certificates.

    We hope you find this new training resource useful in supporting your personal and professional suicide prevention efforts!

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 3:22 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Pennsylvania’s Governor signed new truancy legislation, taking effect for the 2016-17 school year, with the express purpose of improving students’ attendance and deterring truancy through a “comprehensive approach to consistently identify and address attendance issues as early as possible through credible interventions.” With the above in mind, schools should use their Student Assistance Program (SAP) building teams to support the efforts of the new truancy law, particularly with early prevention of school absences, well before they become chronic.

    Typically, the initial SAP referral is made by a concerned school staff member as a result of one or a combination of observable behaviors, triggered by a change of a student’s usual pattern of attendance, academic performance, health, and/or general behavior.  In those cases where SAP is already involved with a chronically absent student, participation by a SAP team member greatly augments the School Attendance Improvement Plan (SAIP) by providing first-hand historic and informational background whenever the SAIP stakeholders meet to discuss a particular student’s case.

  • Tuesday, December 05, 2017 3:19 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Prevention partners are once again invited to participate in National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This week-long health observance is an opportunity for teens to learn the facts about drug and alcohol abuse and addiction from scientists and other experts.

    Organize and promote an educational event or activity for teens during the week of January 22–28, 2018, and help shatter the myths about drugs and alcohol. It's easy to get involved!

    Register your event and receive support from NIDA staff to plan a successful activity. NIDA staff can help you order free science-based materials to complement your event, brainstorm activity ideas, and partner with other organizations. Get your event nationally recognized by adding it to the official 2018 map of activities for National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week. Plan Your Event—5 Steps to Hosting
    Already planning to host an event?  Register your event here.

    Also, check out NIDA's one-stop shop for teachers for information and resources to use with your students.

    Visit to learn more!

    For more information, contact

  • Thursday, November 16, 2017 1:32 PM | Terry Kerr (Administrator)

    Prevent Suicide PA is happy to announce the 6th Annual PSA Contest for Youth Suicide Prevention! The organization has a new website with a range of suicide prevention resources, along with information about this year’s contest.  Attached is a letter to schools and contest submission guidelines.  Additional details about the contest, including a timeline and FAQs, are available here.  Please be sure to read the letter to schools and full contest rules as they outline some new changes, as well as unique opportunities for those high school students who submit a PSA.

    Any questions about this year’s contest can be directed to Rose Milani at



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Pennsylvania Association of Student Assistance Professionals
PO Box 165
Titusville, Pennsylvania 16354
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