November 2, 2016

Dear Parent or Guardian:

The Wellesley school community is committed to helping students make good choices and live healthy
lives so they are at their best for learning. As you may be aware, the Massachusetts Legislature recently
passed House bill No. 4056. One part of this bill mandates screenings for substance abuse in the public
schools. The focus of this screening is prevention and education, and the screening does not generate or
result in disciplinary action.

The screening will take place at WHS for the 9 th grade students starting November 14. The screening
will occur during freshman guidance seminars. The validated screening tool called SBIRT (screening,
brief intervention and referral to treatment) will be used for the screenings. This tool gives opportunities
for substance use-related risks and problems to be identified and addressed at an early stage. During the
screening, healthy choices will be reinforced with students and they will receive educational material
and a resource list. Students who report using substances or have risk for future substance use will be
provided with feedback. If needed, students will be referred to our guidance department for further

SBIRT is interview-based and will be brief (approximately 5 minutes.) The screenings will take place in
one-on- one sessions and the results will be confidential. Results of the screening will not be included in
your student’s school record or lead to any school or athletic consequences. The following staff have
been trained to perform the screenings: nurses, fitness staff, guidance staff along with the HRS outreach

As with any school screening, you have the right to opt your student out of this screening. Please
contact Shari Johnson, school nurse at the high school via email ( johnsons) if you
wish to exclude your student from participating in this screening by November 7, 2016.


Jamie Chisum, Principal

SBIRT Screening for Freshmen – Please Read
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