The ANWSU Wellness/Prevention Initiatives
•SPA (Student Prevention Association) •Assets •VKAT (VT Kids Against Tobacco)
ANWSU Nutrition/Wellness Committee
Youth Leadership Groups
the last 12 years, we have achieved significant success through the efforts of
MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMMING
ARE WE MAKING A DIFFERENCE? Due to the new structure of the 2011 YRBS we are unable to follow trends as in the past. Until this time, the early onset indicator was age 13. This has been lowered to age 11. This alone, is indicative of adolescents taking greater risks at a younger age. One strong indicator of future addiction problems is early onset. Early onset means youth who report consuming alcohol, more than just a few sips, prior to the age of 11. The chart below looks at our seventh and eighth graders compared to all seventh graders in the State.
Percent of students who had first drink other than a few sips before age 11.
Grade 8 was fewer < 5 therefore no data is available
Percent of students who ever had a drink of alcohol other than a few sips.
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey-ms survey
Vergennes Union Middle School students are dangerously exceeding the State percent of seventh graders using alcohol. Our SAP (Student Assistance Professional) is working with a team of high school students to look at trends and design priorities for the upcoming school year.
BINGE DRINKING ON THE DECLINE
We are not able to make true comparisons of data over time due to the new structure of the 2011 survey. With this in mind, it is important to not lose sight of risk areas that have been the focus of our community’s efforts. Binge drinking is declining.
Percent of grades 9-12 students who had five or more drinks of alcohol in a row, past 30 days.
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey-high school survey
Community-wide efforts seem to be reaching high school students. Far fewer students are participating in high risk drinking. In 2007 25% of high school students binged on alcohol over the past 30 days. 2011 shows a significant decline.
We know that tobacco use is on the decline nationwide. This is due to active counter advertising and school-based tobacco programming funded through Tobacco Settlement monies. We too have seen a significant drop in the number of youth reporting tobacco use in their life time.
Early initiation, used marijuana prior to the age of 13 is also declining. On the 2011 survey, there were no students reporting use before the age of 11. Middle School numbers of students who have ever used were too low to report. This is great news.
Students ever having tried marijuana 9th-12th grade students reporting, show relatively stable trends, with high risk groups along the way. Comparing our total use to the State we have moved from significantly lower to parallel. This is too high and an area which we need to continue to put our focus.
Percent of grades 9-12 students who have ever tried Marijuana.
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey-ms/high school survey
Bullying and being victimized by bullies have been increasingly recognized as health problems for children.
How did ANWSU Compare to the State of Vermont?
Electronic bullying is a real concern, especially among middle school students. It is the silent epidemic we hear about on the news, on talk shows throughout the year. E-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, sexting, web sites, and text messaging are the venue that our children use to communicate on a daily basis. Females were more likely than males to report being electronically bullied. The Student Council 9-12 at VUHS helped implement a new procedure banning cell phone use during school hours. This procedure was included in the 2011-2012 Vergennes Union High School Handbook. They have been banned in the middle school.
Percent of grades 7 & 8 students who were electronically bullied, such as through e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, web sites, or text messaging, in the last 12 months.
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey-ms survey
The 2009 YRBS indicated that 13% of 8th grade students reported being electronically bullied. In 2011 30% of 8th grade students reported the same. This is a 17% increase which is significant and needs to be addressed.
Percent of grades 9-12 students who were electronically bullied, last 30 days.
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey
As students move along in high school, incidences of electronic bullying decrease significantly. Females are at a higher risk of becoming offenders. 22% percent of grade 9-12 bullies were female compared to 7% of males
Overtime efforts have been increased to limit the amount of time students have to wander during the school day. Several initiatives have been put into place over the years. Programs in place are having a positive effect on limiting alcohol and other drug access on school property. Some of these initiatives are as follows:
Responsive Classroom The Responsive Classroom is an approach to elementary teaching that emphasizes social, emotional, and academic growth in a strong and safe school community.
Building Effective Strategies for Teaching Students with Behavioral Challenges The BEST Project is designed to help
schools develop effective strategies to respond to challenging student
PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports), can best be described as a systems approach to academic achievement and social competence for all students.
RESOURCE RESPONSE CENTER (RRC) at the high school sends resources to the classroom to deal with behavior issues, using restorative justice protocols to build support for individuals who need it. As a result of this initiative, time-on-task continues to improve. RRC has become a state-of-the-art practice, one of the reasons the high school has been recognized as a PBiS “School of Distinction.
Complete copies of the 2011 YRBS can be found by visiting the VT Department of Health website http://www.healthvermont.gov/research/yrbs/2011/index.aspx you will be able to access reports by state, local, county as well as data briefs and a comparison of VT and the U.S.
State and federal grant funding continues to dissipate. Since 2003 we have had the luxury of a variety of funding to support health/wellness/ violence prevention activities within the supervisory union (New Directions, TIV SDFSC, School-based tobacco, VKAT). Today we struggle to keep programs moving forward with fewer funding sources. The School-based Tobacco Settlement grant along with local guidance budgets are the only revenues remaining.
Some activities that were funded over the past few years were as follows:
100+ parents have been trained over the past 7years. During the spring 2011 another successful series was held at the high school.
Boards must decide which important programs to fund. With the loss of state and federal funding, we have been forced to eliminate the Prevention Coordinator position which has been a part of our school community since 2003.
more information regarding any activities or to join a prevention group, please