The Archuleta School District Health and Wellness Report is in for 2014.
Sandy Lane, health and wellness coordinator for the district, reported the data reflects “a paradigm shift in education.”
Tasked with “educating the whole child,” schools are assessing their students’ needs beyond the classroom.
Lane shared the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) at the Nov. 11 ASD Board of Education meeting.
The survey examines substance abuse and sexual activity with the primary objective of delaying onset. Studies strongly indicate participation in risky behavior before 13 years of age has long-term negative outcomes.
Lane explained, “Graduating high school, obtaining jobs and furthering education is all improved if we are able to delay the age that children begin experimenting with drugs, alcohol and sexual activity.”
Student participation was anonymous and not mandatory. Sixth- through 12th-graders were polled, and surveys for grades six, seven and eight excluded questions about sexual activity.
One study compared student responses from 2007 through 2009 with responses from 2011 through 2013. ASD showed a decrease in the age of onset for all four of the categories considered.
Cigarette use fell from 19 percent to 14 percent. Alcohol use went from 34 percent to 27 percent. Marijuana use dropped from 15 percent to 12 percent. Sexual intercourse decreased from 9 percent to 7 percent.
The HKCS also examined other health factors. Obesity rates matched the state average, while screen time (television watching, video gaming or nonschool-related computer time) was 11.6 percent lower than the rest of Colorado. Nutrition and daily physical activity results bested the state average in all categories.
Tobacco use for Pagosa Springs High School scored 10.4 percent higher than the state, when students were asked, “Have you ever tried a cigarette?”
The full version of this story is available in the print edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN. Subscribe today by calling (970)264-2100.