Five Texas School Districts Awarded for Walking the Walk!
We are proud to announce this year’s School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Award winners! These are five Texas school districts that are truly walking the walk to make healthy easier for students, families, and staff. Frisco ISD, Corpus Christi ISD, North East ISD, Dallas ISD, and Leander ISD were selected out of more than 30 applicants based on a range of criteria including: number of active council members, number of participating students and parents, frequency of meetings, reporting practices, number of issue areas addressed, and accomplishments this school year. The winning districts will each receive $300 to further their amazing school health efforts!
SHACs vary in size and choose to focus on different health-related issues to meet what they deem the most pressing needs of their students. There is no one recipe for a successful SHAC, but these winners make it clear that there are certain key ingredients including a diverse group of members, measurable goals, and a strong focus on evaluation.
Award winner Frisco ISD has a SHAC 50 members strong and places great emphasis on evaluation, which is especially critical with such a large student population. This year, Frisco ISD’s SHAC supported a district fun run, health fairs, and multiple district-wide nutrition challenges. The data collected from their 21 Day Healthy Snack Challenge will be presented to Texas Representatives in Washington DC! Frisco ISD has 20 Healthy Zone Schools recognized by the Cooper Institute, and ranks fourth in the nation for their participation in the American Heart Association Jump Rope for Heart campaign.
The Corpus Christi ISD SHAC is composed of representatives from each campus in the district to ensure effective communication and healthy progress districtwide. This year, CCISD instated our Teach Healthier App as their coordinated school health programming, the first school district in the state to do so! 158 coaches serving more than 50 elementary, middle and high school campuses are now integrating the app into their existing PE curricula, and the CCISD SHAC secured funding from the district to purchase iPads for all coaches to use. The CCISD SHAC is also doing impressive work to educate students on the dangers of e-cigarettes and synthetic marijuana.
North East ISD in San Antonio is a big winner this year; the district also took the 2016 Community Challenge by storm! NEISD has restructured their SHAC meetings to allow for more parent participation and has formed a new Kids SHAC (KSHAC) with 14 student members! NEISD will be putting their award winnings toward the new KSHAC and programs like their school garden kits.
The Dallas ISD SHAC has worked hard this year to onboard more parent members. They have also implemented a new policy this year to require at least 20 minutes of daily recess at all elementary schools in the district, increasing to at least 30 minutes next school year. Dallas ISD implements wonderful programs like CATCH and GoNoodle districtwide to ensure their students are active every day.
Last but not least, the Leander ISD SHAC expanded to five subcommittees this year, informed by a community needs analysis: Human Sexuality Education, Social and Emotional Learning, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Environmental. Each group is asked to analyze data and make recommendations to the district and school board. The Leander SHAC’s Recess Task Force has developed recess guidelines for the district and is tackling food and nutrition recommendations next!
Congratulations, SHAC Award winners, and thank you for your dedication and leadership. We look forward to recognizing you at the IT’S TIME TEXAS Summit this summer! These five SHACs serve as excellent models for parents, educators, and administrators looking to form a new SHAC or strengthen an existing one.
We also partner with Action for Healthy Kids, Texas Department of Health and Human Services, Texas PTA, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension, Dairy Max, and YMCA to make up the SHAC Leadership Team, which provides resources and support to new and existing councils across the state.