The ST.A.N.D. (Students Against Negative Decisions) Prevention Program provides prevention instruction to Manatee County youth on topics related to mental health, substance use, sexual health, and the building of social-emotional competencies. Our program's mission is to reduce high-risk behaviors among our youth in an effort to support their full development and success. This critical mission has contributed to increased graduation rates, decreased drop-out rates, and ultimately the costly negative impacts to our community and society. The ST.AN.D. Program has been operating through the School District of Manatee County for the past 11 years. In that time, the program has been delivered each year in most of our middle and high schools. Beginning with the 2019-2020 academic year, the program will expand to all secondary schools as well as offer services within our elementary schools.


    The ST.A.N.D. curriculum meets numerous Florida Department of Education Health and Science Benchmarks and State Mandates. In addition, the Florida Department of Education has recognized the program as a model program for health and prevention education in our secondary schools. Our trained and certified teachers partner with expert community speakers to teach the curriculum through Physical Education or Science classes for approximately 8-10 days, which can be arranged to fit within your school schedule. The program offers the option to select a compressed lesson plan or single presentations to fit within your schedule and the needs of students. In addition, we also conduct a brief 10-minute anonymous post survey of each student who completes the full curriculum.

    ST.A.N.D. lessons focus on:

    • Promoting positive peer norms regarding restraining from high risk behavior
    • Increasing communication between students and their parents
    • Human Growth and Development/Puberty
    • Promoting positive attitudes about abstinence
    • Providing accurate knowledge about preventing STD's, HIV, and teen pregnancy, a FLDOE mandate
    • Preventing teen dating violence, a FLDOE mandate
    • Preventing abuse of drugs, alcohol, E-cigarettes/ Vaping and other substances
    • Dangers of social media, a FLDOE mandate
    • Sexting
    • Bullying, FLDOE mandate
    • Character, FLDOE mandate
    • Trauma response
    • Consent
    • Know the law
    • Promoting positive life skills and coping mechanisms

    For Questions or Further Information please contact Suzy Ardila: Coordinator of the ST.A.N.D. Prevention Program (Students Against Negative Decisions) at (941)751-6550 Ext. 2112.

    Take the ST.A.ND. survey!


    Attention guest speakers from outside organizations!

    If you are from an outside organization and wish to speak with students in our schools, you must download and complete the below SDMC Health Education Guidelines and Approval Form. Only those educational materials and information approved using this form are authorized for use in district schools. All presenters must submit a copy of the materials or curriculum they will be presenting. If no written materials are to be used, then an outline of the presentation will be submitted. In addition, all presenters must submit a résumé or list of experiences delivering information to students. You may submit all forms and materials to Suzy Ardila, using the contact information listed above.

    SDMC Health Education Guidelines

    SDMC Outside Guest Speaker Approval Form