North Putnam schools were recently notified that they qualified to participate in a special drug education program called SPICE that comes from the Indiana Department of Education and the Indiana Prevention Resource Center at Indiana University.
"We have always done a good job with what we had with drug education. But, with all the grants out there we wanted to do something with more research involved," said Kevin Emsweller, Assist. Superintendent.
"We started looking in Feb. 2007. We found a research based program that we really liked. In Spring 2007 we did a needs assessment and then found five or six programs that matched our needs," continued Emsweller.
This fall the schools received materials for the programs they chose. The elementary schools and high school will participate in the Positive Action program and the middle school will work with the All Stars program.
During North Putnam Community School Boards monthly meeting Thursday night, the school counselors appeared before the board to explain their plan for the new drug program.
Emsweller stressed that because they didn't know they were approved for the program until the materials showed up at the schools they were not able to plan ahead.
"The plan is to slowly build the program since the staff didn't have time to plan for adding the new program. We will ease into it," commented Emsweller.
The Positive Action program covers all the grades from kindergarten to fifth grade explained Dan McMurtry, Roachdale Elementary counselor.
"It ties into what we are already doing," he said.
Kristy McClamroch, Bainbridge Elementary counselor told the board that some of the teachers would be teaching some of the lessons from the program.
"We didn't know we were going to get this program until it showed up, but it brought the whole school together for the program," she said.
"This program creates a climate of positive thoughts with feelings and actions," she added.
The Middle School is implementing the All Star program is Betsy Fouts and Andy Cottingham. This program is geared toward dealing with alcohol, drugs, delinquency, fighting and preventive sex.
"It's very age appropriate and data driven," said Fouts.
The High School program will focus on self awareness, character building and goal setting.
"We are just starting this so don't expect to see too much too soon. We're going to build the program now that we now we were accepted," added Emsweller.
"As kids move through the program they won't hear the same things over and over. They will get different subjects as they go through it. Both are excellent programs and research based. Our counselors and staff worked really hard for this program and I look forward to some great results," commented Superintendent Murray Pride.