U.S. Education Secretary to Speak at Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools 2011 National Conference

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U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan will give remarks at the Department's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools 2011 National Conference on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. He will discuss the need for states to find creative ways to do more with less to address school safety and to provide support services at a time when schools are facing difficult budget decisions.

"Schools should be places where students feel safe and can learn," Duncan said. "We are committed to creating safe and healthy learning environments where young people can succeed and prepare themselves for success in college and in their careers."

The national three-day conference, "Making the Connection: Creating and Maintaining Conditions for Learning," will take place Aug. 8-10. More than 1,900 participants, ranging from education leaders, mental health representatives and parents to experts in the field of substance abuse, violence prevention and emergency preparedness, are expected to attend. Important information about the conference and a description of all of the sessions and workshops are at http://osdfs.dgimeetings.com/Home.aspx.

The National Conference also will be a large-scale training and technical assistance event that will feature OSDFS grantees, education and prevention leaders, representatives of federal agencies and national associations, public and private school administrators, school personnel, and researchers and experts, as well as others in the field.

The goals of the three-day conference include:

  • Showcasing prevention programs that demonstrate effectiveness in reducing student alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, and prevention of school violence;
  • Providing opportunities for leaders and decision- and policy-makers to expand their knowledge about substance abuse, violence prevention and other emerging issues facing schools today, including terrorism, crisis management, gangs and drug testing;
  • Gaining knowledge and new perspectives from nationally known prevention experts, representatives from federal agencies, leaders from local and state agencies, and school site leaders; and
  • Maximizing efforts to keep young people safe, healthy, and drug free by strengthening existing partnerships and collaborating on key priority issues.