|3/10/14||Parent/Teacher Conferences||Elbert School||9:00 am-6:00 pm|
|3/12/14||Signs of Suicide Training for Parents and Community||Russell Gates Hall||6:30 pm|
|3/13/14||Accountability Committee Meeting||Elbert School||5:00 pm|
|Youth Sports Banquet||Elbert School||6:30 pm|
|3/14/14||Dinner and Concert Fund Raiser-Elbert School Band||Russell Gates Hall||7:00 pm|
|Information Regarding the Signs of Suicide|
The strongest risk factors for suicide in youth are depression, substance abuse, and a history of previous attempts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for children and adolescents ages 11-18 in the United States. In 2010, 8% of youth (about 1.9 million people), ages 12-17 in the US had experienced a major depressive episode during the past year. In children and adolescents, an untreated depressive episode may last 7-9 months, or an entire academic year.
The Signs of Suicide (SOS) Program was created to assist schools in addressing the problems of youth depression and suicide simultaneously and age appropriately. The program uses a universal approach to assist in identification of at-risk youth. In light of recent tragic events, the Elbert School District has decided to adopt this researched-based program in an effort to provide our students, staff, and community with some tools they can utilize when grappling with the issue of suicide.
Research indicates that youth are more likely to turn to peers than adults when facing a suicidal crisis. The SOS Program incorporates peer-to-peer intervention as a central tenant of its implementation strategy. By training students to recognize the signs of depression and suicidality, and empowering them to intervene when confronted with a friend who is exhibiting these symptoms, SOS capitalizes on an important social/emotional aspect of this developmental period. For the students, the program goals are to:
Help youth understand that depression is a treatable illness
Educate youth that suicide is not a normal response to stress, but rather a preventable tragedy that often occurs as a result of untreated depression
Inform youth of the risks associated with alcohol use to cope with feelings
Increase help-seeking by providing students with specific action steps to take if they are concerned about themselves or others and identifying the resources available to them
Encourage students and their parents to engage in a discussion about these issues
Encourage peer-to-peer communication about the Acknowledge, Care, Tell (ACT) help-seeking message
The SOS Program will be implemented in three stages. A training for staff will be held on March 12th at 4:30pm at Elbert School and for parents/community at 6:30pm at the Mercantile Building on the same day. We strongly encourage you to attend the parent/community training to gain more information and the tools needed to address youth suicide and depression. Students in middle and high school will be trained the following week on March 19th during the school day. Consent for your child to receive this training will be implied unless we receive a verbal or written response indicating you would like your child to opt out.
We appreciate your support in helping to minimize inaction by making this subject more comfortable to talk about for our community, staff, and students.
Elbert School District #200 has the responsibility to the community, our state and the nation to educate children, under the philosophy of education, to problem solve and to accept global responsibility in a safe, nurturing environment. Our future strength lies in a traditionally strong fundamental education and development of well adjusted, socially responsible citizens who are able to secure employment, go to college, pursue careers, and communicate, as well as, compete in a technological and information based world.
Philosophy of Education
It is the operating philosophy of Elbert School District #200 to provide the opportunity of academic excellence for every child in the District, to the best of the District's ability and available resources, so that their knowledge, wisdom, creativity, athleticism, and passion for learning will empower and reward their future.