Pennsylvania School Is on Guard Against Unhealthy Eating Habits: The William D. Kelley School in Philadelphia is taking a comprehensive approach to battling obesity by banning soda and sweet snacks and emphasizing healthy eating in the curriculum. In addition, the principal and parents have asked nearby stores to stop selling junk food to children in the morning so they will eat a healthier breakfast.
Food Experts Urge Parents, Schools to Get Tough About Nutrition: Experts in food politics are taking parents and schools to task for not being more aggressive about providing healthy foods for children, saying students do not necessarily need to have a say in what goes on the menu and that the school lunch line should not mimic a fast-food restaurant. "Renegade lunch lady" and author Ann Cooper, speaking at the Natural Products Expo, criticized the organic industry for making candy, corn dogs, and other unhealthy snacks.
Now, it's true that people hear and pick up what interests them or what sparks their memory, but my takeaways were very whole child. Just like the summaries from the Department of Education's Bullying Prevention Summit held in August, terms like school climate, school-community collaboration, systemic approach, and baseline of care were key and prevalent.
Massachusetts Districts Implement Anti-Bullying Efforts: Many Massachusetts school districts are rolling out anti-bullying plans that were due to the state by the end of 2010. The plans vary widely by district, with many aimed at specific age groups and some incorporating elements of outreach to parents. State reviews of the plans are expected to be finished today, and districts with more work to do will be notified.
Today, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed students, parents, and teachers to the White House for a conference on bullying prevention.
In a special Facebook video message about the conference, the president and first lady said bullying "affects every single young person in our country" and emphasized that putting a stop to bullying is a responsibility we all share. The president also stated that bullying can no longer be viewed as "an unavoidable part of growing up" because we now know how harmful it is and how pervasive it can be in today's increasingly digital world.
Prohibition or Modeling of Good Nutrition?: In an online article, author Hank Cardello compares prohibition of selling junk food in schools to the nationwide prohibition of alcohol consumption in the 1920s. He claims that schools are wasting their efforts on an idea that won't work and only opens up the opportunity for black market candy selling. While this comparison seems a bit of a stretch, do you think Cardello has missed the point about the role of schools in modeling, teaching, and providing good nutrition? Or do you agree with Cardello's viewpoint that completely eliminating these foods doesn't teach students anything? Share your thoughts on ASCD EDge.
Raising Awareness and Reducing the Stigma of HIV: The entire senior class at Urban School in San Francisco, Calif., has taken on a group project that involves each student getting tested at school for HIV. The students hope to increase participation in and awareness of sexually active high school youth getting tested. Read more.
Oklahoma High School Parents and Principal Frown at New School Lunch Guidelines:Not everyone seems pleased with the new efforts to improve school nutrition. Some critics say that the new guidelines will cost schools money when it's not certain students will even eat the healthier choices. Without buy-in from some parents, principals, and even students, how likely is it that the USDA's nutrition standards are going to have an effect? Comment on ASCD EDge.
Each year Healthy School Communities exhibits and presents conference sessions about the Healthy School Report Card (HSRC), an action tool that addresses the health and well-being of students and staff. It provides the basis for a school improvement plan that moves toward a whole child approach.
However, many times we do not have the opportunity to fully discuss the details of each of the 11 characteristics of healthy school communities, which cover not only health and well-being but also effective teaching and learning. Because this week was No Name-Calling Week, let's highlight a key indicator in the tool that could help school communities evaluate the climate in the school that might lend to name-calling and bullying.
School Ends Policy of Tying PE Grade to BMI Measurement: Parents at a Chicago-area school get together to pressure school officials to discontinue linking students' body fat measurements to fitness grades. The BMI Index will remain a tool used to track physical fitness levels, but will no longer be shared with the students on progress reports.