Empowering Health in School Communities: 2018 SHAC Award Winners
We are proud to announce the 2018 School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Award Winners! Schools all across the state of Texas worked tirelessly to build healthy environments within their school districts. We are amazed by the achievements SHACs are making in their school communities, and while it was difficult to choose just five winners, we are proud to recognize Cuero ISD, Fort Bend ISD, McAllen ISD, Pasadena ISD, and San Antonio ISD.
Cuero’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) consists of parents, students, and staff, all passionate about creating a healthy environment for their students. The 2017-2018 school year proved to be productive and busy for Cuero’s SHAC as they worked to better the health of their students and community.
Compared to prior years, parent participation increased and student input aided school staff in identifying focus areas.
This year, students and staff were excited to build and plant the first school garden in Cuero ISD, in conjunction with Texas A&M AgriLife Consumer Sciences. Students cooked and tasted a variety of healthy foods and snacks in the school kitchen using the Learn, Grow, Eat and Go curriculum, Organwise Guys and Family Time conversation. Brunch was added to secondary campuses offering healthy, nutritious foods for students, where there was a 90-114% increase in breakfast participation. The district used CATCH as their coordinated health program and offered fun active activities including “Drum Fit”, “Fuel up to Play 60” and “Walk Across Texas”. A suicide awareness and prevention team worked to train students and staff to recognize signs of mental health distress. And a District weight loss challenges helped staff make healthier food choices, increase their intake of water and be more active! It’s a great day to be a healthy Cuero Gobbler!
Fort Bend ISD
The Fort Bend ISD SHAC exists to equip all students with the knowledge, resources, and skills to live a healthy future. This year the SHAC focused on meeting parents by visiting campuses, attending district events, inviting parents and students to provide input into our school wellness plan, and working on district level health promotions. The SHAC provided an official recommendation to the school board about school start times specifically for the High School. Each SHAC subcommittee was asked to evaluate the research and invite key stakeholders to discuss the benefits and challenges that would be faced with the implementation of new school start times. Students were included in this discussion.
The SHAC was also involved in reviewing and recommending health education curriculum, anti-tobacco programs, physical education and physical activity resources, and health policies. The SHAC was often seen around the district promoting nutrition education at the FBISD Foodie Tour as well as recognizing wellness champions through the WATCH Recognized Wellness Award.
“In FBISD, the School Health Advisory Council supports the district goal to fully engage our collaborative community to support student success,” said FBISD Superintendent Dr. Charles Dupre. “We are thankful for partners that help us bring the Fort Bend ISD Profile of a Graduate to life in our classrooms by setting the roadmap to ensure our students are the best they can be by instilling healthy lifestyle habits at a young age. This recognition is a testament to the great work our School Health Advisory Council is doing in helping create a culture of strong healthy choices here in FBISD.
In McAllen ISD, schools work in partnership with parents and the community. The McAllen ISD School Health Advisory Council is a good example of this. Parents and staff members donate their time to benefit this community’s children.
The McAllen ISD SHAC was instrumental in contributing to the composition of the District’s Wellness Compliance Plan (WCP). The WCP documents provide an accountability measure on health-related mandates from the Texas Education Agency and district Board policies.
The SHAC also endorsed the District’s involvement in the “It’s Time Texas Community Challenge” which helped the City of McAllen win first-place in the Large City Category. Another highlight included a SHAC Resolution that supported a continued partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG). McAllen ISD has received national recognition from the AHG for four straight years. Every eligible school in the District has earned a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal. Moreover, each of those campuses is in compliance with 41 indicators in 6 modules: School Health and Safety Policies & Environment; Health Education; Physical Education/Physical Activity; Nutrition Services; Health Promotion for Staff; and, Family & Community Involvement.
Pasadena ISD’s SHAC understands that healthy students are better students and has worked to support district-wide efforts to create a culture of health at schools, within families, and throughout the community. The Pasadena ISD SHAC is always seeking ways to extend support to programs that help build a culture of health.
This year’s SHAC engaged with the Pasadena Vibrant Community Initiative. This project is a collaboration of multiple community partners promoting healthy living in Pasadena. Some of the priorities of this project included safe routes to school, increasing physical activity minutes throughout the school day (recess, kinesthetic learning, brain breaks), and providing nutrition education within the core curriculum. This initiative reaches further than just the education sector with a goal for the whole community to have access to healthy living opportunities such as exercise and food prescription. The SHAC supports the efforts of the project and has given feedback on the plans within the project including recess and safe routes to school. Through this work, the Pasadena SHAC has shown its dedication to the health and wellness of not only the students of Pasadena ISD but to the community as a whole.
San Antonio ISD
The San Antonio Independent School District SHAC approved a variety of important initiatives to support district stakeholders, including students, parents, teachers, the community, and elementary and secondary campuses. One major accomplishment was the development of the District “Wellness Policy, which was approved by the School Board. This policy was developed by the SHAC, parents, community members, and district administration subcommittees. The SHAC also reviewed and approved several evidenced-based instructional abstinence-plus curriculum for secondary campuses.
This year, the San Antonio ISD SHAC requested more representation from each Board Member’s District and conducted a more rigorous effort to add twice as many parent members. Parent membership increased from 14 to 28 SHAC parent members. This was a major accomplishment for the SHAC.
Another major SHAC accomplishment for the 2017-18 school year included the continued support for district and community physical activity programs such as such as San Antonio Sports Iplay, Zumba Classes, Mayor’s Fitness Council Student Ambassadors and the development of the Kids’ School Health Advisory Council (K-SHAC).
Congratulations to this year’s SHAC Award winners, and thank you for your dedication to strengthening the connection between health and education. We look forward to recognizing you at the Healthier Texas Summit this October!
We also partner with Action for Healthy Kids, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Texas PTA, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, TAHPERD, Dairy Max, and YMCA to make up the SHAC Leadership Team, which provides resources and support to councils across the state.