Dear Healthy Living Teacher,

The Departments of Education and Health Promotion and Protection spent over two years collaborating on the development of a drug education curriculum supplement. The purpose of the supplement is to educate Nova Scotia junior high school students on alcohol and other drugs. The resulting resource, A Question of Influence, is ready for use in your Healthy Living class in the 2006–2007 school year.

The curriculum supplement is directly linked to the most recent Healthy Living curriculum outcomes for grades 7, 8, and 9. It has been thoroughly researched and is built on current best-practice knowledge for school-based alcohol and other drug education. The enclosed brochure provides more detail on the contents of the curriculum supplement, as well as information about how to obtain a copy for your use.

The resource has been field-tested in Nova Scotia’s seven English-language school boards and was very positively received by Nova Scotia teachers and students. When we spoke to teachers during the development of the supplement, they told us that the practice in recent years has been to develop their own content from whatever materials can be found. A Question of Influence eliminates the need for you to make up your own learning activities for alcohol and other drug education, and it provides you with all the material you need in one resource.

Teachers also told us that they tend to deliver materials on alcohol and drugs later in the academic year. We are letting you know about the curriculum supplement at the outset of the school year so that you can get a copy and use it to plan ahead for your Healthy Living class content and activities.

School drug education is an important element in the overall response to substance abuse issues, and we are confident that this supplement will be a powerful tool in promoting the health of Nova Scotia’s youth. Moreover, there is growing recognition of the relationship between health and academic performance. We appreciate your role in addressing the issue in the classroom and are optimistic that A Question of Influence will enhance your classroom experience.