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Sources of Strength brings peer leadership training to Rock Canyon

Sources of Strength

HIGHLANDS RANCH – Sources of Strength, a national organization that trains staff and students to recognize the signs of suicidal idealization and other problems facing today’s youth recently visited Rock Canyon High School for a day of training.

Sources of Strength National Instructor Dan Adams said the training is really interactive, with a lot of games but also deals with serious topics like suicide and suicide prevention. 

“What we do is to train students on how to be connectors to help, so if they have that [suicide] conversation, they’re going to connect with a trusted adult.”

With vigorous schedules and the added stress to perform and attend extracurricular activity, today’s students have a large load to carry. 

“The stress that’s thrust upon us from outside parties, whether teachers, parents, or colleges, it’s hard to deal with and some don’t know outlets of where to go to, and they obsess over things that could end up badly,” said Rock Canyon High School Senior and Peer Leader Sam Henry.

Rock Canyon High School Psychologist Julia Richardson said using Peer Leaders is very helpful, since it’s a challenge to get students to open up to adults. “I think the biggest challenge is the fact that kids think that they can’t come to adults when they have something big going on and they just turn to their friends.” She added, “The whole idea is to train these kids to hear when kids are struggling and to encourage them or get them to an adult who can help them.”

Adams admits there is still a lot of work to be done, but using Peer Leaders as a driving force and an “agent of change,” schools can become an environment of healthy, positive thinking. 

“Our vision at Sources of Strength is really that no one will ever get to that point of giving up, ever think about killing themselves, so this is a really proactive program on how can we prevent an onset of these things, by making the school a place of resiliency.”

September 24, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: Prevention and School Culture, Rock Canyon HS Pre-K, High School Education, Mental Health Intervention

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.