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Kent Center School smoking prevention program

KENT — Students in the middle school took part in programs this month on the dangers of smoking, drinking and drugs,according to a report by Kent Center School Principal Rima McGeehan presented at the Jan. 12 meeting of the Board of Education. McGeehan was not present. Her written report was read to the board. In it, she reported that representatives from High Watch Recovery Center in Kent gave a presentation to seventh- and eighth-grade students about drug and alcohol abuse. Also, Jim Hutchinson from the Sharon Hospital Good Neighbors program presented a smoking prevention class to sixth-graders. Hutchinson showed how advertising and television commercials have been used over the years to entice young people to buy cigarettes. Hutchinson then divided the class into four groups. Each group was assigned a task to perform centered on how harmful smoking is to the human body. Hutchinson told the students that smoking one pack of cigarettes a day could cost $3,650 per year. Board member Jonathan Moore, who is on the Region One Board of Education, presented a report on Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS). Moore reported the HVRHS budget is a little more than $15 million, a 2.53 percent increase over the previous year. There are currently 464 students at the regional high school, which is in Falls Village.Moore said that on average, 80 percent of students who graduate from eighth grade at a Region One elementary school attend Housatonic.The Science and Technology Building at Housatonic is nearing completion and a certificate of occupancy should be obtained in the near future.The All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee may recommend adoption of a middle-school athletic handbook. If the ABC recommends hiring an athletic director, that will have to be brought to the full Region One board. The ABC is made up of the chairmen of the regional school board and each of the regional elementary schools. The six towns in Region One are Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Sharon, Salisbury and Falls Village.Region One School District Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain reported the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education will sponsor a Day on the Hill in Hartford on March 14. She also reported there is “...great excitement...” for the common core curriculum being adopted statewide and across the country.The board postponed until next month approval of a safe school climate plan.In discussing bullying policies, Chamberlain said a student can not be punished for bullying based on an anonymous uncorroborated complaint. New bullying policy is based on bullying being repetitive. Bullying policies provide guidance for principals in implementing plans.Chamberlain said the Kent Board of Education bullying plan will be submitted to the state for approval. The superintendent said the state typically approves such plans as long as they conform to state guidelines.

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