Tagged “Healthy School Communities”

Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

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.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

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.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Washington District's School Lunches Get a Healthy Upgrade with Fresh Foods: Washington State's Vashon Island School District gave cafeteria workers cooking lessons so they could prepare meals using fresh, locally grown ingredients and serve food the day it is made. Chef Tom French of the Experience Food Project, who is behind the healthy-food makeover, says schools also need to market the changes to students so they buy into the program.

Mobile Dental Clinic Reaches Underserved Children: After a child died from having an infected tooth and no access to dental care, one dentist was inspired to start a mobile dental clinic that serves poor children without access to dental care at their schools in Prince George's County, Md. The Deamonte Driver Dental Van's mission is to prevent other children from dying from untreated tooth decay.

Baltimore Schools Nutrition Chief Shares Successful Programs: Baltimore (Md.) public schools' food and nutrition director, Tony Geraci, is traveling around the United States to promote nutrition education and healthy-food programs, such as the Great Kids Farm, that have worked in his city. The district has overhauled its food-service program so that nearly all produce included in the student-designed school menus comes from Maryland farms.

No Free Lunch: The National School Lunch Program requires participating schools to provide nourishing meals for all students. Lately, however, more kids are showing up to school with no money to pay for meals. To accommodate these children, most schools provide an "alternate meal" that covers the bare minimum nutritional requirements—usually a cheese or peanut butter sandwich and a four-ounce box of juice or milk—which is paid for by increasing the regular price for kids who can pay. The slim offerings are expected to recruit more families who need financial help to apply for free and reduced-price meals for their children. The increased enrollment helps to lower the direct costs to the school, allowing the federal government to pick up more of the tab. How might the new mandate for schools to improve the nutritional quality of food affect schools' drive to increase free and reduced-price meals enrollment rates? Read more.

Resources

Social-Emotional Learning in Schools Makes a Difference: The peer-reviewed journal Child Development has published the first large-scale metaanalysis of school-based social and emotional learning (SEL) programs. The research findings can be used as evidence of the positive effect of SEL on healthy child development.

Take Action

ASHA Extends Its Conference Proposal Deadline: Got a health-related teaching technique to share? How about evaluation findings of a school-based program or intervention? Consider submitting a proposal to present at whole child partner the American School Health Association's (ASHA) 85th annual conference this year in Louisville, Ky., October 12–15. The proposal submission deadline has been extended to March 31, 2011.

Consider Writing for Educational Leadership: Showcase your school community's success in making students and staff feel safe, valued, and connected by writing for Educational Leadership magazine. The theme for the September 2011 issue is "Promoting Respectful Schools." Review the guidelines for submission and the theme description:

Students who feel safe, valued, and hopeful in school are more likely to learn. This issue will explore how schools can promote respect for self and others—in both students and teachers. Which programs reduce bullying and promote respectful relationships? How can schools address prickly issues related to race, culture, and religion and teach such crucial skills as empathy and cultural sensitivity? We're interested in articles from teachers who are making classrooms safe places where students can learn from mistakes and articles from school leaders who are making staff feel valued and supported. We welcome international contributions and real-life stories of how schools have created physically, emotionally, and intellectually respectful learning environments.

Deadline: April 1, 2011

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

Discipline Team Aims to Address Issues Before They Become Problems: Two teachers at an Indiana elementary school make up the school's discipline team, created as part of the school's turnaround plan. The two begin their day at the school's breakfast program and aim to get to know students and uncover potential issues. "We're getting the pulse of the building," one teacher explained. "We want to be on top of the problems so we can deal with them before they erupt. If it's bad at the beginning of the day, it's just going to go downhill if we don't find a way to get things in order."

Teachers in Ontario Are Asked to focus on Students' Mental Health: Educators in Ontario's Windsor-Essex Catholic District have been asked to take more care in determining if students suffer from mental health disorders. Leonardo Cortese, chief of psychiatry at Windsor Regional Hospital, said that about 20 percent of students suffer from a mental disorder, but have trouble telling teachers they are depressed or experiencing anxiety. "You're a detective and need to dig deeper to get to that," he told school employees during a recent symposium.

Illinois High Schools Work to Combat Teen Suicides: Illinois high schools are aiming to address teen suicides through initiatives that remove social stigma, promote open discussion, and offer mental health therapy, among others. For instance, Barrington High School created a mental health-focused community group and updated its health curriculum, while St. Charles School District 303 initiated a Facebook campaign on mental health awareness and put hotline numbers on student IDs.

Canadian Group Suggests Limiting Screen Time for Children: The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology released new guidelines that suggest limiting recreational television, game, and computer time to two hours each day for students who are 5–17 years old. The guidelines also call for students to spend more time outdoors, get more exercise, and walk or bike to school when possible. Ideally, children and youth should be getting about an hour of physical activity daily, though only about 7 percent meet the target.

Resources

Use Technology to Promote Wellness with SchoolTube: SchoolTube.com is a great way for educators and students to access and share information online about initiatives, school projects, presentations, and a wealth of other education resources. Check out the health and wellness channels and think about maybe starting your own channel for your school.

How Can Health and Education Sectors Address the Needs of the Whole Child? This article, published in the latest issue of Preventing Chronic Disease and coauthored by Theresa Lewallen, illustrates the need for public health officials to join educators in improving child health and learning.

New Promotional Video from Let’s Move in School: Let's Move in School is a joint effort calling on physical educators, parents, and policymakers to work together to implement a comprehensive school physical activity program that incorporates quality physical education and activity in schools. Register your school to have a Let's Move in School event during National Physical Education and Sport Week from May 1 to 7.

Take Action

Get Health and Wellness Grants from Rite Aid: The Rite Aid Foundation is providing grants to nonprofits that administer health and wellness in communities where Rite Aid operates. Deadline: April 1, 2011.

Shade Structure Program: The American Academy of Dermatology's (AAD) Shade Structure Program awards grants to purchase permanent structures designed to provide shade and ultraviolet ray protection for outdoor areas. AAD also provides a permanent sign to be displayed near the shade structure that promotes the importance of sun safety.

AAD will award up to 35 grants. Each shade structure grant is valued at a maximum of $8,000. Nonprofit organizations and public schools that are sponsored by an AAD member dermatologist (find one here) and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to having a sun safety/skin cancer awareness program in place for at least one year prior to application are eligible to apply. Deadline: April 22, 2011.

Nature of Learning Grant Program: The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Nature of Learning Grant Program is looking to promote an understanding of local conservation issues, utilize field experiences, and encourage student-led projects that connect classroom lessons to real-world issues while building partnership among local school, business, and community members. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: Schools or nonprofit organizations. Deadline: April 1, 2011.

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

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.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

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.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

Empowerment, Respect, and Health: In the latest Huffington Post article by ASCD Healthy School Communities Director Sean Slade, he writes about an example of whole child education at Manzanita SEED Elementary in Oakland, Calif. Read more to learn about the practices and results that led to this school winning the California 2010 National Title I Distinguished School Award.

Relationships Key to Strong School Culture: Boosterthon Fun Run blogger Robert Walker interviews Sean Slade about what it takes to engage students by reinforcing a strong, dynamic school culture. Read the interview.

Evaluating School Climate: Healthy School Communities participated in last week's No Name-Calling Week by contributing a blog post focusing on using the Healthy School Report Card's characteristic on social and emotional climate to evaluate school policies and practices that may address issues such as bullying and name-calling. All Healthy School Communities are encouraged to comment and share experiences both on the blog and on ASCD EDge.

Resources

Health Education Resources for Youth: The Adolescent Health Working Group has published an online series of health education handouts that discuss issues such as basic adolescent health care, behavioral health, body basics, and sexual health. All handouts are available for free download and in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Take Action

Seeking Input from Teachers and Students about Type 2 Diabetes: BSCS, a science education nonprofit organization, is looking for input from teachers and students to help develop a curriculum on type 2 diabetes for schools. Share your thoughts in their survey.

Webinar on How to Promote a Learning-Receptive Emotional State: The "Ask Dr. Judy" series returns on February 2 at 3 p.m. ET, with a free webinar on promoting a learning-receptive emotional state. Join neurologist-turned-teacher Judy Willis for a one-hour session on practices conducive to student learning and interventions that effectively tackle common behavioral issues. Register now.

Schools, Families, Communities: What supports can schools provide to help maintain a healthy, safe environment for learning? How can schools encourage parents—including parents from minority and immigrant cultures—to take on meaningful roles in the school? How can we best guide parents to reinforce students' schoolwork at home? And how can schools make better use of the rich resources within their communities? ASCD Express is looking for short, 600- to 1,000-word essays on the theme "Schools, Families, Communities." Please e-mail your submissions to express@ascd.org by February 8, 2011. Articles on innovations like full-service community schools; 24-hour schools; service learning; community-based projects; and partnerships among schools, local businesses, and universities are welcome.

EPA Announces Grant to Address Children's Environmental Health: The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Office of Children's Health Protection has announced a request for proposals for grant that address children's environmental health in underserved communities. The EPA intends to award approximately 15–20 awards that total approximately $1.5 million. Each award is not to exceed $100,000. The due date for initial proposals is February 18, 2011. Eligible submissions may come from U.S. states or state agencies; territories; city or township governments; county governments; the District of Columbia; federally recognized American Indian Tribes; possessions of the U.S; public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, other public or private nonprofit institutions; and 501(c)(3) organizations. Find out how to submit a proposal.

Critical Exposure—Through Your Lens: The 21st Century School Fund, Critical Exposure, and Healthy Schools Campaign are inviting students, teachers, and everyone within view of a school building to "show the world what you see every day at school." Contestants are invited to reveal an honest perspective of school facilities that include the good parts, the troubling parts, the things to be proud of, and the things to change. Contest launches February 1, 2011.

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

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.

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Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates

News

NIH Initiates Biggest Children's Health Study in United States: Researchers involved in the National Children's Study—the largest health study related to children in the United States to date—will monitor more than 100,000 Americans from the time before they are born until they are age 21 to understand how environmental and cultural conditions affect health and development. The study, led by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies, will use interviews, blood samples, and umbilical cords as part of its data-gathering methods.

USDA Proposes New Standards for School Meals: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed a new guideline for subsidized school meals that includes a 50 percent reduction of salt in food and more servings of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nonfat or low-fat milk. The USDA guideline is only a proposal, and it could be several years before any changes are required.

Ontario's School Nutrition Standards Get an Upgrade: Get the facts on Ontario's new nutrition standards for schools that will likely take place in September this year. The new standards will divide foods into three categories: not permitted for sale, healthiest, and healthy. Eighty percent of the content in a school meal and beverage must be in the "healthiest" category, and the remaining 20 percent must be categorized as "healthy."

How Do Counselors Affect the School Environment? A study last year found that 20 percent of elementary school students have a mental disorder, but there is a significant shortage of counselors in U.S. schools, education blogger Valerie Strauss writes in this post. Most states do not require schools to have mental-health professionals on staff, but Strauss points to another study that shows students in schools with strong school-counseling programs have higher test scores. Also, teachers in those schools report more peaceful school environments.

Take Action

Ontario Launches Healthy School Recognition Program: The Ontario Ministry of Education will be accepting applications for its Healthy School Recognition Program. Exemplary public schools that have pledged to take on health-promoting activities will receive a certificate and be publicly recognized on the Ministry's website.

Scholastic, Inc. awards Welch's Harvest Grants to U.S. Schools: The purpose of Welch's Harvest Grants is to help teach the value of sustainable agriculture and healthy eating through school gardens. Hands-on experiences with planting, tending, and growing gardens provide children an engaging learning environment.

Two schools in every state will be selected to receive a customized indoor or outdoor garden package filled with a variety of tools, seeds, educational materials, and more. Eligible schools and organizations include public and private schools, accredited homeschool associations (K–8), public libraries, religious educational centers, and Head Start centers. Deadline: February 11, 2011.

Community-Based Partnerships for Childhood Obesity Prevention and Control: The National Institutes of Health is providing funding to support childhood obesity research through the forming of research teams composed of stakeholders such as researchers, policymakers, community representatives, public health practitioners or officials, and educators. The research teams will conduct relevant research for potential policy efforts in the area of childhood obesity prevention and reduction. Deadline: May 7, 2012.

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

School Trains Sixth Graders in CPR: A Massachusetts school spent the last two days before winter break training 6th-grade students in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the Heimlich Maneuver, and other life-saving techniques. The curriculum, usually taught in 9th grade, has been simplified to train more individuals. "This is a new and innovative program that we hope will really catch on in other surrounding communities," a lieutenant with the fire department said.

Developing Emotional Resiliency Could Benefit Stressed Teachers: Teaching is a stressful profession and the retention rate—especially in struggling schools—often is low, says a school-improvement coach. Elena Aguilar writes that teachers would benefit from developing emotional resilience—knowing when to let go and how to adapt to stressful situations. She recommends that building these emotional skills be incorporated into teachers' professional development and cites research that shows mentoring and collaborating could help, too.

Why Do We Need Physical Education in Schools? Healthy School Communities Director Sean Slade illustrates the two sides of the debate in his blog post on the Whole Child website. Although research shows that healthier students learn better, there are others out there who seem to believe PE and recess are a waste of classroom time. Go to ASCD EDge and tell us how you defend the role of physical education and physical activity in your school.

Resources

Mental Health Resources for Schools: The Center for Mental Health in Schools at UCLA provides a free online toolkit, Practitioner and Professional Development: Virtual Toolbox for Mental Health in Schools, that reflects on the role of mental health in the well-being of students for school personnel involved in preservice and inservice professional development.

Take Action

Get Nutrition Education in Your Classrooms: Attend this free 45-minute webinar on Wednesday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m. pacific time, 6:00 p.m., eastern time, from SPARK, a whole child partner, to learn how you can integrate nutrition education into other core subject areas like math, science, language arts, and physical education. Register now!

Get Into It and Fight Childhood Obesity: Special Olympics and Youth Service America is offering Get Into It grants. The purpose is to bring together students of all abilities to fight childhood obesity in their schools and communities. The Get Into It curriculum helps to develop a service-learning program that gives youth the opportunity to make a change by creating and implementing local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity. Maximum award: $1,000. Eligibility: U.S.-based teams that include a teacher and a unified pair of students (one with and one without an intellectual disability). Deadline: January 19, 2011.

Excellence in Summer Learning Award: Whole child partner the National Summer Learning Association will be awarding its Excellence in Summer Learning Award to an outstanding summer program that "demonstrates excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting positive development for young people between kindergarten and 12th grade." Award winners will receive national recognition, increased press opportunities, conference presentations and complimentary registrations, professional development opportunities for staff, and increased publishing opportunities. Public or private organizations or agencies (schools, community-based organizations, libraries, universities, faith-based organizations, etc.) serving young people between the ages of kindergarten and 12th grade over the summer months are eligible to apply. Deadline: February 11, 2011.

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.

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