School Resources

Pam Richard, Social Worker
Gilbert H. Hood Middle School

Community Alliance for Teen Safety is an integral part of our Greater Derry Community. The amazing staff and volunteers at CATS encourage strong family connections and youth education around at-risk behaviors.
Developmentally, it is expected for our middle and high school students to move toward independence but they still need our guidance on this personal journey. CATS provides this guidance. In order to combat the media, music genre and social milieu of “anything goes” that surrounds our children…CATS is a shining light of healthy and positive choices for our children.

As a school social worker, I have seen the devastation of poor choices and lack of education that many of our children have faced with irreversible and life changing consequences. I also see the positive and leadership choices that many of our children are capable of making and do make! I am proud to be a partner with CATS in helping our families and our youth move toward becoming productive and happy adults. Our children are just incredible.

Our Derry Cooperative School District’s mission is to create a safe and successful learning environment for all students; one that fosters challenging situations, promotes self-worth, encourages learning as a lifelong activity, and produces healthy young adults who will contribute to society. I assure you we cannot accomplish this mission alone.

Our ongoing partnership with Community Alliance for Teen Safety is an essential ingredient needed for our children’s success.



Peer Support Groups for Parents of Children, Teens and Young Adults with Substance Use Issues

F.A.S.T.E.R. Parent Support Group
(Families Advocating Substance Treatment, Education & Recovery)

Are you concerned about your child’s use of alcohol or other drugs?

  • Free
  • Confidential
  • Comprised of Peers
  • Respectful of others’ views
  • Accepting of chemical dependency as a treatable disease of the brain
  • Always hopefulBeginning Feb. 3rd, 2015
    The group is held every Tuesday
    6:30pm – 8:00pm at Birch Heights, Kendall Pond Road, Derry NH
    Contact Denyce at (603) 247-7322 for more information
    Walk-Ins Welcome

Groups are supported by a contract with N.H. Department of Health and Human Services with funds from U.S.D.H.H.S. The groups are a program of The Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative with New Futures and are funded by a SAMHSA, System of Care Grant, through the Division of Children, Youth and Families.

New Hands-Free Law

NH’s New Hands Free Electronic Device Law Goes into Effect on July 1, 2015!

What does this mean?

  • No use of hand held electronic devices capable of providing voice or data
    communication while driving or temporarily halted in traffic for a stop sign or
    traffic signal or other momentary delays
  • This includes cell phones, GPS, tablets, iPods, iPads or other devices that require
    data entry
  • Emergency calls to 911 or other public safety agencies will be allowed
  • Bluetooth or other hands-free electronic devices will be allowed
  • One hand non-cellular 2-way radio use will be allowed
  • Teen drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use any electronic devices
    (hand held or not) except to report an emergency. Anyone violating this will be
    subject to penalties and license suspension or revocation.

Why is the NH Law Important?

  • During the past 4 years, 116 fatal crashes in New Hampshire were caused by
  • The increasing use of electronic devices is fast becoming the primary distraction
  • While texting, a driver is 23 times more likely to crash
  • Sending or receiving a text distracts the driver for almost 5 seconds
  • At 50 miles per hour, we travel longer than the length of a football field during
    that 5 seconds
  • Even dialing a phone number increases the risk of crashing by 3 times.

Penalties for Violations

1st Offense…………………………… $100 fine
2nd Offense…………………………. $250 fine
3rd Offense within 2 years………. $500 fine
Penalty assessments will be added to the fines

Heroin Crisis in NH

County-wide Forum addresses the Heroin Crisis

David Kelley, Deputy Director of the New England HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area), talks about the heroin crisis before an audience of 200 at the Heroin in Rockingham County forum held in December at Sanborn Regional High School. Guest panelists included Pat Conway, Rockingham County Atty; Joe Harding, Director of BDAS; Tim Lena, SAP Coordinator for Timberlane School District; Tricia Lucas, Advocacy Director for New Futures; Eric Spofford, Founder/CEO of Granite house; Dr. Patti Shea, Director Clinical Operations Hampstead Hospital; Major Darin Melanson, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office; Chief Donald Briggs, Kingston PD. The forum was presented with support and collaboration of the Derry, Manchester and Seacoast regional public health networks, local coalitions and many local and state partners.

CATS produces Heroin series with Derry CTV

To raise awareness of the heroin crisis impacting Derry and communities across NH, CATS produced, in partnership with Derry Community Television, a series of shows that focused on the medical/recovery, family, law enforcement, and state medical examiner’s perspectives.

Community Project Benefits Derry Middle Schools

American Pride Woodworking teamed up with the Community Alliance for Teen Safety (CATS); residents of the Granite House; and members of the Fostering Student Connections (FSC) group at Pinkerton Academy led by Valeria Mazzola, Pinkerton’s Social Worker to create and decorate one-of-a-kind wooden bins. These bins were built as part of a collaborative project to benefit the community. Donations of school supplies from community were collected for West Running Brook and Gilbert H. Hood middle schools and presented to Pam Richard and Maryanne Taylor in June.

Sue Centner, Pam Richard, Maryanne Taylor, Frank LeBlanc-
Sue Centner, Pam Richard, Maryanne Taylor, Frank LeBlanc-


2014 Highlights on Child Passenger Safety & Seat Belts

The Derry satellite Buckle Up NH coalition focused on driving safety, youth and adult seat belt use, and child passenger safety initiatives during the year.

  • To raise awareness of the dangers of improperly installed car seats and to provide an opportunity for parents to bring their used car seats for proper disposal, the Derry coalition in partnership with Safe Kids NH and the Injury Prevention Center at Dartmouth held a child safety seat checkup and recycling event in October. Certified technicians from around the state volunteered their time. In spite of the cold, rainy weather 10 families benefited from the checkup, all 10 needing new car seats, and 7 seats were recycled for safety reasons. Police Officer Jeff Pike is Derry’s certified technician.
  • The Town of Derry proclaimed the week of September 14 – 20, 2014, as Child Passenger Safety Week and encouraged all residents to properly and safely secure their children in approved safety seats when traveling in a motor vehicle.
  • Driving safety was a focus during the annual Derryfest in September. CATS, NH DOT, NH Driving Towards Zero, Injury Prevention Center, and Derry Police provided a variety of safety information. Thank you to the Merrimack Police who brought the popular seat belt convincer which had over 30 visitors during the event.
  • Howard Hedegard, Highway Safety Specialist, and Steve Gratton, NH Teen Driver Project Coordinator, presented the Room to Live program to the Next Charter School students in October. This program is designed to show that the vehicles most of us drive are designed to provide us with “Room to Live” if we are restrained.