School Health Advisory Council
"Healthy Students and Healthy Staff Achieve More Together""The CMS Board of Education is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children’s health and well-being, reduce childhood obesity, and enhance students’ ability to learn by supporting healthy eating, physical activity, and the development of lifelong wellness practices". - CMS Wellness Policy JL, August 2006
Among several objectives that address these goals, two are specifically related to School Health Teams and the Advisory Council.
In order to achieve these goals, CMS will:
- Establish and maintain a School Health Advisory Council to help to plan, implement, and monitor compliance with CMS Wellness Policy JL and other CMS policies and regulations related to student wellness;
- Establish and maintain School Health Teams in each school.
(CMS Wellness Regulations JL-R, November 2006)
School Health Advisory Council
The CMS School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) meets quarterly to share information and to increase awareness of CMS programs and policies that address the health and well-being of students, staff, and families. Its members include school administrators and staff from a range of CMS departments, and from the Mecklenburg County Health Department, as well as parents and other community representatives. Members of the SHAC represent the ten components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model:
- Health Education
- Nutrition, Environment and Services
- Employee Wellness
- Family Engagement
- Physical Education and Physical Activity
- Social and Emotional School Climate
- Physical Environment
- Health Services
- Community Involvement
- Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services
By promoting communication and collaboration among these ten component areas, the SHAC enhances the coordinated approach to school health, which goes hand in hand with improving students’ ability to learn.
School Health Teams
A School Health Team is a group of individuals from a school who work together to help identify health needs, set priorities, and write a plan of action, specifically for their school. Each School Health Team is unique, because the issues, individuals, community, and resources are not the same for every school. At each school, the School Health Team should be composed of representatives from each of the ten components of the WSCC model. For example, a team’s members may include the principal or assistant principal; health teacher; physical education teacher; classroom teachers; school nurse; cafeteria manager; safety officer; custodian; counselor or social worker; parent or PTO representative; family advocate; community business partners, and others. It is recommended that School Health Teams report to the School Leadership Team (SLT). Suggested ways for structuring the School Health Team are:
- as a subcommittee of the School Leadership Team (SLT),
- as part of an existing committee that reports to the SLT, or
- as a new and separate committee that reports to the SLT.
School Health Teams have planned and implemented a variety of initiatives, including Walk-to-School days and other programs that incorporate more physical activity for students and staff; nutrition education; training for staff on chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes; and health and wellness fairs for students, families, and communities.
Resources: The Coordinated School Health Team Tool Kit has been distributed to all schools. It includes step-by-step guidance on establishing a team, assessing the school’s needs, and developing an action plan, as well as success stories and examples of existing programs in CMS, and a variety of resources. Coordinated School Health Team Training workshops are offered through the Professional Development Center.
Upcoming School Health Team Trainings: TBD
Registration is through MyPD. Participants need to register for only one session.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Is every school within CMS required to have a School Health Team?
- As a subcommittee of the School Leadership Team
- As part of an existing committee that reports to the SLT
- As a new and separate committee that reports to the SLT
Will this approach at my school require additional funding for our school?
No. Adopting this approach will mean better use of the resources you already have at your school or in your community. You can begin to establish partnerships with the public health department, local business and industry, or private health organizations that may provide services or funds. The School Health Team may also seek to pursue grant funds to pursue the goals.
Does the team have to represent all of the ten components of the WSCC model?
Yes. Ideally, your SHT’s will have representative(s) from each of the eight components. It is important to include representatives from these areas in order to best address your school's needs and focus on your children's health and well-being.
Will there be any help available to implement a team at my school?
Yes. training will be provided through the CMS Coordinated School Health Department. Dates of training for each school year are provided on MyPD. Additional training may be provided at school sites upon request. If you have any questions, call CMS Coordinated School Health for further questions (980-343-6269).