Goal: Advocate for an effective programs that creates an environment where students can learn and staff are empowered

A safe, clean, and well-maintained school with a positive psychosocial climate and culture an boost student and staff self-esteem and health as well as students’ educational achievement (Health is Academic: A Guide to Coordinated School Health Programs, 1998).

The physical and aesthetic surroundings and the psychosocial climate and culture of the school can affect student and staff self-esteem and health as well as students’ academic achievement. Factors that influence the physical environment include the school building and the area surrounding it, any biological or chemical agents that are detrimental to health, and physical conditions such as temperature, noise, and lighting. The psychological environment includes the physical, emotional, and social conditions that affect the well-being of students and staff.
A healthy school environment supports learning and contributes to students’ health by minimizing distractions that either threatens their mental or physical wellbeing. The environment should also promote expectations that all students can succeed. Policies and programs to meet the needs of students and staff must support these environments.

NC Safe and Drug Free Schools Program
The Safe and Drug Free Schools Program is a comprehensive and strategic national mechanism which is used in public schools throughout North Carolina. Basically, these education and prevention initiatives are designed to prevent school violence, and provide programs that prevent the illegal use of alcohol and other drugs, involve parents, and coordinate with other federal, state and local efforts and resources.The Safe and Drug Free Schools Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Improving America’s School Act of 1994, Title IV- Safe and Drug Schools and Community Act.


Tobacco-Free Schools Program
The Tobacco-Free Schools Program is designed to help schools take an active role to become tobacco-free by addressing the specific problems of adolescent tobacco use. The North Carolina Tobacco Prevention Control Branch in collaboration with the NC Department of Public Instruction, Safe Schools Division, developed a comprehensive model for preventing and reducing tobacco use in schools.
The Tobacco-Free Schools approach encourages schools to develop adopt and implement effective tobacco-free policies as the foundation of the program. Program components that support the policies include Alternative to Suspension (ATS), a positive option to punishment, Teen Cessation and Promoting Tobacco-Free Lifestyles . Components of the Tobacco-Free Schools program fit together in a way that encourages flexibility and autonomy at the local level.

The NC Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch along with a network of community partners, including the American Cancer Society, Southeast Division, American Lung Association of NC, Department of Public Instruction, Governor’s Office, Substance Abuse Services Section, and Survivors and Victims Empowered Program (SAVE) support 100% Tobacco-Free Schools as a positive community strategy to reduce teen tobacco use rates fifty percent by 2010.

Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities
As part of his continuing efforts to help keep our schools, our teachers and our students safe, U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige announced that a new guide, Practical Information on Crisis Planning: A Guide for Schools and Communities, is available to help schools plan for any emergency, including natural disasters, violent incidents and terrorist acts.