Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Metro West/EDC Adolescent Health Survey - Part 1

At the School Committee meeting on November 27, 2007, Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education presented the results for the Metro West/EDC Adolescent Health Survey.

The survey results are important to understand. This is where a good deal of focus on the education of our children should be. The issues raised by this survey can put an appropriate context around budget discussions.

The presentation was rather lengthy so I have split it up into three posts.

  1. The first (this one) has the intro and my own notes taken during the presentation.
  2. The second will have the audio file for the presentation itself.
  3. The third will have the audio file for the question and answer discussion following the presentation.
The School Department web site has links for the executive summary for the Middle School results (PDF) and the High School results (PDF). Both these links are working.

The link to the presentation itself can be found here.

My notes taken during the presentation on 11/27/07

Lifetime – tried it at least once in their lifetime

Trend in survey showing decline in reported usage of alcohol amongst middle school students
Alcohol most prevalent amongst high school, no difference between male/female,
10% admitted it interfered with their school work
48% high school admitted drinking within the last 30 days
This trend line was actually increasing over the study periods

Tobacco use, males more than females – middle school
Significant reduction in those admitting trying smoking (both MS and HS)
High school – 10% identified as daily smokers

Marijuana is a concern, there shows a reduction in MS
Steroids have dropped

HS – marijuana nearly as prevalent as tobacco for students as trying it
Students using marijuana using within 30 days, exceeds the smoker numbers

Biggest issue at HS bullying and fighting
Decrease from MS to HS, although increases from 2004, 2006 at HS
Electronic bullying increasing

Stress levels double from 9th to 12th grade, (i.e. college process)

Community involvement recommended to address these issues
15 components to be convened in the community involvement effort

Must celebrate trends going in the right direction
But we’re still taking about 10-20% of the population participating in risky behavior

Comparative analysis since 1999
How to provide the info to the parents, summary, call to action in some attractive but none-turning away manner

Introduction of Open Circle at kindergarten level helps
Middle school intervention programs
9th grade collaborative at the HS
Peer mentoring, peer leaders going through training now

Discussion on 1999, data, first year results seem not to be real
Chief Williams coming back to put this in perspective within the Town context

Avoid one shot assembly approach, programs work well when connected to curriculum
Have not looked at correlation with economy

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