• sap


     (Scroll to the bottom of this page to make a referral)


    The Team

    The Student Assistance Program team (SAP team) in the high school and the Elementary Student Assistance Program teams (ESAP team) in East Elementary and West Elementary are multi-disciplinary teams composed of school personnel (teachers, administrators, school nurses, and counselors), a drug and alcohol liason from the NEIU, a local counseling agency representative, and a mental health professional from the CSBBH team. Each team is trained to understand the complexities of mental health issues, as well as chemical use, abuse, and dependency. SAP / ESAP plays a primary role in the identification and referral process of students coming to their attention through the procedures outlined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Student Assistance Program. SAP / ESAP is not a treatment program; rather it is a systematic process to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning and, where the problems are beyond the scope of the school, to assist the student and parents with information so they may access services in the community.

    Riverside School District has made a commitment to serving each student to help them obtain a complete education. Our priority is to have students concentrate on the process of learning without the negative impacts of emotional distress and/or chemical use.


    Each team member has completed special training approved by the PA Department of Education. There is a team in all buildings within the Riverside School District to identify and help students who have emotional health and/or drug or alcohol issues hindering their ability to obtain a complete education. The team works closely with trained mental health and drug and alcohol professionals.

    Referral and Treatment

    Students may be referred to the any of the district Student Assistance Teams by school personnel, parents, other students, or by self referral. Any student who violates the RSD drug and alcohol policy will automatically be referred to SAP ESAP for an assessment. All referrals to SAP ESAP are kept confidential within the team.   With parent approval, SAP ESAP may offer student-centered services such as educational support groups, in-school mentoring, and community resources.

    Warning Signs

    Childhood is a time of many transitions. Some moodiness and change in a student's behavior is part of normal development. However, when you notice a marked change or gradual deterioration over a period of time it should cause concern.

    Please contact a member of SAP ESAP if you notice any concerning behaviors being displayed by your child. The team can assist in deciding if a student needs help in accessing appropriate community resources. You can use the online links below to make an annonymous referral or call the guidance office.



    Team members at Riverside West Elementary 

    Principal - Nicole VanLuvender            

    Crisis Counselor - JT Yarem                Teacher - Elizabeth Dempsey

    Drug and Alcohol Liaison - Jude Villano     CSBBH Therapist - Tina Magowan



    Online ESAP Referral for Riverside WEST (Grades K-2): West ESAP Referral



    Team members at Riverside East Elementary 

     Principal - Dave Walsh                       Crisis Counselor - JT Yarem                           

     Dean of Students - Justin Lacomis     Teacher - Ryan Lindsay  

    Teacher- Jenn Susko                           Teacher - Toni Oustrich

     Teacher - Judy Watkins                       Drug and Alcohol Liaison - Jude Villano   

    School Nurse - Grace Jensen              CSBBH Therapist - Tina Magowan  



    Online ESAP Referral for Riverside EAST (Grades 3-6): East ESAP Referral



    Team members at Riverside Jr. Sr. High School 

    Principal - Chris Lazor                        Crisis Counselor - JT Yarem  

    School Counselor - Laurie Mecca       School Counselor - Michelle Getts  

    Drug and Alcohol Liaison - Jude Villano

    Teacher - Cris Toraldo                          School Nurse - Janice Gorman

    LPC - Nicole Brush       Special Education Director - Kristin Samsell   


    Online SAP Referral for Riverside Jr.-Sr. High School (Grades 7-12):   RHS SAP Referral



    ALL referrals will remain confidential. Once a student is referred, the student's teachers are asked to provide any feedback or observations they see in the classroom that are concerning.  

    If you have questions about what happens once someone is referred to SAP or you would rather make a referral in person, visit your guidance counselor.