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SBIRT, Vision, and Hearing Screening for 9 Grade Students

SBIRT, Vision, and Hearing Screening for 9 Grade Students

Dear Grade 9 Parent or Guardian:

In March, 2016, the Massachusetts Legislature passed House bill No. 4056 which outlines the requirements for public schools in the Commonwealth to engage in substance use prevention and education. This legislation mandates that school districts screen students in grades 7 and 9 for substance use every year. Information about this specific legislation can be found Legislation can at: https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter52 (see Sections 15, 63, 64, 66). The Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) program screening process is being incorporated into our annual state mandated screening program. All screenings will be conducted confidentially by school counselors in private one-on-one sessions. We will utilize the CRAFFT II screening tool, the most commonly used substance use screening tool for adolescents in Massachusetts.

Students who are not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances, or who is at risk for future substance use. If needed, we will refer students to our counseling staff for further evaluation. This program focuses on harm prevention and does not generate disciplinary action. Results of the screening will not be included in your student’s school record. The goal of this program is to let the students know that we are available to reinforce healthy decisions and to assist them in obtaining support if needed for substance use related problems.

As with any school screening, you have the right to opt your student out of this screening. If you wish to opt your student out of this screening, please email Mary Elizabeth Rumley, Director of Nursing, by December 8, 2022 at mrumley@belmontschools.net. Additionally, screening is voluntary and students may also choose not to answer any or all of the screening questions at the time of the screening. SBIRT screening will take place during the week of December 12, 2022.

We encourage all parents/guardians to talk with their child about substance use. For ideas on how to begin these conversations, please refer to the SBIRT in schools website:  https://www.masbirt.org/sbirt-information/school-sbirt . Together, schools and parents/guardians CAN make a difference for our youth.

During the same week, the BHS nurses will be conducting vision and hearing screening. You will be notified by mail if your child does not perform satisfactorily on these screenings.

If you have any questions on the vision and hearing screenings, please call the BHS nurse’s office at 617-993-5929.


Isaac Taylor, BHS Principal
Mary Elizabeth Rumley, Director of Nursing

Categories: Health Notices, For Students and Parents