PREVENTION AND EDUCATION

 
     
  The intent of the District efforts in the following areas is to provide students with the necessary information and support to make sound decisions regarding personal development. Among the most important elements for facilitating self-esteem in students is the quality of school involvement and family dynamics. Therefore, the most effective prevention efforts that small schools have at their disposal are positive daily contacts between student and teacher, a high level of involvement in school activities, and cooperative understanding between the school and the home.  
     
 

 
     
 

Objective 1 : Substance abuse education and prevention programs will be implemented in each school.

"Here's Looking At You 2000" (HLAY) is the basis for the drug and alcohol abuse education and prevention efforts in the District. The LKSD Board has adopted the HLAY curriculum for implementation in all schools. The School Social Workers are able to provide additional information and support, and make referrals to other programs or agencies which can contribute to this objective.

Objective 2 : Child sexual abuse prevention information and education will be available to each school.

Child sexual abuse information may be made available to students at each site with the approval of the ASB and the Site Administrator. (Specific information about child sexual abuse may be made available to school staff as needed and requested).

The School Social Workers have pertinent materials about child sexual abuse which can be presented on site to both students and staff. The School Social Workers may also assist in making arrangements for presentations by other agencies.

Objective 2a : Information about reporting suspected child abuse shall be made available to all school staff.

A distinction should be made between the prevention and of reporting of child abuse. The reporting procedures for suspected abuse cases are strictly an administrative procedure and are to be handled according to LKSD Policy 9.60.01 and Regulation 9.60.01-Ra, and in compliance with State Law.

Child abuse may be physical, sexual, mental, and/or emotional. A child may also be abused through neglect of vital life needs such as food and shelter. The Site Administrator and the School Social Worker are responsible for identifying site-specific needs and developing plans to address those needs.

Objective 3: Violence Prevention Programs/Strategies are to be made available to school sites.

Violence is influenced by normative value, which are perceptions about other people's attitudes and behavior. Norms become especially powerful during early adolescence, when the desire to be accepted by peers is at its peak. Preventing violence requires changing norms. The second critical element of violence prevention is personal and social skills training. The goal is to help students develop skills, attitudes and values that will help them avoid destructive influences. Research has shown that effective violence prevention strategies can promote good discipline and create a productive learning environment.

The programs that the school district has adopted for violence prevention include Second Step, Get Real About Violence and The Great Body Shop. Second Step is a basic skills curriculum for prevention education. It targets skill deficits which put children at risk not only for violence, but also for substance abuse, suicide, and dropping out of school. The curriculum has been adopted for grades K-9 throughout the school district. School Social Workers have received training for the curriculum and will be able assist classroom teachers in teaching the curriculum.

Get Real About Violence has been adopted by the Bethel High School and the school social worker there is part of the team to implement the program.

The Great Body is K-6 comprehensive School Health curriculum adopted by the school district. Each lesson in every unit of the curriculum contains a Substance Abuse/Violence Prevention Portfolio Activity. School Social Workers are also trained in the assisting classroom teachers in teaching the curriculum.

Objective 4 : Natural Helpers groups will be established and maintained at selected sites.

School Social Workers will be available to assist in establishing and maintaining peer counseling groups in any village which demonstrates an interest. These Natural Helper groups are a potentially effective means of first-level intervention for troubled students. The training provided to peer-identified Natural Helpers emphasizes the development of positive coping skills, self-esteem, and peer counseling techniques. Experience has shown that the success of a Natural Helpers program is relative to the degree of involvement by the students and the consistent leadership provided by on-site staff.

Objective 5: School staff will be trained in identifying symptoms of social /emotional problems of students, possible prevention strategies, and procedures to address each problem area.

The following areas have been identified as circumstances which place students at risk and, therefore, in which teachers could be expected to have basic knowledge:

ssssssssssa. Depression and Suicidal Behavior

ssssssssssb. Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency

ssssssssssc. Child Sexual Abuse

ssssssssssd. Child Abuse and Neglect

sssssssssse. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects

ssssssssssf. Environmental Stress

ssssssssssg. Death, Dying and the Grief Process

Site Administrators and School Social Workers will work together to schedule time for the Social Worker to provide In-Servicing for the school's staff.

 
     
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Social Work Department
Patty McMillin, LMSW, Lead Social Worker
Box 305, Bethel, Alaska 99559
(907)543-4874 FAX-543-4925
 
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