BACK TO SCHOOL TIME…
QUESTION: What can we do to help our students and schools?
ANSWER: Get involved with your school systems by providing resources and opportunities for students to succeed.
The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) Whole Child approach is an effort to transition from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long-term development and success of all children.
ASCD’S summary of the “Whole School, Whole Community & Whole Child” suggested the following 5 tenets to make the student the focal point:
- Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
- Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.
- Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.
- Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.
- Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.
This “Whole School, Whole Community, & Whole Child” approach follows a systems-based approach addressing eight components of the school as a venue for health promotion and disease prevention:
- Health education
- Physical education
- School health services
- Healthy and safe school environment
- Counseling, psychological, and social services
- Family and community involvement
- Health promotion for staff
- Nutrition services.
For more information about the “Whole School, Whole Community, and Whole Child” approach go to: http://www.ascd.org/programs/The-Whole-Child/Healthy.aspx
The national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) which monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contributes to the leading causes of death and disability among youth and adults and is housed within the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) at the CDC, has just released their “trends” on how our schools are doing on health prevention and health promotion.
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors six types of health-risk behaviors, including:
- Behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence
- Sexual behaviors related to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV infection
- Alcohol and other drug use
- Tobacco use
- Unhealthy dietary behaviors
- Inadequate physical activity
YRBSS also measures the prevalence of obesity and asthma and other priority health-related behaviors plus sexual identity and sex of sexual contacts.
YRBSS is a national school-based survey conducted by CDC and more information on the YRBSS can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/yrbs/results.htm
Bottom line: The trends are decreasing nationally for community members to participate in prevention education on alcohol, drugs, tobacco and violence. Schools are not tapping into the resources that their local communities can provide to help promote the health and well-being of each student. For more information on the “YRBBS trends” go to: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/data/shpps/pdf/2014factsheets/trends_shpps2014.pdf
In Northern Wisconsin, the Oneida, Vilas and Forest County communities are coming together as combined Coalition of Community members to help all its residents especially the youth, to engage in positive behaviors to promote healthy lifestyles. The name of this NEW Coalition is: Northwoods COPE which stands for Community, Outreach, Prevention and Education. We are looking for interested members who want to promote healthy lifestyles and positive mental health activities in our schools and our communities. If you are interested in joining us, please contact the Oneida County Health Department at: 715-369-6111 for more information. We are currently in the process of creating a work plan that will address the health needs of these three communities.