School-Wide Prevention Strategies
Holistic drug prevention efforts that enhance school climate and culture, promote trauma-informed environments, student-adult relationships, student-centered learning, and student voice not only reduce on-campus drug use and behavioral challenges but ultimately, prepare students for success in life.
Positive School Climate
In the research on school effectiveness and success, “school culture” has been found to be the most important factor in a school’s ability to facilitate student achievement (Purkey and Smith, 1983). Even more so than school personal and resources, a positive school climate has been associated with higher academic achievement and healthy behavioral outcomes for students (Voight, A. 2013).
Reduces the likelihood that students will use substances at school by implementing strength-building programs and activities (i.e., social problem solving; coping skills) like those outlined in the following What Works Briefs: Caring Relationships & High Expectations (#1); Opportunities for Meaningful Participation (#2); and School Connectedness (#4).
Youth Voice & Agency
When students lead meetings with their parents and teachers, they gain a voice in their education and develop skills like goal-setting and metacognition.
Student-centered learning can increase student accountability in the creation of successful and engaging classrooms. Teachers encourage student-centered learning by allowing students to share in decisions, believing in their capacity to lead, and remembering how it feels to learn
Trauma and Resilience
Strategies to help educators use trauma-informed teaching practices in distance learning contexts. The strategies are organized using neuroscientist Bruce Perry’s “3 Rs” approach to intervention: Regulate, Relate, and Reason.
Offers five important actions teachers can take to design trauma-sensitive learning environments.
Adult-student relationships in schools are a powerful predictor of a host of important youth development outcomes, including students’ satisfaction with, and connection to, school; academic performance; quality of peer relationships; and experience of personal well–being. Research shows that students who feel safe and supported by adults at school are better able to learn
Foster student strengths and opportunities for success
Strengths-based practices are based in the belief that all children have strengths and past successes that can be utilized to stop troublesome behavior. Strengths-based practices offer practical methods that identify and marshal these strengths for necessary behavior change.
Every behavior sends a message. Adults who understand negative behaviors through a strengths-based can identify the protective mechanism it offers to a student struggling with a negative self-concept. Adults can support students to believe in themselves and feel hopeful about their futures by reframing negative behaviors, praising the good, introducing strengths-assessments, and career matching in classroom activities.
Create and/or modify tasks and activities to maximize success opportunities to help youth enhance self-esteem.
A video where Charlie, a pioneer in the strengths-based youth development field, demonstrates using Strengths-Based approaches in the classroom to address less than socially acceptable behaviors and get students with behavioral challenges back on track.
Making Connections by Greeting at the Door: In a study published last year, greeting students at the door helped teachers set a positive tone for the rest of the day, boosting academic engagement by 20 percentage points while reducing disruptive behavior by 9 percentage points—adding roughly an hour of engagement over the course of the school day
Microaggressions in the Classroom