QUEEN ANNE'S GOES PURPLE!!!!!!
STAND UP AGAINST SUBSTANCE ABUSE
Details coming soon!!
RAISE THE PRIORITY OF PREVENTION IN COUNTY SCHOOLS
Raising the priority of prevention in the county school is considered a broader system change. There are several specific prevention-related objectives in the grant including:
• Increasing the numbers of teachers trained to teach evidence-based curriculums
• Increasing commitment of school principals to prevention education
• Increasing awareness of school staff’s role in prevention
• Strengthening ties between community and school-centered prevention
• Increasing numbers of faculty who understand prevention/achievement link• Increasing the number of community members committed to supporting school-based preventionAchieving the majority of these objectives hinges on two critical areas: building an understanding of the substance abuse-academic success relationship within the school community (administration, faculty, staff, and parents) and helping each member of the school community recognize and perform their role in substance use prevention.
Efforts to address these areas will be accomplished by both the School Based Prevention Coordinators (SBPCs) and the Senior Advisory Committee.
SCHOOL-BASED PREVENTION COORDINATORSThe grant includes the hiring of three SBPCs, with each SBPC being responsible for two schools, either two middle or two high schools. Part of the job description of the SBPCs is to conduct annual data collection on academic success measures such as student achievement, absences, behavioral problems, standardized tests, suspensions, and dropout rates at each of their schools. The published literature supports the link between substance abuse and student performance in school.
SBPCs will take the data from their schools and create presentations, reports, and articles and other communication tools to share school-specific academic and substance use information with all stakeholders. SBPCs will then guide the school community in ways they can work to reduce substance use and improve school success. This process of data informing school community understanding and action is an integral part of the SBPC role and is crucial to raising the priority of prevention in the schools.
STRENGTHENING SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY LINKSQueen Anne’s County is fortunate in that it already has a community highly mobilized to reduce youth substance use and abuse. The work of the Alliance to Reduce Drug Abuse will be greatly enhanced by the work currently being done by the Drug Free Queen Anne’s Coalition (DFQAC) and that of the school system. The coalition has established a broad network of community, public health, school system, public safety, justice system, media and spiritual leaders who are working on this issue. They have seeded the broader county environment with an understanding of the pressures our county youth face, and the need to move them away from drugs and alcohol.
Yet the importance of collaborating with the school and community goes beyond the three-year goals of the grant to include the issue of sustainability. Working with existing efforts and resources within the county, and building new support networks within each school are integral parts of creating a public support for this effort. That support will be essential to getting parents and other members of the community to ask for the continuation of the program in their school after 2011.