Parents need to look closely at what information the school will be gathering on your children. A good question to always ask is, where is the DATA that proves the programs being used in the school has had significant success in reducing alcohol/drugs use on the student population?
Surveys should be Opt-IN vs Opt-out. How much time does this take away from instruction time in the core subjects?
The Portsmouth School District is implementing two new programs at the middle and high school called Project Alert and Project Success. These new initiatives are funded by a Federal Grant distributed by the NH Department of Health and Human Services. The goals of the programs are to prevent and reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use and to improve school performance. To accomplish these goals, students will have the opportunity to participate in additional school wide awareness programs, expanded class curricula, extracurricular activities, small groups and individual meetings to correct erroneous perceptions about substance use and learn skills to identify and resist social and situational pressures to use substances. Parent meetings, workshops and collaborative family “homework” assignments will also be available to assist you in prevention efforts.
In order to assess the effectiveness of these initiatives, and to comply with the Grant requirements, we will be asking students to participate in a survey that will measure changes in attitudes and behaviors that decrease the risk of substance misuse and abuse. Student’s participation in the survey is voluntary. Your child does not have to participate and you do not have to provide a reason. Students can answer as many questions as they wish and do not have to answer any questions they do not want to answer. The survey was given November 12, 2013 and will be given again on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 during the course of an extended homeroom period. The survey is confidential. Your child’s and the school’s privacy are protected. No names are on the survey. No one at the school will ever see the survey. The survey will be used by our school district and the NH Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. A copy of the survey is available at your child’s school for your review.
Contact your Middle School Principal, John M. Stokel, at 436-5781 or
firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 27, 2014 if you DO want your child to participate in this activity.
If you have any questions about this new programming or the survey, please contact your child’s principal. We are hopeful that working together we can support healthy decision making and prevent substance abuse.
Laura Burbine, MEd
Portsmouth School District
John M. Stokel, Principal
Portsmouth Middle School
155 Parrott Ave.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Tel. (603) 436-5781