Frequently Asked Questions
How much time is needed to implement Project ALERT in the classroom?
Eleven classroom periods of 45 minutes or more are required during the first year of the program (7th grade). Three periods of 45 minutes or more are required during the booster year (8th grade).
What classroom equipment is needed to implement the program?
The classroom should be equipped with a Smartboard, large screen monitor, or projector. Capacity to email or photocopy a limited number of student handouts is necessary.
If the classroom has Internet access, the videos that accompany many of the lessons can be accessed and shown via the Videos page of our web site. However, we realize that not all classrooms have Internet access, so we’ve made the videos available via an iTunes Podcast. They can be downloaded when Internet access is available, and saved locally to an iTunes library on the computer that will be used to teach the program. As with all of our materials, the videos are made available as a free download.
Can Project ALERT be mixed with other programs?
Since the Project ALERT Core Curriculum consists of 11 weekly lessons that are most successfully taught once a week and three lessons that are taught the following year, it easily complements other curricula. Teachers have successfully implemented Project ALERT with lessons from sex education, health, and physical education. Project ALERT can also be an integral part of the middle school science or social studies curriculum.
What school districts in my area are using Project ALERT?
Nationally over 21,000 teachers in more than 4,000 school districts use Project ALERT in the classroom. For information on districts or schools in your area that use Project ALERT, send us an email or call 1-(800) ALERT-10 (253-7810) and ask to speak to the Program Manager.
Does Project ALERT have any evaluation instruments?
Yes. Project ALERT makes a fidelity instrument available. This tool allows educators to see how well their classroom implementation parallels the implementation criteria proven effective in research.
A student use survey, similar to the one RAND used during their initial validation of Project ALERT, is also available. It contains questions regarding students’ current drug use patterns and their attitudes and beliefs about drugs.
Both of these tools, as well as a knowledge assessment tool can be downloaded from the Teaching Tools section of our website.
Is Project ALERT available in other languages?
The Project ALERT lesson plans, homework assignments and student handouts are available in Spanish. The Project ALERT videos and posters are not available in Spanish.
Is there a shortened version of the Project ALERT curriculum?
We have a little more information about Teaching Project ALERT on Your Own Schedule which discusses combining lessons in the Teaching Tools < Implementation Tips section of the website.
Please note that we have no evidence on implementation schedules other than the way Project ALERT was evaluated (lessons taught once a week over an 11 week period during the core year followed by 3 weekly lessons implemented during the booster year); therefore, we cannot make a specific suggested outline that modifies this approach. However, you may find the tip sheet helpful as you plan the lessons around the time you have available.
We encourage teachers and other facilitators to keep in mind the need to leave time for students to practice on their own and integrate key skills after each skill-building lesson.
Do you have materials for elementary or high school students?
The Project ALERT curriculum is designed to be implemented in the 7th and 8th grades. You may wish to look on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) website for programs tailored for other student populations that have been selected for their strong evidence-base.
Can I teach Project ALERT to younger students?
As Project ALERT was specifically designed for and empirically tested with middle school students, taking into consideration the many nuances and challenges of this specific developmental period, it would be difficult for us to suggest how to alter the program for a younger student population. However, we understand the program is in the public domain, and schools may choose to modify the content to fit their needs. Thus, it is possible to modify the program at your discretion in this manner, but know that we have tailored and evaluated it for only the age group for which it was intended and developed. We are not able to offer guidance on how to modify the content beyond what has been empirically tested in our research trials.
We have a little more information about “Teaching Project ALERT on Your Own Schedule” which discusses combining lessons in the Teaching Tools --> Implementation Tips section of the website. We have no evidence on implementation schedules other than the way Project ALERT was evaluated (lessons taught once a week over an 11 week period during the core year followed by 3 weekly lessons implemented during the booster year); therefore, we cannot make a specific suggested outline that modifies this approach. However, you may find the tip sheet helpful as you plan the lessons around the time you have available.
Do you have information on e-cigarettes?
Yes, we have a supplemental guide on e-cigarettes located on our web site at:
Since use has increased among teens in recent years, and marketers are targeting them, we recommend making time for some “situational awareness” about this issue with students.
Do you have information on marijuana legalization and/or medical marijuana?
Several of Project ALERT’s core and booster lessons deal with marijuana use. For information on more recent issues surrounding medical use and marijuana legalization, please see our Marijuana Supplement located on our web site at:
Do you have information on prescription drugs and other “hot” drugs?
Yes, we have several resources on our web site. We have a Supplemental Resource Manual and a tip sheet, How to Incorporate Solid Prescription Drug Prevention Into Project ALERT, located on our web site at: http://www.projectalert.com/resources/resources-and-links/prescription-and-over-the-counter-drugs
We also have several supplemental videos on Prescription Drugs, Steroids, and Ecstasy & Meth located on our Resources --> Videos page at: http://www.projectalert.com/resources/videos
Project ALERT is a social influence, skills-based resistance program and we encourage you to practice roleplays with your students with whatever substance is currently most concerning for their population, but we also encourage you not to skip the core substances.
Do you have information on current prevalence of use data?
Yes. Prevalence of use data are released each December and are updated in the following places.
Is parent/guardian permission required for students to receive Project ALERT? (Sample)
The Project ALERT curriculum is not set up to require signed parent/guardian permission in order for students to participate in Project ALERT. This is a decision that teachers and schools should make. To make it easier, in Core Lesson 1 and in the attachment here, we provide a sample “parent letter” that teachers could send home to parents to tell them about Project ALERT.
Do you offer printed versions of the Project ALERT posters?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer printed versions of the posters. All of the posters are available for download at http://www.projectalert.com/resources/posters, and can be printed in different sizes to suit your needs.
Is there a more recent version of the manual or other materials?
Project ALERT and its supporting materials are updated as needed and the version on the website is still considered current.
We also recommend that you sign up for the Project ALERT newsletter where all of our updates are reported in real-time. This can be done by selecting the Opt In button in your account profile if you haven’t already done so. Or send us an email or call 800 ALERT 10.
When you get a moment, please check out our new e-cigarette supplement, http://www.projectalert.com/resources/resources-and-links/e-cigarettes. Since use is increasing among teens and marketers are targeting them, we recommend making time for some “situational awareness” about this issue with students.
Are there any updated lesson videos?
Project ALERT has made efforts to keep the style and content of the core videos relevant for today’s youth. Still, we update the videos every few years to better reflect youth diversity and the changing cultural landscape. We also produce new written supplemental material focused on emerging topics like e-cigarettes and marijuana legalization. Watch for announcements about program updates in coming issues of the Educator, www.projectalert.com/newsletters, and on projectalert.com.