Friday, September 8, 2000
Steamboat Springs As part of an effort to make schools statewide safer, help is needed from community members, parents, students and faculty.
The Hayden High School was one of 20 schools in the state to be selected by the University of Colorado's Center for the Study of Prevention of Violence to help form a safe-school model. The model will ultimately be used by every school in the state, said Mary Beth Abella, a field representative from the CU department working with Hayden officials.
"After Columbine, a number of organizations approached the center to develop a model to make schools safer," she said in reference to the school massacre in Littleton in April 1999.
Schools that are participating in the development of the model are a mix from urban and rural areas.
Now that the schools have been selected, the next step is assessing the needs of each school. In order to do that, four surveys will be conducted, said Abella, who is working closely with Mari Mahanna, district health service coordinator for Hayden, and Gordon Booco, school resource officer.
Surveys have each been drafted for the community, students, parents and faculty, she said.
The surveys will be done starting at the end of September and finishing in November, Abella said. They will ask questions about how safe the community is, community involvement and teen violence.good we can do for the community."
The goal is for at least 80 percent of the students and parents to participate in the survey.
"The student survey will be conducted by myself and other field representatives," she said. "The survey should take a class period or shorter. Teachers will not see the surveys."
Surveys for parents will be sent to homes, she said.
The last survey will be conducted in November when Abella will meet with faculty members.
Survey participants will remain anonymous, Abella said.
"These are going to be confidential," she said. "We will not identify anyone."
Once all the surveys are completed, the results, along with the data from the other school sites, will be analyzed by the CU Center for the Study of Prevention of Violence, she said.
"We are hoping to have the data analyzed by next spring," she said. "We then can give the schools recommendations."
The local body that will receive recommendations of safety programs to implement will be CAN, an organization that was "formed to promote healthy lifestyles and activities in Hayden."
CAN will receive recommendations that will include how the school can improve emergency management and crisis plans, Abella said.
"We will give recommendations of how to make them better and also how to practice them," she said.
The CU center will then track Hayden's, along and the other participating schools', implementation of the programs for about two-and-a-half years.
"At the end, we will have a document of what was done," Abella said. "That document would then be used by other schools in the state. Hayden's experience will be used to help other schools."
The effort to develop a safe-school model is being funded by the Colorado Trust.
To reach Gary E. Salazar call 871-4205 or e-mail email@example.com