SBIRT screening information for families

Dear Families,                
Shrewsbury data from the Central Massachusetts Regional Youth Health Survey consistently demonstrates that a very small number of our middle school students try alcohol, marijuana and other drugs, and that by the end of high school many more students report substance use.
In order to enhance our efforts to prevent students from starting to use substances, or intervene with early use, Shrewsbury Public Schools nursing and counseling staff will be providing an interview‚Äźbased screening about the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs for all students in grades 7 and 10. This state-mandated screening (M.G.L. Chapter 71, Sections 96 & 97) utilizes the the CRAFFT II, a commonly used substance use screening tool for adolescents. Student screening sessions will be brief (approximately 5 minutes) and conducted confidentially in private, one-to-one sessions with a school nurse or counseling professional. The SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment) Team is composed of the nursing staff, school psychologists, guidance counselors and school adjustment counselors. 

Students whose screening results indicate they are not using substances will have their healthy choices reinforced by the screener. The screener will provide brief feedback to any student who reports using substances, or is at risk for future substance use. If needed, the student will be referred to our counseling staff for further evaluation.  Per the law noted above, screening results will only be shared with others, including parents, with written permission of the student (aged 12 or older), except in the case of the need for emergency medical treatment. Results of the screening will not be included in your student’s school record, nor will it result in disciplinary action.
As with any state mandated school screening, you have the right to opt your child out of this screening. Please contact Noelle Freeman, Director of Nursing, in writing at if you wish to exclude your child from this screening. Screening is voluntary and students may choose not to answer any or all of the screening questions at the time of screening. 
We encourage all parents/guardians to talk with their child about substance use.  For ideas on how to start these conversations, see the links to references below. If you have concerns about your child, please contact the nurse in your building (see contact information below).  Together, parents and schools can make a difference for youth in Shrewsbury.

Noelle Freeman, BSN, RN, NCSN
Director of Nursing, Shrewsbury Public Schools

“7 Ways to Protect Your Teen from Alcohol and Other Drugs”                       
“Talking to Your Middle School-aged Child about Alcohol,Tobacco, and Other Drugs”

“Preventing Substance Abuse Starts at Home: Safeguarding Your Children”

“Even if You Know about Drinking and Drugs...Simple Questions. Straight Answers.”

Massachusetts Dept of Public Health Substance Abuse Services Information and Education Helpline:  1-800-327-5050 or

Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education (SCAPE) - Parent Resources

Massachusetts law re: verbal screening for substance abuse


Shrewsbury High School:

Brenda Filiere, BSN, RN, NCSN -  508-841-8768
Pam Johnson, BSN, RN, NCSN  -  508-841-8822
Michele Rogers, BSN, RN – 508-841-8822

Oak Middle School:

Lisa Arteca, MSN, RN -  508-841-1204
Maureen Pellizzari, BSN, RN – 508-841-1225


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