(Scroll to the bottom of this page to make a referral)
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.
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 ESL Teacher - Lindsey O'Hora
Crisis Counselor - JT Yarem Teacher - Toni Oustrich
School Counselor - Alita Soulsby CSBBH Therapist - Jillian Mishko
Drug and Alcohol Liason - Franco Forgione Scranton Counseling Center - Jerry Nitch
Online ESAP Referral for Riverside WEST (Grades K-2): WEST ESAP Referral
Team members at Riverside East Elementary
Principal - Dave Walsh ESL Teacher - Lindsey O'Hora
Crisis Counselor - JT Yarem Learning Support Teacher- Elizabeth Dempsey
School Counselor - Alita Soulsby Teacher - Judy Watkins
CSBBH Therapist - Jillian Mishko Teacher - Jenn Susko
Curriculum Coordinator - Doug Womelsdorf Teacher - Gina Grebas
Drug and Alcohol Liason - Jude Villano Scranton Counseling Center - Jerry Nitch
Online ESAP Referral for Riverside EAST (Grades 3-6): EAST ESAP Referral
Team members at Riverside Jr. Sr. High School
Principal - Robert Presley Scranton Counseling Center - Jerry Nitch
Crisis Counselor - JT Yarem Teacher - Cris Toraldo
School Counselor - Laurie Mecca Teacher - Melissa DiStassi
School Counselor - Michelle Getts School Nurse - Janice Gorman
CSBBH Therapist - Nicol Dunbar Drug and Alcohol Liason - Jude Villano
Online SAP Referral for Riverside Jr.-Sr. High School (Grades 7-12): HS 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.