Superintendent Answers Student Questions
re: Alcohol and Drug Survey
Good morning, I am Herb Pandiscio, the interim
superintendent of schools. I want to talk with you for 3-4 minutes
to give you information about an upcoming student survey that you
may have already heard about. The survey is scheduled to be given
on December 11.
In February of this year there was
an unsuccessful effort to conduct a drug and alcohol survey.
At that time, students were given an opportunity to ask
questions about the survey or to make comments as to why they did
not want to take it. You asked 46 questions. Many of the questions
centered around the same few topics.
I will try to answer those
questions for you now. There are thirteen of them. They are in no
The first question was “Is the
survey anonymous?” In other words, would your privacy be
protected? The answer is yes. The new survey is completed online
and sent to a State of CT approved agency for processing. We only
receive a summary of the data collected. We never see the
Why are there questions on sexuality? The new
survey has no such questions.
Why is the survey being given? The answer is
that we want to learn about your attitudes and practices with
respect to substance use and other addictive behaviors.
What will you do with the information? The
school district will use the information to provide services and
programs that help you. What those services and programs are, will
be determined by the information you give us on the surveys.
Can we opt out? Yes, but I hope you will take
the survey since the data collected are to assist you. If you
choose to opt-out, your parent must submit a letter to Ms. Della
Volpe by December 8th stating that you will not be
taking the survey. If you do opt-out you will be in a separate
room for a study hall.
Can we skip questions? You may skip questions
if you don’t wish to answer them.
How many questions are there? There are
How long will it take to complete the survey?
Approximately 35 minutes
How good is the survey? We know the new survey
is good because of the many high schools that have taken it. For
example, all of the high schools school in New London County have
taken the survey in addition to several other schools throughout
How do you know that we won’t manipulate the
answers to the survey? We don’t know. We trust you to do the best
Who is taking the survey? Students in grades
Is it hand written? No. You will take the
survey on-line through a link provided by the outside agency.
Will I get in trouble for admitting stuff? No.
There is no way you can get in trouble. The surveys are never in
the school’s possession once you complete them on-line.
One question you didn’t ask was how good is
the agency that will be examining the surveys analysis? The agency
was established by the State of CT to study substance abuse and
addiction on the local level. It is a professional organization
and has nothing to gain except to help us.
I hope you don’t let the poor
experience with the survey in February discourage you from taking
this survey. It is different and has been used by many other
middle and high school students in Connecticut.
I look forward to your completing
the survey on December 11.
Thank you for listening.