Clean Living Policy

approved by HSLG 11.3.15, last revised 11.17.15

Click here for a printable copy of this policy.

Our values for a healthy, substance­-free culture

  1. Our mission as a Waldorf school. Our school’s mission reads as follows: “SMWS cultivates each student’s capacity for lively independent thinking, artistically imbued feeling, and moral courage for responsible action.” Drug and alcohol use is incompatible with this mission.
  2. A safe environment. While we do recognize that alcohol and drug use is not uncommon in today’s society, we strive to rise above this challenge and offer a safe and healthy environment for our students to develop into healthy young adults.
  3. A healthy culture. We seek to develop a healthy social culture and want our students to take pride in being part of a school where students are drug­ and alcohol-­free, on and off campus, year­-round.
  4. Being socially inclusive, rather than divisive. When drug and alcohol use becomes acceptable among the students of a school, it can become divisive. We seek to eliminate this divisiveness with a drug­ and alcohol­free student body.
  5. Making choices. Most students choose to come to our school specifically because they seek a healthy, substance­free student community. We want to foster and support those healthy choices in our student body.
  6. Healthy students. We value the health of every student. The CARE Team will work with the community to support our clean living values.

CARE Team Definition, Function and Position

The CARE Team is a three­-member, non­-disciplinary group concerned with the use of alcohol and other drugs at Shining Mountain Waldorf School. The goal is to express concern for student health and to offer resources that help students reflect on their potential use of alcohol and other drugs before any health, disciplinary or relationship issues arise.

The CARE Team’s Relationship to Disciplinary and Counseling groups at SMWS:

  • The function of the CARE Team is neither to counsel, diagnose nor discipline students. The focus of the CARE Team is student health.
  • The CARE TEAM is an independent initiative at SMWS that provides an additional avenue for students who are concerned for friends’ and peers’ alcohol or other drug use in relation to physical or emotional health. The team members are a focal point for concerns; they are not trained to resolve identified concerns.


Any concerns/referrals directed to the CARE Team by a member of the community are confidential. Only the CARE Team and the school counselor will have access to information about the referral. The team has been trained extensively in the importance of confidentiality and student/CARE Team interaction. The team understands that its functioning would be compromised significantly by even one breach of confidentiality.

How the CARE Team works:

  1. The CARE Team receives information from someone in the community who is concerned about another’s alcohol or other drug use.
  2. The referral source is kept in strict confidentiality by the CARE Team.
  3. The referral/concern is not judged for truth or validity.
  4. A conversation between the CARE Team and the student of concern will be scheduled.
  5. If at any time during the discussion with the team a student discloses using drugs or alcohol or expresses concern about their own use, the student will be referred to the school counselor. The counselor will work with the student and the CARE Team to develop a plan to help the student, which might include contacting parents. This remains confidential and non-­disciplinary as long as any use did not occur on school grounds or at school-­related events. Any disclosure of use of drugs or alcohol on school grounds or at school­-sponsored events will result in a referral to HSLG.

CARE Team System of Conversations ­ Grades 9­-12

Level One Conversation: The team members receive referrals/concerns about a student’s health and well­-being that may include possible substance abuse:

  • Two team members have a conversation with the student
  • Concerns are shared; resources for support are discussed and encouraged
  • Next step is explained

Level Two Conversation: The team receives additional referrals/concerns:

  • Team members hold conversation with student and his or her parent/guardian and possibly the school counselor
  • Concerns are shared; resources for support are discussed and encouraged
  • Professional evaluation may be recommended
  • Next step is explained

Level Three Conversation: Concern about substance use persists:

  • Team members have additional conversation with student and his or her parent/guardian
  • HSLG will be informed of the health issue
  • Professional evaluation required (minimum of 3 sessions in 2 months)
  • Assessments generated from the evaluations are shared with the school (HSLG) and followed
  • Discussion to determine if a health leave­-of-­absence might best benefit the student.

The Separate Parallel Paths of the CARE Team and Discipline System at SMWS

Discipline System: In conjunction with this private and non­-disciplinary health system, SMWS will continue its traditional disciplinary role in responding to students who use alcohol or other drugs at school or at school­-sponsored events.

The CARE Team System: The CARE Team operates as a parallel system that is independent of the administration and the disciplinary system. The CARE Team does not accept disciplinary referrals.

Substance-­free campus:  The school campus is a drug­, alcohol­, nicotine­, and tobacco­-free environment. The promotion, possession, use, or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs by any SMWS student is strictly prohibited. This policy applies to our students at all school­-sponsored events including those occurring outside of the regular school day, on or off campus.

Any violation will result in immediate suspension, possible expulsion, and/or non­-renewal of enrollment contract.

Students who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be removed from class or an activity and their parents will be called to pick them up. A meeting with the students and parents will be held on the next business day.

Parental Support

We believe the primary responsibility for teaching and modeling health choices for our students lies with the family. It is essential that open communication take place on the issues related to substance use/abuse. It is our expectation that the parents will support this policy