I'd like to share with you all an opportunity to get involved with a committee that wants to build a community-based approach to education and prevention of substance use and abuse in our youth community. Please share widely to anyone you think would be interested.
PCS convened the first meeting of the Healthy Choice Committee on April 14th at McDowell Elementary. This is a new committee of teachers, parents, mental health workers, community organizations, and law enforcement, with the goal of preventing substance use and abuse by students. The meeting was led by PCS administrators Maite Iturri, Assistant Superintendent, and Jimena Gomez, Wellness Coordinator. Participants discussed their specific interest and motivation for participating in the Committee and worked to define the Committee's vision. Jamie Buschman, from the PCS Educational Services department, presented data on recent suspension trends. Of note was the increase in the percentage of suspensions attributed to drug possession: this offense constituted 13% of all suspensions in 2018/19 and 32% of all suspensions in 2021/22. Maite Iturri acknowledged the importance and complexity of the issue, which will require participation, collaboration and resources committed from different sectors of the community. The goal is that the Committee will define a clear overall vision as well as specific objectives, and can leverage this to seek the commitment of available resources and implement a plan for youth substance use education and prevention. The Committee aims to meet monthly (May mtg date is TBD). If you have a suggestion of an organization or individual that may wish to participate in the Committee, contact Jimena Gomez at firstname.lastname@example.org Meeting summary prepared by Alicia Wolff, McKinley Elementary PTA member