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Healthy School Communities

Don't miss out on the NEW Health and Learning News and Updates!

Healthy School Communities (HSC) has just launched its official bi-weekly e-newsletter, Health and Learning News and Updates. The e-newsletter will serve as bulletin of current school health news, free educator resources, announcements for grants, conferences, and action steps for subscribers.

Subscribe to Health and Learning News and Updates and forward to interested colleagues. Find links to archived issues at www.ascd.org/hsc.

Feedback about the e-newsletter and comments on the issues are always welcomed on the HSC group page on the ASCD EDge® social network.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

The Health and Learning News and Updates blog column will become a newsletter on July 11! Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest news, resources, and announcements about school health and well-being.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

From Zero-Tolerance Policies to Positive Behavior Support Director of Healthy School Communities Sean Slade blogs about the need to reevaluate zero-tolerance policies and emphasize counseling for students exhibiting behavior problems in school. (www.washingtonpost.com, 6/15)

School Is Over, but Meals Continue In Michigan, one of many states operating the Summer Food Service Program, low-income children continue to have access to free, well-balanced meals in the areas where they live throughout the summer. The Michigan state program has served, on average, over 2 million children for the past few years. (www.hollandsentinel.com, 6/26)

School Lunches up for Debate in Congress Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and Representative Jean Schmidt (R-OH) are both seeking support from their congressional colleagues to support their stance on the new USDA nutritional regulations that affect meals served in schools. Rep. Woolsey supports a review of the bill to include language that supports improved nutritional guidelines, while Rep. Schmidt says that regulating the nutritional quality of school meals to an improved standard would increase states' financial burden. (www.thehill.com, 6/15)

Resources

Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives The National Education Association (a Whole Child Partner) Health Information Network (NEA HIN) has released new health education lesson plans for K–3 educators. Healthy Steps for Healthy Lives, developed by NEA HIN and the Nestlé Healthy Kids Global Program, teaches fundamental nutrition and physical activity concepts. Contact Rita Henderson at Nestlé USA for free printed materials.

New Curricular Assessment Tool Available The Center for Relationship Education is offering a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved curriculum analysis tool, called the SMARTool (Systematic Method for Assessing Risk-avoidance curricula Tool), to assess school programs for subjects such as sexual or reproductive health, risk reduction, risk avoidance, or comprehensive life skills. The tool will assess how closely aligned programs are to data on protective factors against adolescent involvement in early sexual activity. Please contact the Joneen Mackenzie for more information. (Comprehensive Health Education Network (CHEN) Listserv, 6/23)

Take Action

Partnerships to Expand Protective Factors for Children in Child Welfare The Department of Health and Human Services will give awards of up to $250,000 to support collaborative initiatives between child welfare and early childhood systems to maximize enrollment and supports of young children in foster care into early care and education programs. Applicants are expected to address barriers to permanency and implement multidisciplinary interventions to improve the socioemotional and behavioral well-being of children and their families. Eligible entities include all levels of government, independent school districts, public and state controlled institutions of higher education, American Indian tribal organizations, and nonprofit organizations with or without 501(c)(3) status. Deadline: July 25, 2011. (www.healthinschools.org)

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Ontario Greens Its Schools: Ontario is renovating and revitalizing more than 70 schools to ensure that students have better places to learn. Schools will be getting new roofs, windows, and boilers to make schools cleaner, greener, and more suited to the needs of the community. (www.edu.gov.on.ca)

Soda on the Decline with U.S. Teens: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published a study that found fewer U.S. high school students are drinking soda on a daily basis. Water, milk, and fruit juices were reported to be the beverages most often consumed. (www.edweek.org, 6/16)

New USDA Pilot Program Offers Free Meals to All: Districts across Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee are considering taking part in the USDA's new Universal Meal Service pilot program. Schools that already provide free and reduced-price meals to at least 40 percent of their students would be eligible to extend the free meals service to all of their students under the Community Eligibility Option. (www.chicagotribune.com, 6/20)

Nebraska Students See Results from School Wellness Programs: An evaluation of Kearney Public Schools revealed that student obesity decreased by 13 percent after schools implemented various strategies to improve the health of students. Elementary students showed the greatest decline in overweight and obese students. (www.dailyjournal.net, 6/19)

Resources

Introduce SEL Practices to Your School: Whole child partner the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) now offers a resource that illustrates steps for applying social and emotional learning (SEL) approaches in schools to promote safe and healthy learning environments. (www.casel.org)

The Bully Project: The Bully Project, a soon-to-be-released documentary film by Lee Hirsch, intends to educate parents, school administrators, and young people about the impact of bullying on vulnerable youth. Watch the trailer for the film, and visit the Bully Project website for information on scheduled screenings, DVD release opportunities, and links to educational material to promote conversations about strategies for bullying prevention. (www.thebullyproject.com)

Take Action

Funding for PTA Activities That Promote Good Health: The National PTA (a whole child partner) will award up to 10 Healthy Lifestyles grants of up to $1,000 each to a PTA in good standing to promote good nutrition and regular physical activity to help address the nation's childhood obesity epidemic. Visit National PTA's Healthy Lifestyles Program for more information on eligibility and how to apply. Deadline: September 2, 2011. (www.pta.org)

Nominate an Outstanding School Counselor: Whole child partner the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) is currently accepting school counselor nominations for its 2012 School Counselor of the Year award. Nominations are due June 30, 2011. (www.schoolcounselor.org)

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Mental Health Hotline Now Serving Students: Minnesota's largest school district, Anoka-Hennepin School District, will begin providing a mental health hotline for students and family members this summer. According to Superintendent Dennis Carlson, there is an unmet need for mental health service throughout the state. Callers to the hotline will be able to get referrals to other county services for further assistance. (Minnesota Public Radio)

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Ontario Students Start Own Food Revolution: Some students from Ontario High School in southern California launched a campaign to improve the nutritional quality of the food at their school. Students stated that healthier food leads to decreased tardiness, increased attendance, better test scores, and higher graduation rates as part of their justification of their demands. (www.dailybulletin.com)

Canadian Program Teaches Students Empathy: Roots of Empathy, a Canadian program that teaches students social and emotional lessons by having a parent and baby regularly visit a classroom, has expanded to the United States. Mary Gordon, the Canadian educator who founded the program in 1996, said her goal was to teach students empathy to prevent issues such as violence and neglect later in life. Students watch parents interact with their babies, and studies show reduced aggression among students and improvement in how they treat others. (ASCD Worldwide Edition SmartBrief, 5/24)

Researchers to Study Effects of Teacher Stress on the Classroom: Researchers at the University of Houston are about to embark on a three-year study looking at how chronic stress among middle-school teachers can affect the classroom, including teacher well-being and student performance. Results from a preliminary pilot study showed that educators older than 55 were better able to manage their stress, suggesting a scenario where veteran teachers could be paired with newer educators in the classroom. (ASCD SmartBrief, 5/31)

Resources

Miss the Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference?: The archived sessions of the inaugural Healthy School Communities (HSC) Virtual Conference are currently available for free. Also, let HSC staff know if you have an idea for a future presentation by filling out the feedback form. (www.ascd.org/hsc)

Rate Your School's Readiness in Emergencies: The American Red Cross has just launched ReadyRating.org to help schools better prepare for emergencies. Ready Rating is a free, self-paced, web-based membership program that can assist schools in determining levels of emergency preparedness deal and provides customized feedback on how they can improve their efforts. (ED's Safe & Supportive Schools News, 5/26)

Take Action

CVS Community Grants for Public Schools: CVS Caremark will provide grant funding of up to $5,000 for proposed programs that are fully inclusive for children with disabilities in early childhood, adolescent, and teenage programs that encourage health and rehabilitation or physical movement and play. Deadline is October 31, 2011. (http://info.cvscaremark.com)

Coca-Cola Company Supports Communities with Healthy Living: The Coca-Cola Foundation Community Support Program will fund organizations in these areas: water stewardship, healthy active living, community recycling, and education. Healthy active living includes providing access to exercise, physical activity, and nutritional education programs. Award amount varies. Eligible applicants must be tax-exempt organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Deadline: Rolling. (www.thecoca-colacompany.com)

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Combining Academics and Exercise Improves Children's Test Scores: Children who participated in a 40-minute, five-day-a-week physical education program that also incorporated academic lessons had improved scores in standardized reading tests after the initiative, according to a study presented in the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting. "These data indicate that when carefully designed physical education programs are put into place, children's academic achievement does not suffer," study coauthor Kathryn King said. (ASCD SmartBrief, 5/3)

Nutrition Guidelines Are Important for Bag Lunches, Too: Schools are providing more nutritious lunches with lower levels of fat and sodium because of federal regulations, but lunches that children bring from home often don't measure up, says registered dietitian Kate Dorr, who studied the issue in several schools in New York State. She said healthy packed lunches should include sandwiches on whole-wheat bread, fresh fruits and veggies, and milk or 100 percent juice, with an eye toward low levels of fat and saturated fat and high levels of iron, calcium, and fiber. (ASCD SmartBrief, 5/4)

Resources

USDA Encourages the Purchase of Local Agricultural Products for Child Nutrition Programs: The full text of the final rule for the Geographic Preference Option for the Procurement of Unprocessed Agricultural Products in Child Nutrition Programs is now available. For answers to common questions on the application of the geographic preference option in the procurement of unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural products, please see USDA memorandum SP 18-2011. Contact the Farm to School Team for additional questions or information. (www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth)

Free Book on Reducing Teen Sexual Risk: Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk is a new book by Douglas Kirby that offers a research-based, step-by-step guide to understanding seven sexual-psychosocial factors that affect sexual behavior. Reducing Adolescent Sexual Risk helps program planners, policymakers, district administrators, and youth-serving organizations design, adapt, and select curriculum-based programs to effectively address critical factors that affect teens' sexual decision making. (www.etr.org/pub)

Department of Education Releases 2010 Digest of Education Statistics: The U.S. Department of Education has released its Digest of Education Statistics for 2010. The digest compiles statistical information related to American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. Chapter Two particularly focuses on elementary and secondary education, with statistics on student support professionals. (ED's Safe & Supportive Schools News, 5/5)

Take Action

Register for the Inaugural Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference: Please join ASCD's Healthy School Communities from May 10–13, 2011, for the first-ever Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference. Take part in this free conference to learn more about health and learning. Topics will include

  • Aligning health and education in the school setting.
  • Improving school lunches and nutrition.
  • Physical activity and physical education across the school day.
  • Social, emotional, and mental health.
  • Staff wellness.
  • The Healthy School Communities model.

Join Healthy School Communities staff, mentor and mentee sites, ASCD authors, invited speakers, and guests to find out more about what's working across the United States and Canada and share health and learning stories. Registration is free, so register now! Space is limited for each session. (www.ascd.org/hsc)

Ontario's Healthy School Recognition Program: Ontario schools are invited to participate in and accept the Healthy Schools Challenge. Participating schools will be recognized with a certificate and pennant to display in their school. To participate in the program, a school community first pledges to do a healthy activity and then must actually do it. See what other schools who have successfully participated have done to accept the challenge. (www.edu.gov.on.ca)

Ask Your U.S. Senator to Attend Congressional Briefing on School Climate: A briefing
entitled "Enhancing Conditions for Student Learning and Academic Achievement Through Social Emotional and Character Development," will be held in Washington, D.C., this Thursday, May 12, 2011, at the Senate Dirksen Office Building (Ground Floor, Room 11, 10:00 a.m.–11:15 a.m.).

Contact your U.S. senators' offices and ask them or one of their staff to attend. Whole child partner the National School Climate Center suggests the following steps:

  • Inform them you are calling about an upcoming briefing related to an education issue important to the schools nationwide or schools in your community.
  • State you would like to speak to the staff in the senator's office who works on education legislation issues about inviting them to the briefing. This is usually the legislative director and education legislative assistant.
  • If you are not able to speak to the staff at this time, ask how to e-mail or fax information about the briefing. You do not want to use the U.S. mail, as it takes too long to get to their offices.
  • Follow up with an e-mail or fax with the briefing information. In your follow-up, always give a short specific WHY it is important to have national support for social, emotional, and character development in your schools and a thank you. View a sample letter you could use to send as well as a formal invitation. Note: If possible please add a small paragraph to the letter of a specific example of why this is important to your community or local school.
  • Follow up with a reminder to attend the briefing on May 9 or 10.

Ask for support of continued funding for the Safe and Supportive Schools grants and the inclusion of language in support of social, emotional and character development in current U.S. Department of Education programs. Contact Linda McKay if you need help in obtaining specific Senate office contact information or have further questions. (www.schoolclimate.org)

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

Healthy School Communities

Aligning Health and Education in the School Setting

HSC Model

How do we go about aligning health and education? How do we set out to overlap and link these entities that have traditionally been divided and siloed? The first step is belief. The second is action.

To better align, coordinate, and link health and education in the school setting, we must expand the conversation to include educators (teachers, school staff, and administrators) and community members (families, businesses, and agencies). A new publication, The Healthy School Communities Model: Aligning Health & Education in the School Setting (PDF), describes the actions that schools and communities need to take to realize systemic change that improves the health, well-being, growth, and development of their students, staff, and schools. The actions are divided into nine levers of change:

  1. The Principal as Leader
  2. Active and Engaged Leadership
  3. Distributive Leadership
  4. Integration with the School Improvement Plan
  5. Effective Use of Data for Continuous School Improvement
  6. Ongoing and Embedded Professional Development
  7. Authentic and Mutually Beneficial Community Collaborations
  8. Stakeholder Support of Local Efforts
  9. The Creation or Modification of School Policy Related to the Process

The Healthy School Communities model proposes a change in the way we have typically viewed health and education and schools' role in the development of the whole child. Great strides have been taken and implemented through the coordinated school health model; however its effect up to now has too often been sporadic, temporary, or marginal.

Comments and discussions concerning this publication can be directed to the ASCD EDge HSC discussion board. Join Healthy School Communities staff, mentor and mentee sites, ASCD authors, invited speakers, and guests this week at the first-ever (and free) Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference, May 10–13, 2011, to learn more about health and learning. Register today!

Healthy School Communities

Register Now: Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference

Register today for the first-ever Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference, May 10–13, 2011. Take part in this free online conference to learn more about health and learning. Join Healthy School Communities staff, mentor and mentee sites, ASCD authors, invited speakers, and guests to find out more about what's working across the United States and Canada and share health and learning stories, including best practices for sustainability and how to meet all areas of coordinated school health.

Session Topics:

  • Aligning health and education in school
  • Improving school lunches
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity and physical education
  • Social/emotional and mental health
  • The Healthy School Communities model

Featured Presenters and Partners:

Healthy School Communities Mentor Sites Presenters:

Registration is FREE and will be open through the last day of the conference, May 13, 2011. Register now! Space is limited for each session. Preview the session schedule, and learn more about Healthy School Communities.

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Ontario School Tests Effects of a Later Start Time: Students at a Toronto, Ontario, school are earning better grades, coming to school more often, and getting more sleep since the school pushed its start time to 10:00 a.m. The school began starting school at 10:00 a.m. in 2009—later than the previous 9:00 a.m. start—in response to research showing that teenagers are predisposed to waking up later. Educators say they are encouraged by learning gains and improvements in students' well-being. (ASCD Worldwide SmartBrief, 4/28)

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