Zionsville Community Schools shares prevention program outcomes


By Desiree Williams

The beginning of summer break marks the end of the initial Preventure program at Zionsville Community High School.

During the June 10 meeting of the Board of Trustees, Chief Academic Officer Kris Devereaux presented results from the first year. Preventure is a substance abuse prevention program that targets personality types that are more likely to search out substances and misuse them.

The program begins with a freshman student survey to establish a baseline within the district.

Of 547 freshmen, 537 completed the 23-question questionnaire identifying personality traits. Of the respondents, 228 were invited to participate in two 90-minute workshops, including 133 who identified with anxiety sensitivity, 30 with negative thinking, 14 with impulsivity and 51 as sensation-seeking.

The workshops, led by three assistant principals and two counselors trained by Preventure staff, had a 50 percent attendance rate.

According to Devereaux, students reported they felt more confident (4.28 out of 5) in their ability to recognize those traits in themselves after the workshops.

“I’m really excited that we’re doing stuff like this,” said Michael Berg, board member.

The process will continue for two or three years before the program is implemented in other high school grade levels.

Other meeting highlights:

  • Officer Josh Chapman stepped down from his role as a ZCS school resource officer to pursue a new position with Homeland Security in California.
  • The board approved a new behavioral health services partnership with Integrative Wellness, a community-focused practice based in Boone County treating mental health and addiction disorders. InWell will double the staffing resources in the district.
  • School meal pricing will increase 15 cents again next year, in accordance with the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which provides funding for federal lunch and breakfast programs.
  • 2020 commencement has been rescheduled for May 31, 2020, to avoid a two-week gap between the last day of school and the original date of graduation.

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