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Drug Testing

In order to learn, students need to be safe.

Saint Patrick High School is a drug-free, gang-free and bully-free school. Our mandatory drug testing program has proven to be a tremendous success with less than 2% of our students testing positive. This program gives students a reason not to experiment with drugs and to stay away from them entirely. The combination of our drug testing, alcohol awareness program, gang-free environment and zero tolerance for bullying, ensures that our students are being provided with a SAFER WAY TO LEARN.


All students are randomly selected and tested for drug use at least once a year. Once a student is selected and tested, his name is returned to the collective pool for further selections. Typically, after the entire student body has been tested, 25% of the student body will be tested a second time. The test involves using a small sample of hair, 1.5 inches long and about the width of the tip of a shoelace.

If a student tests positive, the family is contacted by the Dean of Students to schedule a confidential conference that addresses the following:

Explanation of test results including type of drug, level of use, and window of time of use

Counseling Options to assess level of intervention if counseling is appropriate

Retesting at the student’s expense, required 100 days after a positive test result

Consequences of a second positive test, anytime within a typical four-year high school career

Decisions in all matters are reserved to the review of the Administrative Team.


Hair analysis has consistently proven to be more effective than urinalysis and other methods in correctly identifying drug use. Psychemedics Corporation has the only FDA approved and patented procedure of hair analysis. Hair testing is far less invasive than other methods, provides superior detection and is the most cost effective and efficient method of drug testing.

Saint Patrick High School has contracted with Psychemedics Corporation because it is the nation’s leading drug testing company using hair sampling and is the only process that is FDA approved. Laboratory procedures are designed to detect the presence of illegal drugs in the cortex of the hair and to eliminate the possibility of false positives, a positive result from outside sources. Psychemedics’ test detects illegal drugs used in the past 90 days and can provide information of the type, quantity, and historic pattern of individual drug use. Psychemedics Corporation provides testing for over 2,600 organizations and 175 schools.


Frequently Asked QUESTIONS

Do the screening results appear anywhere on a student’s permanent record?

No. The Family Educational Right to Privacy Act (the Buckley Amendment) restricts the information on transcripts to only include academic grades and academic test results.

Does Saint Patrick High School have a drug problem? No. The school is drug free.

Will my son be expelled from Saint Patrick High School if there is a positive test result? With a first positive test result, families will be given the opportunity to work with the school in a variety of counseling options. If a student tests positive a second time, he may be subject to dismissal.

Who is aware of the test results?

This program is successful largely in part to the confidentiality factor. The test results are returned only to the Dean, who will then share the name of the student with the principal. The family decides on counseling options. The family would then decide who at Saint Patrick would be the contact person with the outside agency; parents often consider their son’s guidance counselor.

What drugs does the test screen?

The test screens for marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamines, PCP, and Ecstacy. Additionally, the test will identify a range of use (light, moderate, or heavy) and it can also provide a window of time of the use. The test does not screen for steroids or alcohol


5900 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60634