SW board discusses drug testing

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Southwest R-V School Board discussed drug testing options at its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 8.

Vicki Enyart, Southwest High School principal, distributed tentative substance abuse counseling resource guides and information on TestMyTeen.com.

The resource guide, which gives counseling ideas, is based on the consequences of a positive random drug test. The guide will be reviewed by the drug testing policy committee this month.

TestMyTeen.com allows parents to test their own children, said Enyart. Only the parent will receive the results of the home test. The testing kits cost twice as much as the random drug testing program will cost the district.

"If students go home to parents that are active in their lives, the program would be good," said Enyart.

The district's proposed random drug testing policy has been sent to school attorney Ransom Ellis III for review.

Richard Asbill, superintendent, Judy Randall, elementary principal, and Ben Abramovitz, middle school principal, have met with the school librarian Pam Hutson to review the American Girl series.

Through their research, the faculty members found additional video clips regarding American Girl's relationship with Girls' Inc.

Although the video clips discuss the issues that board member Judy Friend brought up during the November meeting, the American Girls series chooses a different charity organization to donate to each year.

"It is a one-year relationship that ends in December," said Asbill. "We are still providing the parents with the option that they can decide what their child does and does not read, but we don't have any reason to say the book series is not appropriate. We can't do anything about their corporate relationship."

"People just have to use their own judgment and understand what they are faced with," said Friend.

Friend thanked Asbill for conducting the review.

Ted Dorton, Southwest Area Career Center director, presented the board with information about Southwest students who are attending the center this year.

"All the students from Southwest are great students," said Dorton. "They are role models for our program and your school. A great administration team asks for outstanding students."

The Career Center offers area students vocational classes, guidance counselors, job placement opportunities and at-risk programs, said Dorton.

"Our at-risk programs are not based on seat time," said Dorton. "They are based on competency levels."

At-risk students can attend the Delta program for 20 to 30 minutes each morning to complete necessary credits for graduation.

The Career Center also offers vocational student organizations, certification opportunities, dual credit classes and college credit courses.

"In Crane, students are leaving high school with 12 hours of college credit," said Dorton. "When they finish the first semester of college, they are nearing their sophomore year."

The Career Center had a 100 percent placement rate for Southwest students last year. Around 67 percent of those students were placed in a field related to their course of vocational study.

"The bottom line is that Southwest students are doing a great job in the Career Center," said Dorton.

In other business, the Southwest R-V School Board:

Approved the early graduation of Steven Corbett and Curtis Tuttle contingent on the successful completion of their current courses and military exams.

Received board policy updates.

Heard curriculum improvement updates.

After a one-hour executive session, the meeting was adjourned at 9:22 p.m.

The next Southwest R-V School Board meeting will be held on Jan. 12, 2006.

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