School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) strengthen the connection between health and learning. It’s Time Texas SHAC Award winners demonstrate commitment and success in fostering both the health knowledge and skills kids need to be healthy for a lifetime. It is the only award in Texas focused on SHACs and their efforts.
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: Aledo ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, Huffman ISD, Mission CISD, North East ISD.
The Aledo ISD SHAC is proud to partner with parents, school staff, students, and community members to promote healthy living. During the 2018-2019 school year they focused on programs to build culture and safety in schools. Their SHAC reviewed and approved the Sandy Hook Promise Program for implementation on all of our campuses next fall. The schools will implement a specific element of the program called ‘Start With Hello’ which works to empower all students to be inclusive of others with the intended outcome of promoting leadership and compassion for everyone, while also reducing the threat of school-based violence. An even larger focus of the SHAC this year was the topic of vaping and e-cigarettes. They spent a substantial amount of time discussing and reviewing the facts, the myths, and considered resources for students, staff, and parents in the ongoing effort to battle this problem. The adoption of videos to show students, training opportunities for staff, and literature and online resources as well as training options for parents all came out of the work of our SHAC.
Corpus Christi ISD
The Corpus Christi ISD SHAC aims to focus on all the eight components that guide the School Health Advisory Council. Accomplishments included coordinated efforts with 50+ community partners to improve the lives of our students, staff, and community. The two critical goals achieved this year were the successful implementation of the parenting program and the Corpus Christi Police Department (CCPD) display board called ‘Reach for the Stars’. ParentCorps is a program involving Pre-K parents, teachers, and students that has demonstrated improvement in children’s behavioral and physical health and academic achievement. Partners who are implementing and evaluating the program include CCISD, The Morris L. Lichtenstein, Jr. Medical Research Foundation, The University of Texas at Austin, New York University, and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. ‘Reach for the Stars’ is a combined program of SHAC and CCPD, which provides a holistic living approach and differentiates between healthy versus unhealthy way of life. The display boards have three-dimensional objects that illuminate and change colors to make a visual and everlasting imprint!
The Huffman ISD SHAC was very busy this year. After an incident where a student brought a handgun onto our high school campus with the intention of harming himself, the SHAC decided that the primary focus of the year should be mental health awareness. After much research into available resources, the District plans to host its first “Parent to Parent” meeting. These meetings will be hosted by the SHAC with mental health providers speaking to parents about signs, symptoms, and solutions to mental health issues their children may be experiencing.
The secondary focus for the year was vaping. To address the vaping epidemic, the SHAC has reviewed and recommended the anti-vaping program, “Catch My Breath.” Additionally, several of our SHAC members in conjunction with our high school principal have created “bathroom billboards” to address vaping, mental health, and a variety of other issues.
Mission CISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) for the 2018-2019 proved to be a year of productive change providing advice on aspects of the school health policies and programs to the School Board. Each role of the eight components of coordinated school health that are included played a crucial part in the school success programs and initiatives.
Initiative highlights for the year from the components of SHAC: Epipen program across all campuses for student safety. In addition to AED’s at all campuses and facilities, Mission CISD is now a Heart Safe Recognized District putting student and staff health of safety first. Parents were certified on CPR and offered them nutritional classes by our child nutrition program. The district focused in general mental health and behavioral counseling including crisis intervention. All secondary schools have the Rachel’s Challenge Program which is FOR (Friends of Rachel) Organization. For the District’s staff wellness and heathy & safe schools focus, Mission CISD was recognized for excellent in Risk Management for its “Fall into Better Health 5K Run/Walk” by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
North East ISD
The North East Independent School District School Health Advisory Council was 52 adult and 29 student members strong in the 2018-19 school year! It was the largest council in the history of the NEISD SHAC. Twenty-nine parents, two Board of Trustees who serve as non-voting members, and at least one student representative from each of the 21 secondary campuses were highlights of membership. This year, the five SHAC committees were focused on completing District Recommendations for campus wellness and health improvement for the 2017-2019 school years and creating new recommendations for the 2019-21 school years. The recommendations are based on campus School Health Index data that is completed every two years. The NEISD SHAC is passionate about making a difference in meaningful and impactful ways that campuses actually need; the SHI data has helped guide the SHAC tremendously in their endeavors.
Other highlights included a learning to grill night for our KSHAC students members sponsored by Texas Beef Council, spearheading the It’s Time Texas Community challenge and winning the Metro School District title, starting a new SHAC practice of highlighting campus and district superstars or programs, and celebrating the graduation of two KSHAC students. It was an amazing year for the NEISD SHAC and we are looking forward to 2019-2020.
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.