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)
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)
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.