Community Post

Get Involved: Drug-free Schools in the CD

If you’ve got school-age kids or a civic interest in reducing the impact of drugs among our neighborhood kids, here’s a chance to become more involved. The school district has recently received a large 5-year “Drug Free Communities” grant to attack drug use among kids in the Central District, and they’re looking for parents and neighbors to get involved and help in the effort.

They’ll be focusing on 5 key schools: Garfield, Nova/Meany, Washington Middle School, and Madrona K-8. The goals of the program are to:

  • Work with students, staff, and parents to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and hard drug use
  • Make sure that drug and liquor policies around the neighborhood are properly enforced
  • Work on neighborhood environmental design such as lighting to discourage drug dealing and generally increase safety

The program will be run by Randy Beaulieu from Seattle Schools, and the board is chaired by SNG’s Sita Das, who you may know as the organizer of the monthly EPCPC meetings.

They’re trying to get everything organized by the end of this month. To find out more and see how you can help out, contact Randy at [email protected].

0 thoughts on “Get Involved: Drug-free Schools in the CD

  1. You know what might help keep kids on the “right” path?? Keeping their schools in tact and open. Not abandoning multiple properties in their neighborhoods. Meany is no more, maybe they mean SBOC?

    Sorry, I’m having a rough day. Still working through all the school closure “capacity management” stuff. Did you see today’s Madison Park Times?? >>>>
    In its article on the end of Meany Middle School, it portrays NOVA as a school for “at-risk students… who had been failing in the conventional classroom setting…” Nova is an alternative school focused on environmental and social justice and the arts. It is a “high performing” school, ranked by WA OSPI as one of the top 10 alt schools in the state, and posts the highest SAT scores in the district. It’s a shame that the district did not support it, and is moving to compromise it and other alternative programs.

    Anyway, looks like we’ll have 2 days to pack our building, won’t have access to Meany until September and the district will move curriculum materials only (books). So- art, furniture, greenhouse, and other assorted Nova materials will need to be out of the building immediately following the end of the year- and stored elsewhere for the summer. Add to that the near daily encounters with people asking, “isn’t NOVA closing?”.

    Watching the community work together in spite of such odds is inspiring. If not painful for the lost potential.

    Meanwhile, Garfield is up for another 1.5 million for construction fixes? But there was no way to find $500,000 for windows at Mann and we’re not sure Meany will have HS science labs for Nova and SBOC.

    Not that I don’t support efforts to reduce drug use– just discouraged by the district. It’d be easier to fight social harms if a school and its students felt secure in their home.

  2. Nora, I’m very saddened the school district is choosing to move NOVA out of its current environment. The building reflects some of those values the program is focused on. I do hope NOVA will be successful bringing its attitude to the new location and will have an impact on others around you. I know you are growing innovative, involved students at NOVA who can find ways to turn the challenges of the move into opportunities. I’m sure it’s hard not to feel bitter. Maybe it will help to know there are those of us out here who are hoping for the best for NOVA.

  3. It was reported yesterday that three students at T.T. Minor found a hypodermic needle on the playground during and used it on themselves. An ambulance was called to assist in cleaning/sanitizing the kids. Can anyone verify that this actually happened? I’m glad T.T. Minor is closing, the teachers do more yelling than teaching.

  4. I haven’t heard this, but unfortunately it could happen. Has happened at public and private schools in urban and suburban areas.

    I’m with you on concerns over yelling at and otherwise being disrespectful of students. The thing is, nothing about closing the building assures better teacher-student relationships or academic outcomes. It does create instability, mistrust, frustration… all while leaving a big old empty building in a neighborhood that has an increasing need for elementary school seats.

  5. Nora, After reading your post I went and read the Madison Park Times article. I was truly frustrated by their description of Nova. So I submitted the following in their comments section. I believe folks need to know what Nova is about. There are too many folks who have the incorrect perception that Nova is full of troubled kids who use drugs and skip school.
    My comment to MPT follows:
    “It is disappointing that you incorrectly reported that “Nova is a school for at-risk students who are failing in conventional classroom settings”. Nova is an alternative school focused on environmental and social justice and the arts. It is a “high performing” school, ranked by WA OSPI as one of the top 10 alt schools in the state, and posts the highest SAT scores in the district. [We consistently have some of the highest SAT and WASL scores in the district.] As the Career Specialist at Nova High school I can tell you that our students achieve in a variety of ways both in and out of the classroom. Nova is a wonderful school that takes an alternative approach to education, reaching students who thrive in alternative settings, need challenges that traditional schools cannot offer and have often been failed by traditional classrooms. Nova is a safe haven for many of the district’s gay and lesbian students who have been bullied and tormented at the traditional schools who have found a home and community at Nova. It is disheartening to have a local paper misrepresent our school in this manner.”

  6. Thanks, Liz, for all your work at NOVA and in the larger community. I commented to MPT as well, nothing has shown on the website yet.
    So glad the the CD News and its readers are more responsive!