Guidance » Responsive Services

Responsive Services

The Responsive Services component consists of the counselors working with students whose individual circumstances are interfering personal, social and/or educational development. Responsive Services incorporates activities to meet the immediate needs and concerns of students whether these needs or concerns require counseling, consultation, referral or information.

Team (teacher) Conferences-

If you would like to discuss questions, concerns or share information regarding your child, please contact the guidance office to schedule a conference.

SAP (Student Assistance Program)-

Hillcrest Intermediate School

What is the Student Assistance Program (SAP)?


The Student Assistance Program (SAP) is designed to provide various support services to meet your child’s social, emotional, behavioral and academic needs.   


The goals of the Student Assistance Program are to facilitate collaboration between home and school and provide interventions to help students overcome barriers to learning.   The SAP team is a caring group of trained professionals who strive to develop positive self-worth in Norwin students.


An important aspect of the Student Assistance Program is confidentiality.  The Norwin School District respects and maintains confidentiality throughout the SAP process. Participation in this program is voluntary. 


Who can refer students to the Student Assistance Program (SAP)?


Any person who is concerned about a student can make an SAP referral.  Some students are referred by teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses and/ or other school personnel.  A friend or family can also contact the school to let them know that they are worried about someone.  Also, a child can go directly to an SAP team member and ask for help. 


If you would like to make a referral, please return the completed SAP referral form to the Hillcrest Guidance Office.


When to make a referral to the Student Assistance Program (SAP)?


  • When a student demonstrates a change in behavior, attitude and/or academic performance
  • When a student expresses hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness and/or confusion
  • When a student is experiencing a personal or family crisis and/or loss
  • When a student withdraws socially from family, relatives, friends and/or teachers
  • When there is suspicion of drug and/or alcohol abuse


Who is involved in the Student Assistance Program (SAP) at Hillcrest?


The SAP team at Hillcrest Intermediate School is comprised of the following specially trained professionals:

  • Mary Beth Atwood (Teacher)
  • Lisa Banasick (Assistant Principal)
  • Allison Bechtold (Teacher)
  • Trisha Brunazzi (Hillcrest Gifted Coordinator)
  • Mike Buscemi (Teacher)
  • Bob Conrad (School Counselor)
  • Mandy D'Alesio (Teacher)
  • Victoria Dowling (School Counselor)
  • Denise Ebbitt (Teacher)
  • Lori Heit (Teacher)
  • Ryan Hornick (Teacher)
  • Samantha Howard (Westmoreland Case Management and Supports SAP Liaison)
  • Colby Kelly (Teacher)
  • Mary Klocek (Teacher)
  • Aimee Lang (Teacher)
  • Brianna Mainwaring (School Psychologist)
  • Brooke Morrow (Teacher)
  • Molli Nicholas (Teacher)
  • Adele Nolfi-Pine (Teacher)
  • Brian O’Neil (Principal)
  • Scott Patrick (Teacher)
  • Lauren Rusinko (School Nurse)
  • Thom Swenson (Teacher)


What should students expect if they participate in the Student Assistance Program (SAP) at Hillcrest?


  • Students will be assigned to a mentor who will check-in with them weekly/ bi-weekly to monitor their social, emotional, behavioral and/ or academic progress
  • Mentors will work in collaboration with students, families, teachers and other school personnel to assist with the development and implementation of goals and/or interventions
  • Students will have the opportunity to participate in social activities
    • Activities will be held most Fridays during Activity Period from 2:22-2:50
    • Activities will be offered from October through May


For further information about the Student Assistance Program (SAP), please contact Hillcrest Intermediate School 724-861-3015, St. Vincent College Prevention Projects Coordinator 724-537-4590 and/or Westmoreland Case Management & Supports, Inc. 724-837-1808.


Bullying and harassment are not tolerated at Hillcrest. Students please make sure to inform an adult if you or someone you know is being bullied. Listed below are a few tips from

Students, you can help stop the bullying. Next time you see someone being bullied, try one (or more) of these ideas:
  • If it is safe, speak up. Say something like, “Stop it!”
  • Tell an adult. Kids who are being bullied are sometimes scared to tell an adult. That is where you come in--tell an adult who you trust, like a teacher, nurse, counselor, principal, or someone at home. You can tell them in person or leave them a note.
  • Be a friend to the person who is being bullied. You can still help the kid who is being bullied:
    • Talk with them.
    • Sit with them at lunch.
    • Play with them at recess.
  • Set a good example. Do not bully others.
What to Do If You Are Being Bullied

The first priority is always your safety. Here are some strategies for you to consider:
  • Tell them to stop.
  • Walk away. Do not let them get to you. If you walk away or ignore them, they will not get that satisfaction.
  • Protect yourself. Sometimes you cannot walk away. If you are being physically hurt, protect yourself so that you can get away.
  • Tell an adult you trust. Talking to someone could help you figure out the best ways to deal with the problem. In some cases, adults need to get involved for the bullying to stop.
  • Find a safe place. Go somewhere that you feel safe and secure like the library, a favorite teacher’s classroom, or the office.
  • Stick together. Stay with a group or individuals that you trust.
  • Find opportunities to make new friends. Explore your interests and join school or community activities such as sports, drama, or art. Volunteer or participate in community service.
Individual and Small Group Counseling-

The Hillcrest counselors meet with students throughout the school year. At various times during the school year, the counselors also run small groups. This year the counselors will have groups which focus on building social skills and improving study habits. If you would like your child to speak with a counselor or would like more information on small groups please contact Mrs. Dowling or Mr. Conrad.

Additional Resources- provides families and students with information on health and educational topics.

·Westmoreland Warm Line (724)689-1003- A non-emergency, toll-free support telephone line for consumers and family members. It is staffed by consumers who provide callers with respectful, supportive conversation. The staff is trained to provide callers with community resource information and assist callers with problem solving and self advocacy strategies to facilitate recovery.