Derby High School Principal Tim Hamblin proposed changes to the enrollment process of the Derby Public Schools random drug testing program at the school board meeting.
The drug testing program, which randomly selects students from a pool at both Derby High School and Derby Middle School throughout the school year, began in September.
All students in extracurricular and co-curricular activities must have consent forms to be in the drug testing pool, as well as students who apply for parking passes at the high school.
“We felt the program was fundamentally sound.However, with parents’ feedback and observations made by administration throughout that first year, a few minor changes might enhance the administration of that program,” Hamblin said.
The five new changes to the program will simplify the enrollment process, Hamblin said.
A new consent form will be created, making it easier to accept or decline participation in the program. On the previous form, students and parents were signing both to accept and decline the drug testing.
“The original form in its format proved to be confusing. It was unclear to parents and students alike, where they needed to sign,” Hamblin said. “We wanted to make it crystal-clear what they were signing.”
The deadline for the program will be moved to the second Friday of the start of each school year. A new “Removal from Drug Testing” form will also be created.
Hamblin also asked the school board to allow for administrative discretion by the principal in special circumstances to allow a student to be included in the drug testing program after the deadline.
The final change to the program will allow students a one-time enrollment opportunity. In this new format, students’ consent forms will be valid for the entire duration of their time in middle and high school. A one-time consent could expedite the administrative aspect of the process by decreasing the amount of forms each year, Hamblin said.
“Every year in the current format we would be printing 2,000-plus forms. Every year, we’d be collecting 2,000-plus forms and entering those forms into the database,” he said. “By doing a one-time form, we could reduce that number down to the incoming freshman class, as well as a few additional forms for those new to the district.”
The school board will vote on the drug testing changes at its next meeting on June 25 at Derby City Hall.
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