Written by Jessica M. Semins Friday, 16 October 2009 00:00
The results from North Shore’s Pride Report, a survey administered in physical education classes last April, were announced to the board of education on Oct. 8. The study showed a direct relationship between the students’ perception of risk and usage of certain drugs. Since 1998, use of tobacco has steadily declined in the district due to national and local campaigning factors. Use of alcohol of 11th- and 12th-graders was significantly higher than state and county averages with 42 percent of juniors and seniors reporting having had five or more drinks in a row within the last two weeks of the survey. Since the survey administered in 1998, the perception of risk of marijuana has decreased significantly with less than 40 percent of students believing the drug is harmful. While use of cocaine and inhalants is below state and county average, heroin causes considerable concern with use above the averages. A readily available and inexpensive drug, it has swept across school districts on Long Island making its way to the North Shore District.
“We have an obligation to be proactive,” Superintendent Dr. Melnick remarked regarding the heroin issue. “This has to involve the entire community. This is a community problem involving kids across the academic and socioeconomic spectrum.”
Students who reported being involved in extracurricular activities felt that they were less likely to use drugs. The risk factors leading to usage were reported as family conflict, family attitudes regarding anti-social behavior and poor family management. The district is creating an action plan to bring further awareness to parents, teachers, students and the community.
Paul Pelech, director of computer technology, presented the board with information regarding broadcasting board meetings by using the Internet tool Webinar. The program would cost the district $948 for a year and allow members of the community to tap into their computers and participate, ask questions and make comments from a virtual stance at meetings they are unable to attend in person. Webinar operates on the Internet as a large lecture with a capacity of 1,000 people who are able to sign in at one time. The program could be used for myriad applications throughout the district.
North Shore School recognized students Cosette Calomusto, Nicholas Corda, Joshua Epstein and Kathryn Mattner for their achievement in being accepted into the All-State Music Conference. The students were congratulated at a public meeting by Dr. Melnick.