The Drug, Alcohol, and Tobacco Education (DATE) Coordinator oversees the development and implementation of a comprehensive program designed to focus on prevention, intervention and counseling in the areas of drugs, alcohol, tobacco, violence and HIV/AIDS. The goal is to work with the community to promote a safe and drug-free environment for all school-age children in our community.

The purpose of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program is to:

Support programs that prevent violence in and around schools;
Prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs;
Involve parents; and
Coordinate with related federal, state and community efforts and resources to promote safe and drug-free schools and communities.
The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act was established to provide state and local education agencies with funding to develop and enhance educational programs of violence and drug prevention, early intervention, and rehabilitation referral in elementary and secondary schools. Private nonprofit schools are assured equitable participation in the purposes and benefits of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program.

The MBUSD curriculum includes social and bonding skills that teach life skills, such as the following:

Awareness of Self-esteem, Self-confidence and Competence
Respect for Others

The overall goal is to teach students life skills in order to help them make good choices and to develop the skills necessary to minimize the probability of drug involvement. DATE is more than drug education. The DATE program explores other areas including the following.

Violence/Anger Management
Stress Anxiety
Eating Disorders/Nutrition
Home-life and Parental Relationships
Personal Safety
Physical and Emotional Growth
Child Abuse

Teaching and Learning
Through our current high school drug, alcohol, and tobacco-use prevention program, curriculum is integrated into various subject areas. These subject areas include English, Adult Living, Economics, Biology, Health, Peer Support Programs and Physical Education. Class lessons focus on refusal skills, decision-making, choices and consequences, responsibility, health effects, and dangers. The ninth grade English curriculum includes a novel selected for themes that focus on the development of refusal skills, decision-making, choices, and consequences. Tenth grade students receive instruction in their biology classes that emphasizes the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. Adult Living and Health classes encourage eleventh grade students to develop better decision-making skills and take responsibility for these decisions through the Reconnecting Youth Program. Eleventh grade students are also taught the harmful effects of drugs, alcohol and tobacco-use in relation to pregnancy. In economics classes, twelfth grade students learn about the pervasive role media plays in pressuring consumer decision-making. These students also understand the costs to society of substance abuse.

In middle school, drug, alcohol tobacco-use prevention curriculum is integrated into science, math, and physical education. Currently, the ACES (Adolescent Coping Education Series) program is taught to all seventh-grade students. ACES deals with self-esteem, responsibility and assertiveness. In eighth grade science class,during the Chemistry unit, students focus on the effects of nicotine and tar on the body. During the Human Physiology unit, lessons include the short and long term effects of tobacco. Other themes are focused on in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades through the Life Skills Training curriculum taught by grade level counselors. This includes risk factors, peer pressure, communication skills, asset building, advocacy activities and positive/negative peer attitudes.

Our current drug, alcohol and tobacco-use prevention education for grades kindergarten through five utilizes the instructional program, Too Good For Drugs. Supplemental materials include Hearte Heart curriculum. In addition, Hooked on Health is taught K-5 and the PRIDE Curriculum (Prevention Resources: Information and Drug Education) is offered to all fourth grade classes. PRIDE explores problem solving, decision-making and effective communication skills. Teachers employ activities that increase confidence and awareness of others, and students learn how to develop inner strengths to assist them in making positive, healthy decisions regarding drugs and alcohol.

Desired outcomes for students:

To demonstrate the ability to describe the physical and behavioral effects of using drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
To demonstrate the ability to identify risk factors for young people who choose to use drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
To demonstrate the ability to identify healthy ways to have fun.
To develop skills for making better choices.
To acquire the ability to resist peer pressure.
To demonstrate positive personal strengths.
To know laws, rules, and policies regulating the sale and use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.
To learn resistance techniques.
To learn media influences on tobacco use.

Instructional programs and resources in drug, alcohol, and tobacco-use prevention education recognize cultural diversity and reflect strategies that engage all students in learning. Woven throughout the curriculum is a multicultural perspective promoting respect for the dignity and worth of all people regardless of their differences and building on the knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, cultural, and linguistic foundations that all students bring to class. This program accommodates the needs of LEP (Limited English Proficient) and Special Education students. Sheltered instruction and the use of technology enhance the opportunities for all students to have access to the curriculum. Performance-based assessment measures student progress and achievement.

Community and Parent / Family Involvement
The Manhattan Beach Unified School District is an active, participating member of the South Bay Coalition. The South Bay Coalition has more than 100 members including representatives from school districts, law enforcement agencies, religious organizations, community-based organizations, and parents. The South Bay Coalition provides a forum for information exchange and program assistance. Members of the South Bay Coalition review school programs to ensure that components match and address the needs of our community at large.

Our partnership with the Beach Cities Health District and the South Bay Youth Project involves representatives from all community groups and utilizes the Health District's experts in all areas associated with health. We also maintain a Health Curriculum Committee comprised of administrators, Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) and Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) Coordinator, physical education teachers, science teachers, parents, and counselors. Monthly meetings provide a forum for coordinating, expanding and articulating community health programs.

The DATE program has joined forces with the Parent Education Network, the Center for Positive Parenting, and the South Bay Adult School to offer year round parent education and workshops. This partnership will enhance both programs as each is committed to promoting a safe and drug free environment for all school age children in our community.

A four-week Parent Strategies Training is offered to all Middle School parents in the District. Training includes communication skills, drug, alcohol, tobacco and sex education, as well as parenting skills. All parents of incoming ninth grade students are invited to attend a workshop to learn about the DATE and Peer Programs at the annual Parent Orientation Transitional Workshop. This workshop prepares parents to discuss drugs, alcohol and tobacco with their children. The DATE Coordinator and the Manhattan Beach Police Department School Resource Officer are available for drug and safety presentations at PTA meetings. This way, parents will be kept up to date on drug, alcohol and tobacco information.

Staff Development
All new teachers and Middle School counselors will be trained in any new curriculum, as well as STANDARD 18 - Creating a Supportive and Healthy Environment for Student Learning. Teachers receive DATE memos and newsletters in order to remain up to date on the current drug, alcohol and tobacco education and information. Teachers will receive instruction regarding appropriate identification and referral of students to the counseling groups on campus and student assistance programs. Counselors, psychologists, nurses and administrators will be offered various workshops as they are made available by the county and state. The DATE coordinator will attend presentations and meetings/workshops delivered by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE). American Cancer Society presentations will be offered at individual sites for faculty groups. Drug, alcohol and violence presentations by Manhattan Beach Police Department, counselors, therapists and the DATE coordinator will be offered to all sites for faculty in-services.

Standards and Assessment
California Department of Education requires students (5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th grade) to participate in the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS). The district will conduct this survey every other year. This survey requires active parental permission.

Governance and Funding
Manhattan Beach Unified School District has a strong commitment to preventing drug, alcohol and tobacco use. The program is coordinated by the district DATE Coordinator. The following are some of the current programs:

South Bay Coalition's Youth Summit. Manhattan Beach Unified School District participated in all annual Youth Conferences. This Conference includes participants from twelve surrounding high schools, school representatives, parents, community agency directors, religious organizations, and youth. These people were instrumental in planning the conference. The Manhattan Beach District DATE Coordinator serves as one of the head coordinators and counselor for this motivational conference designed to advocate drug free lifestyles and promote positive personal growth among high school youth.

Red Ribbon Week. All schools participate in Red Ribbon Week with activities and assemblies that stress the importance of a drug free lifestyle. Administrators, parents, and youth plan and implement different activities at each school site. Highlights include a large high-school assembly that focuses on the dangers of drunk driving, a collage of events related to drug, alcohol and tobacco-use at the middle school, poster contests at the elementary schools, and tobacco-use prevention curriculum at all schools.

Parent Strategies Training. This four-week workshop for parents includes training in communication skills, drug identification, alcohol, tobacco and sex education as well as parenting skills.

Training Workshops. Teachers are kept up-to-date on current drug, alcohol, and tobacco information through in-services that include training by the DATE Coordinator, community health specialists, the American Cancer Society, and LACOE.

DATE Curriculum Parent Education. DATE works with the Parent Education Network and the South Bay Adult School in hiring exciting and informative speakers specifically designed for parent education.

Drug Seminar with Panel Presentation for Parents. This panel is planned and presented by law enforcement, counselors and administrators at all Manhattan Beach Unified School District schools.

Peer Mentoring. This involves training high school students to mentor students at the middle school.

Peer Outreach. This involves training high school students to be active listeners for their peers.

Peer Educators - Teens Against Tobacco Use. This involves training high school students to be peer educators in the area of tobacco-use.

Therapists. The DATE program hires licensed therapists from the South Bay Youth Project to run the tobacco and drug cessation counseling groups, Peer Outreach and Peer Mentoring.

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