JEFFERSON TOWNSHIP — The Ashtabula County Technical and Career Campus (A-Tech) Drug Free Clubs of Ohio program has become an example of how schools can help educate students about drugs, reduce drug use and prevent addiction.

The program was featured for schools across the state on Nov. 8 at the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA) Capital Conference in Columbus.

A-Tech Superintendent, Scott Wludyga, delivered a presentation about the school’s program during a learning session at the Capital Conference. The OSBA Capital Conference is the second-largest education convention in the nation, with school board members and school administrators from all parts of the Buckeye State in attendance.

A-Tech has partnered with Great Lakes Biomedical for the past three years to provide this program for students. Great Lakes Biomedical works with more than 145 school districts throughout Ohio and Michigan.

Students volunteer to join the club and a random group of students is tested on campus each month. All members of the club are given a photo ID membership card, which they can show to potential employers. Students who pass the test keep their card and remain members. Parents are notified if a student does not pass the test.

“We provide students with the opportunity to earn free college credit, industry-recognized credentials and meaningful experiences in our career technical labs,” Wludyga said. “Adding the ability for students to show they are drug free is an essential component of what we do at A-Tech to give our students a competitive advantage and truly expand their opportunities.”

Students have told A-Tech Principal Paul Brockett that being in the club has helped them get out of difficult situations.

“It gives students a way to say no if they are offered drugs,” he said. “They can tell people they may be tested.” 

A-Tech started the program after a number of local companies asked the school to better educate students about the importance of being drug free in the workplace. The program is funded through the Robert S. Morrison Foundation at no cost to the students or their parents. More than 50 percent of A-Tech students participate in the program.

Those interested in learning more about the program or becoming a sponsor for the A-Tech club call 440-576-6015 or visit www.atech.edu.

 

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