"LifeSkills" Training

Dear Parents and Guardians:


This year, we are implementing a new program called LifeSkills Training. During the 2017-2018 school year, we will begin the program with our 7th grade students.


This is an evidence-based curriculum proven to target the fundamental reasons why students engage in behaviors that put them at risk. Rather than just teaching information about tobacco, alcohol, drugs and violence,  LifeSkills Training promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to help youth:

  • Resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink and use drugs

  • Develop self-esteem, self-mastery, and self-confidence

  • Effectively cope with social anxiety

  • Increase knowledge of the immediate and long-term consequences of substance abuse

  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors


Studies testing the effectiveness of the LifeSkills Training program show that it can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by more than 80%, making it the most effective prevention program of its kind. LifeSkills Training combines learning strategies such as coaching, peer interaction, lectures, classroom discussions, and provider-led activities to enhance students’ skills.


This program consists of 15 class sessions the first year, then between 10 and 5 sessions the subsequent years, with the goal of building on the skills that were learned during the previous years. We plan on beginning this program the last week of November.


In February, we will be introducing the LifeSkills Training program in the fourth grade , as well. The fourth grade program is designed for for elementary-aged students. Information on the fourth grade program will be sent home to parents prior to the start of the program.

Next school year, the program will be expanded to grades five and grade eight. By the start of the 2019-2020 school year the program will be provided to all students in grades four through nine.


You can find out more information about the LifeSkills Training program on their website. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact either Casey Pescitelli at Smith Academy or Molly Cole at the Hatfield Elementary School.




John F. Robert