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School-as-Community Activity Selection at Continuation High Schools

NCJ Number
Substance Use and Misuse Volume: 32 Issue: 2 Dated: (1997) Pages: 113-131
S Sussman; S Craig; T R Simon; E R Galaif
Date Published
This paper describes two studies that together provide an example of an empirically based "school-as-community" development process used in a large-scale, school-based drug-use prevention trial among youth at continuation high schools in California.
The "school-as-community" concept views the school as an intact community that interacts with outside agencies, not a community-wide project that involves the school. Development of a school-as-community component was achieved among youth at continuation (alternative) high schools in southern California. The authors first generated a list of schools' current community involvement from 96 school personnel and 144 students from 20 continuation high schools. They then reduced the number of activities indicated, with some discussion, to a list of 12 populars. Next, they administered this list to 388 students from six continuation high schools so as to obtain perceived quality ratings. Six categories of activities were generated from these two studies: job training; field trips; sports competitions; newspaper columns; drug-free dances and "raves"; and fund-raising activities such as swap meets, garage sales, car washes, and auctions. These studies show a means to determine activities likely to be completed by this school system and a means to limit the variability of activities that could be manipulated in an experimental trial that involves a school-as-community component. 6 tables and 18 references