About the program

Gahanna-Jefferson Schools’ efforts to provide a Safe & Drug-Free environment include dedicated resources to support programming to students, staff and parents. We recognize that student use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs (ATOD) can negatively impact their educational goals, as well as their social and emotional growth. Furthermore, we strive to create a safe environment for all students in which to thrive. These efforts are guided by seven factors of effective prevention:  policy, enforcement, collaboration, communications, education, early intervention, and alternative programs.

Our district works very closely with the Educational Council Consortium to provide intervention programs, staff development and parent education programs. The K-12 Health and Guidance curricula in the district are embedded with prevention education models, including those based on effective programs such as Project Alert and the Second Step program, and referrals to our partnership with district mental health specialists. The district's Character Education initiative, incorporating feedback from a student survey as well as parent and community views, identified character traits that all school buildings and community members now recognize and celebrate monthly. Students receive prevention education throughout their years at Gahanna-Jefferson Schools from multiple sources.

Need help? Hotlines for teens:

Suicide Hotline

Feeling hopeless? Need someone to talk to?


Eating Disorders Hotline

Struggling with an eating issue?


Pregnancy/Teen Clinic

Need help with a teen pregnancy or parenting issue?


Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio

Need help dealing with sexual assault issues?



Having an emotional or psychological crisis?


Huckleberry House

Have a teen that needs to take a break from home due to conflict?


Domestic Violence

Need help getting away from an abuser?


Children’s Services

Suspect abuse may be happening to a child?


Remember that Gahanna has school counselors and mental health specialists assigned to each of the schools. These professionals can be helpful during school hours. However, if a crisis is occurring outside of school hours, please use the above numbers until school resumes.

Youth opportunities

The district supports multiple alternative activities that encourage Safe & Drug-Free choices. The most prominent is Youth to Youth, an international organization with roots here in central Ohio that supports drug-free lifestyles through fun and leadership activities. Clubs are offered at the middle and high school levels.

Support services are also provided to help students adjust to life changes such as divorce, to learn anger management skills, or to help students learn appropriate social skills. This may also include after-school activities.

Check out these youth-specific sites:

Parent opportunities

Gahanna-Jefferson Schools recognizes that parents have a strong influence on their children’s values and choices. Therefore, the district strives to supply parents with education and programs to support the vitally important task they have – rearing healthy children. Building-specific programs are offered depending on need, in addition to district education programs such as Street Smart, a drug-trend program for adults. Further programming is offered through the Educational Council Consortium, including Parent to Parent, Together in Parenting (elementary), Middle School and High School Saturday Family Workshops, Family Intervention Programs and a Resource Center open to all. 

Check out these other links to support your efforts:

Staff opportunities

Through our collaboration with other Franklin County districts in the Educational Council Consortium, Gahanna-Jefferson Schools are able to offer a wide variety of staff development opportunities. Many of these are of no cost to staff or can be taken for Master’s level credit. Visit and click on the Educational Council Consortium link to learn about current offerings and to register.

Consultation services are also available to staff regarding social, emotional and substance abuse issues through our district SDFS coordinator, our guidance program and our partnership with the Magellan program. Staff are encouraged to familiarize themselves with support services available within their building and throughout the district. Often these personnel sit on building student intervention teams.