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). 

    School Connectedness

    • 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). 





     Teacher-Student Connectedness

    Youth Voice & Agency  







     Student-Centered Learning

    •  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. 


    Developing Agency With Student-Led Conferences

    • When students lead meetings with their parents and teachers, they gain a voice in their education and develop skills like goal-setting and metacognition.

    Trauma and Resilience 


    Transitioning to trauma-informed practices

    • A trauma-informed approach to teaching ensures that students feel safe, supported, and nurtured—to improve their chances of academic success. 


    Strategies for Trauma-Informed Distance Learning

    • 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.


    Creating Trauma-Informed Learning Environments

    • Offers five important actions teachers can take to design trauma-sensitive learning environments.

    Positive Relationships 







    The power of relationships in school

    • 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 on 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. reframe


     Building Rapport


    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

     Social Justice

    Microaggressions in the Classroom