Many families throughout Lancaster and Lebanon Blue and purple logo for PA Student Assistance ProgramCounty benefit from the support of their school Student Assistance Program (SAP). This program, mandated for all Pennsylvania schools serving students in Grades K-12, provides critical support for students who are facing barriers to success. Helping the students achieve resilience, no matter the barrier, is a primary goal for members of a school SAP team. Compass Mark trains SAP team members to help students address these barriers, so that students can focus on their education and go on to become healthy and productive adults.

Through SAP training, school faculty become certified to assist students using research-backed methods that are proven to have the most positive impact on students who are experiencing challenges. “Our youth today are facing more challenges than ever, and those challenges can have a significant impact on their life in school” shared Deb McCoy, Compass Mark’s SAP Program Coordinator. During training, faculty members are taught to make behavioral observations that can indicate a barrier, like sleeping in class, truancy, withdrawal from activities the student once enjoyed or even a change in peer group.

During the SAP certification training, as well as subsequent team update training and maintenance sessions, many of the most pressing issues facing young people today are reviewed. These topics change over time, but have recently included information about hazing, bullying on social media, suicide and drug trends.

“Compass Mark can provide guidance and expertise on a wide range of issues for school personnel at every level,” McCoy states.

Beyond these hard-to-tackle topics, instructors also go over very real issues that every student regardless of background or socioeconomic status may be facing, such as gender non-conformance, sexual violence, gaming addiction and more. These are topics that parents are often unable or unwilling to adequately address with their child, which means that school faculty can serve a vital role in talking with students about these topics.

In addition to preparing and supporting SAP teams on these topics, Compass Mark also works with teams on best practices, legal matters and administrative tasks. Below is the full menu of SAP training topics that are available from Compass Mark. Staff are also available to build trainings that address the specific needs of a school or community.

Training Menu

  • Hazing: Rights, Wrongs and Responsibilities
  • Climate of Chaos: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Against Youth
  • Sexting and Sexual Bullying in Social Media: The Mental Health and Legal Consequences
  • The Bullying and Suicide Connection: Understanding, Prevention and Intervention
  • Adolescent Suicide Prevention
  • Youth Mental Health: Risk and Resiliency
  • How to Cultivate Resilience in Youth
  • Turning the Tide Against a Sea of Mean
  • Developing Empathy in Youth
  • Mean Kids Getting Meaner: The Mental Health Implications of Mean and How to Create Kindness
  • Heroin, Opioids and Other Drug Trends Among Youth
  • Empowering Student Bystanders to Upstanders
  • Crossing the Digital Divide for Parents
  • Too Much Time Online: Gaming and Digital Media Addiction
  • The Cyber World of Youth: Addiction to Selfies and My Oh So Wonderful Self
  • Student Sexual Aggression and Assault: Prevention & Intervention
  • Connected But Not…The Complicated Lives of Teens Today
  • Creating Safe Schools for LGBTQ Youth
  • Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Youth
  • Got Grit: How to Cultivate Grit and Determination in Our Youth and Learning Environments
  • Bullying Prevention 101
  • Bullies, Bullying and Bad Behavior

If you are interested in learning more, please visit Compass Mark’s SAP Training page or contact Deb McCoy, SAP Program Coordinator at (717) 299-2831 x230.

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