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Implementing the School Health Index in Your School A discussion of the benefits of the School Health Index tool.

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Presentation on theme: "Implementing the School Health Index in Your School A discussion of the benefits of the School Health Index tool."— Presentation transcript:

1 Implementing the School Health Index in Your School A discussion of the benefits of the School Health Index tool

2 Mission Statement The American Cancer Society is the Nationwide Community-based Voluntary Health Organization Dedicated to Eliminating Cancer as a Major Health Problem by Preventing Cancer, Saving Lives and Diminishing Suffering From Cancer, Through Research, Education, Advocacy, and Service.

3 Primary Focus on Chronic Disease Prevention Health risk behaviors begin in childhood and persist into adulthood. Many of these behaviors place adults at risk for cancer. To prevent many cancers we need to prevent young people from engaging in health risk behaviors.

4 “Schools have more influence on the lives of young people than any other social institution except the family and provide a setting in which friendship networks develop, socialization occurs, and norms that govern behavior are developed and reinforced.” Healthy People 2010, U.S. Department

5 Academic performance is compromised by poor health. Physical Inactivity and Poor Diet contribute to risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. 27% of children age 5-10 have 1 or more heart disease risk factors 1 in 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop Type II Diabetes (based on current trends) Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

6 Students who engage in positive health behaviors have :  Improved attendance  Better grades  Higher graduation rates  Increased standardized test scores  Lower dropout rates  Fewer behavioral problems at school  More participation in school activities  Higher aspirations for post secondary education

7 How To Make A Coordinated Approach Happen...  Organize a school health council to coordinate the school health program – Many schools are already implementing some components of CSHP – Initially it may seem difficult – There are no set rules…consider what will work best in your school community

8 What Is A School Health Council?  An advisory body comprised of faculty and staff from the coordinated school health program – School nurses; health educators; physical educators; administrators; counselors; food service personnel  Additional members – Parents; members of community health agencies; faith community; local businesses; students  Members should be committed to the health of children and youth

9 Benefits of a School Health Council Improve overall health education Link schools with community health resources Provide a means for improving school health policies and programs Educate the community about the school and health issues Increase parent and community involvement in the school

10 Our Work In Philadelphia - School District of Philadelphia: 214,350 students enrolled in 2003/2004 school year and 276 schools -Large, urban environment with challenges such as poverty, violence, competing issues -Formed partnership between ACS, the Food Trust and the District -Will form 100 school health councils over the next four years

11 Philadelphia, continued -work collaboratively by holding weekend educational programs for council members/participants in Food Trust program -Meet one-on-one with schools to help form councils, discuss/assist with SHI, develop action plans to address weaknesses identified on SHI -To date, there are 25 new school health councils formed in the 03-04 school year -Meetings to be held over next 2 weeks for additional schools to form councils and to administer the SHI

12 Q: How Can Schools Begin? A: By Completing the School Health Index -The School Health Index is a Self-Assessment and Planning guide from the Dept. of Health and Human Services/the CDC. -It will enable your school to identify strengths and weaknesses in health promotion policies and programs. -It will help your school develop an action plan for improving student health. -It involves the necessary parties of parents, students, teachers and the community – all working together to improve school health policies, programs and services.

13 The School Health Index -Focus on Physical Activity, Healthy Eating, and a Tobacco-Free Lifestyle -8 Different modules based on CSHP - Health Education - Physical Education - Health Services - Nutrition Services - Counseling, Psychological and Social Services - Healthy School Environment - Health Promotion for Staff - Family/Community Involvement

14 The School Health Index -available at no cost -Can be complete in as little as 5 hours -Many improvements you will want to make can be done with existing staff and resources

15 Getting Started… -Identify a Site Coordinator and have that individual review the 8 modules -Assemble a School Health Index Team Principal/Assistant Principal Health Ed./Phys. Ed./Other teachers Food Services Parents Students School Nurse School Counselor/psychologist/social worker Coaches Community-based HCP Community-based Social Service Provider Community-based health agency (e.g. ACS; Food Trust)

16 Completing the Modules… -Assign modules to appropriate Index Team members or subcommittees -Answer questions as accurately as possible – no “passing grade,” not designed to be punitive -Expect at least some low scores – look at these as areas that carry potential -Have each team develop and rate a set of recommendations

17 Next Steps: -Meet with full team to discuss recommendations -Select a manageable number to address -Complete School Health Improvement Plan -IMPORTANT NOTE: There are two separate tools – one for elementary and one for Middle/High Schools

18 The American Cancer Society Supports School Health Because: Health education in schools can help to prevent cancer. Health education in the classroom must be reinforced and coordinated with other components of the school health program. A coordinated school health program can lead to healthier students and communities, and can ultimately reduce cancer risks.

19 THANK YOU !!! 1-800-ACS-2345

20 “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

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