School District 197 has long taken a proactive stance in addressing the educational needs of our students in regard to healthy choices and avoiding chemical abuse. In September 2003, LIFESKILLS was implemented in the 5th and 6th grade curriculum. LIFESKILLS TRAINING (LST) is the highest rated, recommended and researched school-based substance abuse prevention program offered today. It is uniquely designed, proven effective, and grounded in over 20 years of research. Rather than simply teaching information about drugs, LST combats the underlying causes of substance use.
Other prevention activities include:
- Parent educational and a support-based speaker series offered at both middle schools and the high school
- Staff development training on signs and symptoms of chemical abuse
- Comprehensive behavioral data gathering and analysis when a student is believed to be under the influence
- School-based SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapters exist at both middle schools and the high school
- Educational briefs and newsletters sent to district parents/guardians
- Individual, family, and group meetings that deal with personal, family, or friend chemical use issues
Even with the best prevention programming in place there are students who take the road into experimentation, abuse, and/or dependency of illicit chemicals. School years are the time when the physical, psychological, and addictive effects of drugs are the most severe not only for the user but for those around them.
In an effort to combat the use or distribution of illegal chemicals at school, the administration of Henry Sibley High School along with the chemical health coordinator, chemical health advisory board, and school liaison officer have implemented canine searches of school lockers.