Texas School Health Advisory Committee - Resources

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Compiled by the TSHAC, the Resources section provides the most authoritative information, best practices, technical support, references, research and legislative outcomes currently available to support school leaders in their efforts to promote and practice health education and health services within the school setting.

Call for Best Practice Programs and Resources – Texas School Health Advisory Committee

School districts, agencies and organizations continue to move toward accountability to develop effective and efficient programs that meet the needs of students and their families.  Pressure to document impact, effectiveness, and efficiency generates concern over “what works?”.  The Texas School Health Advisory Committee (TSHAC) is committed to helping schools locate “best practice” programs and resources and sharing them via the TSHAC Web site.  This is a call for “best practice” programs in an effort to share them with other school staff from around the state. 

Guidelines for Submission of a Best Practice
Application for Submission of a Best Practice

Resources

Resources for Students and Families Dealing with Economic Crisis (Word 92K)
REVISED:  January 13, 2014
- The current economic situation has impacted almost everyone, some much more than others. Some students and their families are struggling for basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter. Others have to find different ways to fund post-secondary education. In any case, those working in schools need resources and ideas to provide to students and families dealing with the economic crisis. This document was compiled by the Texas School Health Advisory Committee and approved on March 23, 2009. Click on the title of this notification to access links to resources that may assist school personnel to help those impacted by an economic downturn.

School Health Initiative Screening Tool
REVISED: January 10, 2013
- Attached is a sample screening tool and guidelines revised and approved by the Texas School Health Advisory Committee at their January 10, 2013 meeting to assist School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) in the evaluation of programs and projects submitted that provide information and services to students, staff and the community. Use it to review curriculum, programs from outside agencies or projects that the SHAC is considering implementing. The questionnaire is not inclusive of all the issues that a district should consider, but designed to identify areas for consideration and the need to seek additional information.

  • Screening Tool Cover Letter
  • School Health Initiative Screening Tool
  • Annual SHAC Progress Report to Local School Board
    REVISED:  January 10, 2013
    - As a result of the 2009 81st Legislative Session, school health advisory councils (SHACs) are required to report directly to the district school board at least once annually with a detailed account of SHAC activities and recommendations. To help SHACs with this requirement, the the Texas School Health Advisory Committee developed a sample template for the required annual progress report in the form of a power point along with accompanying instructions for its use. Both are attached here for free download. The power point presentation, revised in 2013, can be customized for local use.

    Topics for SHAC Meetings In addition to the regular business conducted at SHAC meetings, there is benefit for members to learn about topics of interest, engage in relevant discussions, and coordinate initiatives that impact the operation of the SHAC.  This document lists topics for meetings that you may want to consider.  Links are provided for access to resources.

    Sodium Reduction in Schools
    The Texas Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Partnership of the Texas Department of State Health Services has developed a document that addresses the reduction of sodium intake as outlined in the United States Department of Agriculture 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as it relates to schools.  The Goal II Workgroup of the Partnership, in collaboration with the Texas School Health Advisory Committee, created “Recommendations for Reducing Sodium Intake in the School Setting (2012)” to provide recommended strategies for sodium reduction to school districts and school nutrition practitioners. 

    Bullying Prevention Toolkit
    In response to national and state concern about the impact of bullying on students, recent Texas legislation has addressed the need for districts to develop anti-bullying policies and interventions. Further, the Texas legislature directed the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency, to provide and annually update a list of best practice-based early mental health intervention and suicide prevention programs for implementation in general education settings.  

    The Bullying Prevention Toolkit was compiled and approved by the Texas School Health Advisory Committee at their May 14, 2012 committee meeting to support schools in their efforts to find effective anti-bullying resources to develop anti-bullying policies and interventions.

    Coordinated School Health Resource Data Sets
    Revisions to the Coordinated School Health Resource Data Sets were approved by the Texas School Health Advisory Committee at their January 14, 2013 meeting.  The Data Sets were created to provide easy access to school health related data to assist you with identifying areas that can be addressed in your Campus Improvement Plans/ District Improvement Plans, for grant-writing purposes, and to provide data for mandatory reports.

    School Health Services Staff Roles
    With more children entering school with complex medical issues, schools are challenged to match the available resources and the needs of students in the development of school health services.  The Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.012 outlines requirements for school boards to follow to implement or expand school health services.  Although there are different models implemented throughout the state, Recommended School Health Services Staff Roles guidelines, revised and approved by the Texas School Health Advisory Committee at their January 14, 2013 meeting, outlines a local model that is reflective of state laws, professional licensing and best practices.

    Texas Whole Child Guidebook
    This new guidebook proposes a broader definition of achievement and accountability that promotes the development of children who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged.  This guidebook is a roadmap to that success.

    What School Administrators Can Do to Enhance Student Learning by Supporting a Coordinated Approach to Health

    What School Boards Can Do to Enhance Student Learning by Supporting a Coordinated Approach to Health

    School Health Advisory Council Self-Assessment

    It is important for a district School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) to periodically assess how well it works.  SHAC members should ask themselves whether the SHAC does what it is supposed to do; is it meeting its objectives, and if so, to what extent will the objectives be accomplished by the target date?  Here are some questions to help evaluate how well the SHAC is functioning.  An effective SHAC should be able to answer “yes” to each question.  The SHAC may consider including the results of the self-assessment in their annual report to the school board.

    Asthma Communications Toolkit
    The purpose of this Asthma Communications Kit is to provide school leaders with a one-stop online resource to obtain information, forms and templates to communicate about asthma management in schools with staff, parents, the community and the media. It was created by American Association of School Administrators and the National School Boards Association with support from with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Adolescent and School Health. This toolkit is available to members and non-members alike.

    School Wellness Checklist for Administrators (Word 116K)
    Providing a healthy school environment that encourages learning is a priority for school leaders. The American Association of School Administrators provides information, resources and support to school leaders on this issue through various projects that focus on children. This short checklist focuses on the prominent wellness issues affecting schools and provides action steps leaders can take to ensure a healthy academic environment.

    FitnessGram GuideFITNESSGRAM® GUIDE for PARENTS and GUARDIANS
    This guide will help parents understand the requirements, justifications and implementation strategies surrounding the physical fitness assessment initiative for students in grades 3-12 in the state of Texas. These documents have been compiled by the Texas School Health Advisory Committee with special assistance from the Texas Education Agency, the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Agriculture. Access the entire guide (ZIP 3MB) by clicking on the Guide Cover to the right; or, you may choose single documents from the following list:

    1. Cover of Guide - In Word and PDF. (Word 192K) (PDF 51K)
    2. Cover letter - Explains the intent of the guide and provides contact information and helpful links. (Word 39K)
    3. Summary of Fitness Test Principles - Provides the principles that guide the FITNESSGRAM® initiative. (Word 29K)
    4. Administrator Letter - Letter sent to school administrators from the Texas Education Agency announcing the FITNESSGRAM® initiative and detailing the district's responsibilities as they relate to the assessment testing. (Word 42K)
    5. Physical Fitness Assessment Legislated Requirements - The Texas Education Code and Texas Administrative Code that address the mandated physical fitness assessment in schools. (Word 42K)
    6. Texas FITNESSGRAM® Training Test Protocols - Information for FITNESSGRAM® trainers on how to set up a training and what to teach. (Word 81K)
    7. FITNESSGRAM® Training Agenda - A detailed working agenda for the FITNESSGRAM® trainer providing a step-by-step guideline of what to teach that can be modified as needed. (Word 55K)
    8. Sample parent letter - Letter sent by the district to parents announcing the FITNESSGRAM® initiative and detailing the student and parent roles during the assessment. (Word 86K)
    9. Frequently Asked Questions about FITNESSGRAM® - Answers to common questions about FITNESSGRAM® - sent with Parent Letter. (Word 89K)
    10. FITNESSGRAM® Exemptions for Students with Disabilities - Questions and Answers - The Texas Education Code that provides for exemption from the assessment for students with disabilities and answers to frequently asked questions relative to the code. (Word 45K)
    11. Sample parent letters with Exemption Information in English and Spanish - Letter sent by the district to parents announcing the FITNESSGRAM® initiative, detailing the student and parent roles during the assessment and offering an Assessment Exemption form. (PDF 405K)
    12. Physical Fitness Assessment Exemption Forms (English and Spanish) - Form to complete by physician for the exemption from the assessment of a student with disabilities. (Word 29K) (Word 38K)
    13. About FITNESSGRAM® - Basic information about FITNESSGRAM® and physical activity and children from the Cooper Institute, the program developer. (PDF 534K)
    14. FITNESSGRAM® Test Items - The six categories of assessment and their tests included in the physical fitness assessment. (Word 36K)
    15. FITNESSGRAM® Tests - How to conduct all of the tests in each of the six categories in the physical fitness assessment. (Word 205K)
    16. FITNESSGRAM® Report for Parents - How to interpret the report parents will receive after their child's physical fitness assessment is complete. (PDF 1MB)
    17. July 1, 2008 Texas Tests Fitness of 2.6 million Students Press release announcing state-wide FITNESSGRAM® results. (PDF 58K)
    18. Physical Fitness Assessment Initiative (2008) - Chart showing state-wide FITNESSGRAM® results by gender and grade level. (Word 54K)

    School Connectedness: Improving the Lives of Students (PDF 4MB)
    School connection is the belief by students that adults in the school care about their learning and about them as individuals. Students are more likely to succeed when they feel connected to school. Attached is “School Connectedness: Improving the Lives of Students” authored by Robert Blum MD, MPH, PhD of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This report was approved by the TSHAC membership at their November 17, 2007 TSHAC meeting as a premier, authoritative and comprehensive resource for school personnel looking for timely and effective information on school connectedness. 

    Whole Child Resolution Tool Kit (PDF, 457K)
    To be prepared for success in the 21st century, our students need a well-rounded, challenging education and we need to ensure that each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. parents, educators and community members can help turn political rhetoric through awareness of this timely initiative simply by asking policymakers in the community to support a resolution that addresses these five basic needs. The Whole Child Resolution Tool Kit has the information necessary to pass a whole child resolution in a community — an important first step in building support across the country.

    Last updated March 28, 2014