GMHS Screening, Brief, Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
We will be continuing our implementation of an evidence-based screening at Georgetown Middle-High School during the 2019-20 school year. The screening, required by MA Law (chapter 52, Acts of 2016), An Act Relative to Substance Use, Treatment, Education and Prevention is known as SBIRT, an acronym for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment. It is a public health model aimed at preventing the use of alcohol, marijuana and/or other substances. Our primary goal is to let students know that their school nurse and counseling staff are available daily to reinforce healthy decision-making behaviors and to assist them in obtaining additional support for any substance use or related issue if needed.
The verbal screening process will be part of the annual state-mandated screenings that are performed each school year. The school counselors will be conducting the screening on all 7th-grade students during one of their PE and Health classes. The screenings will be taking place on January 23rd, 24th, and 27th. The screenings will be conducted in a confidential, one-on-one session with each student. We will be utilizing a substance and behavioral health screening tool called the CRAFFT. The tool is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and widely used with adolescents in Massachusetts. It is a short, effective, screening tool meant to assess whether a longer conversation about the context of use, frequency, and other risks and consequences of alcohol and drug use is warranted.
This program focuses on harm prevention and does not generate any disciplinary action. The results of the screening are not included in the student’s school file or school health record. As with any school screening, parents have the right to opt their child out of this screening. We request that you send a written note to the guidance office no later than January 21st to opt-out. Additionally, screening is voluntary and students may choose not to answer any or all of the screening questions.
We encourage you to talk with your child about substance use/abuse. For helpful resources on how to begin these conversations, go to the District Health Services website under SBIRT or visit the SBIRT website at http://www.masbirt.org for more information. If you have questions, please contact Julia Robinson in the guidance office at 978-352-5790 x3137 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We believe that together, schools and families can make a positive impact in the lives of our youth in Georgetown.