What is a School Health Advisory council (SHAC)?
A SHAC is a group of individuals representing segments of the community, appointed by the school district to serve at the district level, to provide advice to the district on coordinated school health programming and its impact on student health and learning. The SHAC will assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction.
SHACs provide an efficient, effective structure for recommending age-appropriate, sequential health education programs, and early intervention and prevention strategies that can easily be supported by local families and community stakeholders.
Benefits of Having a SHAC
- Addressing the health needs of students through the work of the SHAC, helps meet district performance goals and alleviates financial constraints.
- SHACs play an important role in communicating the connection between health and learning to school administrators, parents and community stakeholders.
- SHACs can help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the health knowledge and skills children need to be healthy for a lifetime.
Every independent school system is required by law to have a School District Health Advisory Council; of which the majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the school district. Title 2, Chapter 28, Section 28.004 of the Texas Education Code at http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.28.htm#28.004p details the specifics of this mandate.
SHAC Guide for Texas School Districts (#E05-12431)
The School Health Program of the Department of State Health Services produced this helpful School Health Advisory Councils Guide for Texas School Districts for help to get started while building a successful SHAC. The guide has been updated with the most current information available in support of efforts to provide school health education and services through the district’s SHAC.
To find out if your school district has a SHAC, who is in charge and how you can be involved or get more information, contact the district’s administrative office and schedule a time to meet with the staff person that has oversight for the SHAC.