Shining Mountain’s faculty, administration and Board of Trustees is committed to providing a healthy social and physical atmosphere for all of our students. To support the mission of the school, which is based on helping our students become healthy, balanced human beings, our school created a Clean Living Task Force last year where we examined what we could do to help our students choose to refrain from illegal substance use, how to support a friend who might need some guidance, and learn how to be substance free in a society and culture that encourages such use. Additionally, we engaged an educator from Freedom from Chemical Dependency to host parent information evenings and work with the Middle and High School classes about unique issues they face in their social circles.
Moving forward, the students have nominated and voted on faculty members to join the Early Intervention Team at the high school level. The intention of the EIT is to provide an access point, without disciplinary consequences, for students and families to communicate with the school about substance use and concerns related to substances. The EIT members will have their first training at the end of October, and then we will share the processes with the high school students and parents.
The High School Leadership Group has also recently learned that parents desire more outlets and venues to communicate with each other about substance use among adolescents, especially because it can sometimes be a very controversial issue. In an effort to support our parent community and allow for facilitated discussion forums, we are looking at re-engaging parents in the Clean Living Parent Group. We will keep you updated as this program unfolds.
In order to provide the students at SMWS with the support, knowledge and confidence to make healthy choices, we believe it will take a hybrid approach―that includes parents, friends, faculty and administrators working together to support healthy living in our High School…and beyond.
by Leslie Hamdorf, EdD, SMWS High School Coordinator