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. The Massachusetts Legislature passed House bill No. 4056 that, in part, mandates screenings for substance abuse in the public schools. The focus of this screening is prevention and education and does not generate or result in disciplinary action.
The screening will take place at WHS for grade 10 students and will occur during Fitness and Health class. Half of the class will be screened during the first semester and the remaining half of the class will be screened during the second semester. 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 a risk for future substance use will be provided with feedback. If needed, students will be referred to our guidance department for further evaluation.
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 worker.
The following resources Substance Use, Vaping and Vaping PowerPoint are available for you to review and learn about the challenges facing our adolescent population. We encourage you to learn as much as you can and begin conversations with your children about substance use, teen drinking and vaping as we all work together to keep our adolescents safe, healthy and informed.
As with any school screening, you have the right to opt your student out of this screening. Please contact the school nurse, Shari Johnson, in writing, if you do not want your student screened at the high school at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wellesley High School Fitness and Health, Nursing and Guidance Staff