Loveland City School District proactively combats alcohol and drug abuse
Be proactive – that was the goal of the Loveland City School District in combating alcohol and drugs abuse. At the April 19 Board of Education Business Meeting, Loveland High School (LHS) Assistant Principal Adam Wickline presented the comprehensive approach the district selected for data-driven decision-making for prevention efforts.
“This is an issue about the well-being of our student population – something that is of paramount importance to our Board of Education – and efforts to be proactive in our approach to prevention really began more than a year ago,” said Loveland Superintendent Chad Hilliker.
During the 2014-15 school year, the district formed a task force in partnership with the Loveland community to begin the research process that would ultimately culminate into the investment in a student survey to collect data on real student alcohol and drug use. Conducted by Prevention First, the PRIDE survey included a total of 633 seventh and eighth grade students and 1,146 ninth through twelfth grade students attending Loveland City Schools who took a questionnaire between September 2015 and November 2015.
“This was not a sampling of our student population – every student in school on the day the survey was administered completed the survey,” said Hilliker. “This is a truly in-depth look at what is really happening in our district.”
An analysis of the survey showed student use included: alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and prescription pills. Additionally it should be noted that Loveland’s student use in those four categories was within standard use seen regionally, with the exception of alcohol; alcohol use by Loveland students was 14 percent higher than the regional average.
“What this survey tells us is that when our students use something – alcohol is primarily what they are using,” said Wickline. “It is important to point out that the survey revealed that use is not happening at school, nor in cars.”
Wickline said the committee is already working on next steps to provide targeted education around the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. The strategic prevention framework being developed includes proven strategies for success; the committee is working on obtaining grants to fund the prevention projects.
“I sincerely want to thank every member of the committee for the time and effort they have put forth on this project,” said Hilliker. “This is a difficult subject, but one we wanted to address – it will make a difference for our students.”
Members of the drug and alcohol task force include: Judy Leamy, Deb Popp, Rachel Freeman-Hicks, Jamie Hamilton, Loveland Police Chief Sean Rahe, Dr. Jeff Kemmett, Jarrett Albin, Mike Books, Chad Hilliker, Danielle Trifonov, CeeCee Collins, Tarah Wagner, Mary Makley Wolff, Officer Fred Barnes, Jason Ratterman, Vicki Falconi, Valerie Sprouse, Shane Harden, Art Jarvis, Juliann Renner, Trisha Faingold, Amanda Conn Starner, Jayson Bruce, Mary Ellen Helms, Carrie Boyd, Mindy Kemmet, Brad Greenberg, Kevin Corbett, Emily Hageman, Torey Slagel, Owen Wilhoite, Mitch Robinson, JT Albin, Drew Docherty, Emily Hageman and Olivia Cox.
Photo caption: Loveland High School Assistant Principal Adam Wickline presents results of the PRIDE survey to the Loveland Board of Education at the April 19 Business Meeting.