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School Health Education and Services
Section Newsletter
Spring 2005

Message From the Chair: Looking for a Few Good People

The section council of the School Health Education & Services Section met three times during the APHA Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., last November. All aspects of the Section’s activities were discussed, including the scientific programs for 2004 and 2005, the Section’s Exhibit Hall booth, APHA organizational issues, the National Health Education Standards Update Project, and political advocacy.

Much of our discussion centered around upcoming elections for Section leaders. There are five elected positions open in 2005:
• Chair-Elect, who will serve a two-year term and then automatically become Section Chair for a subsequent two-year term;
• Two Section Councilors, who will each serve a three-year term;
• APHA Governing Council Representative, who will serve for two years; and
• Secretary-Elect, who will serve as the Section’s newsletter editor for two years and then become Secretary for a two-year term
• In addition, the Coalition of National Health Education Organizations has asked that SHES appoint a representative to a new Task force on Enforcement of the Code of Ethics of the Professional Health Educator.

The SHES section council is a group of committed school health professionals who respect and enjoy each other. The demands on a section officer’s time and energy are modest—-the bulk of the work occurs during the Annual Meeting, at which attendance is expected. Serving on the SHES section council is a great networking opportunity, a good way to learn new leadership skills, a rapid path to higher leadership in APHA, and, dare we say it, a nice addition to your resumé.

SHES must nominate at least two people for each elected position. The nominations are due Feb. 28. If you are interested in serving as a section officer, or want more information, please contact Nominations Chair William Cissell at <> as soon as possible.

The following are among the other tasks SHES officers intend to pursue this year:
• Develop and submit, in collaboration with other sections, proposals for APHA public policies on sexuality education in the schools and on school foodservice programs.
• Improve the SHES Web site at <>. Submit your suggestions to Section Councilor Chris Ledingham at <>.
• Conduct a survey of SHES members to help determine how the Section can best meet people’s needs.

Taub and Olsen Recognized for CUP Effort

Two SHES Section members, Alyson Taub, and Larry Olsen, along with PHEHP Section member Gary Gilmore, were presented with a Presidential Citation from American Association for Health Education President Randy Cottrell for their work over the past six years with the National Health Educators Competencies Update Project (CUP). The technical report has been sent to the three copyright holders (SOPHE, AAHE, and the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.). It is expected that the entire model that was developed will be "rolled out" later this summer.

HealthNets—A Professional Development Network

What began as an informal get-together among health educators has evolved into a professional development network of health educators who share ideas, develop best practice curricula based on current New York State Standards, and enhance their ability as health educators. Monica Homer and Mary Barrese, two faculty members from Adelphi University, began the HealthNets organization in the Fall of 1997 by inviting Long Island health educators at all levels to a casual round table discussion. Eight years later, HealthNets has round table meetings, an active listserv and a day-long professional development conference for school and community health educators. HealthNets is one university’s vehicle for collaboration with K-12 educators and for bridging the gap between theory and practice in health education.

The origins of HealthNets can be traced to the round table discussion hosted by Adelphi University Health Studies faculty. Sessions are held each semester and attended by master teachers, beginning educators, graduate students and higher education faculty. Participants distribute the latest research in the field, and dialogue about new and exciting teaching strategies proven to be successful. Specifically, participants share lessons with the group and provide copies to all who attend the round table. Discussions review best practices and current issues in health education. The round table sessions also provide the opportunity to share news about local, state, regional and national conferences.

The HealthNets listserv is a recent expansion of the collaboration and currently has over 300 members. As with any listserv, utilization varies among members, but it appears that the listserv brings the round table discussions to all. There is meaningful dialogue about school health education at the local level as well as attention to health and education issues beyond the local communities. Additionally, teaching resources are shared, tenure track K-12 vacancies and leave replacements are posted, and upcoming conferences are announced.

The Partnerships in Health Conference—-a day-long professional development conference held at the university—-was added in 2001 to further serve the collaboration. The conference model includes a general session featuring a nationally known health educator (e.g. Deb Tackmann, Disney’s Teacher of the Year). The keynote speaker goes on to hold breakout sessions and is joined by other speakers such as local health educators and university faculty to highlight the local talent and strengthen the professional network of HealthNets. The conference program typically includes sessions on effective teaching, violence prevention, substance abuse prevention, sexuality, mental health and disease prevention. Exhibitors representing health education resource companies and local community health agencies are invited to round out the conference program. In 2005, the conference agenda was expanded to include graduate student research. Students in the university’s Health Education Master’s program displayed their research during poster sessions. This provided current information about local students’ health knowledge, attitudes and behaviors since the graduate students completed their research in local schools.

The conference committee consists of Health Studies faculty and the HealthNets founders who work with all branches of the university to “brand,” promote and host the conference. Conference attendance has doubled since its inception, with more than 150 participants in 2005, the fourth annual conference. The conference is funded primarily through a modest registration fee ($75 professional; $50 student), sponsorship contributions from local and state professional organizations (e.g. New York State Center for Healthy Schools) and in-kind contributions from Health Education companies (e.g. The McGraw-Hill Companies). The committee is further supported by the office staff and work study students from the department of Health Studies, Physical Education and Human Performance Science.

HealthNets continually aims to increase collaboration between the university and local K-12 health educators. Furthermore, the network provides professional development opportunities for educators. Currently we are exploring ways to link HealthNets meetings and the annual conference with district requirements for professional development hours. Such a partnership fosters collaboration among Adelphi University faculty, school districts and health educators. For questions about the HealthNets organization and its activities, please contact Dr. Jean Harris, Adelphi University, 2 Woodruff Hall, Garden City, NY 11530, (516) 877-4273, <>.

Congress Asked to Fund School Health Programs

Sharon Murray, executive director of the Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, made a strong plea for adequate fiscal year 2006 funding for school health programs to members of the House Education Appropriations Subcommittee. Murray testified on behalf of the Friends of School Health, a coalition of 60 national health and education agencies dedicated to promoting school health programs and their value to the children and youth of America.

The current health status of the nation’s children is alarming, Murray said, with more children “overweight now than at any other time in history and … experiencing unprecedented levels of Type II diabetes and early risk factors for cardiovascular disease.” Nearly 80 percent of youth do not eat the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and participation in daily high school physical education classes has dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 28 percent in 2003.

Recent news accounts have detailed the staggering toll in lives and dollars as a result of unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, and use of tobacco, which account for at least 700,000 deaths annually in the United States. The cost of health care, lost work days, and premature death related to overweight and obesity in Texas alone is estimated to increase from $10.5 billion in 2001 to $39 billion by 2040 if the obesity epidemic continues. The situation could even threaten national security, which depends upon healthy individuals for military preparedness, the U.S. Surgeon General has noted.

The damning statistics helped bolster Murray’s argument for funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's School Health Programs. “The health of young people is directly linked to the health-related skills and behaviors they learn and choose to adopt. CDC’s School Health Programs allows states to examine the health needs within their state and develop local programs tailored to those needs. School Health Programs are cost-effective in improving children’s health, behavior, and their academic success. School Health Programs build bridges between state education departments and public health agencies to coordinate health education, physical education, nutritious meals, staff wellness, mental health services, and parent involvement. States use this funding to maximize efficiency and eliminate duplication by coordinating multiple existing state and community initiatives,” Murray said.

Unfortunately, demand far outstrips resources; only 23 of the 39 states that applied for the funding receive it. States that were approved for the program but were not funded due to limited resources include Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Illinois, Maryland, Connecticut, and Texas. While appreciating the tight budgetary times, Murray touted the physical, emotional and academic benefits of school health programs and persuasively advocated for maintaining the investment for such a big payoff.

Listservs of Interest

The Mott Afterschool listserv, sponsored by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, encourages the online sharing of ideas, approaches and strategies for improving and sustaining quality after-school programs. Sign up at <>.

The SAC-L listserv is sponsored by the National Institute on Out-of-School Time and the ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education (ERIC/EECE). It is a discussion group for those interested in school-age care planning, resources, funding, and related topics. Sign up at <>.

The EDInfo mailing list provides information on grants, publications, and other news from the U.S. Department of Education. To subscribe, address an e-mail message to <>. Then write SUBSCRIBE EDINFO [first name] [last name] in the message.

The Kaiser Family Foundation publishes the Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, the Daily HIV/AIDS Report, and the Daily Reproductive Health Report. They also maintain and To subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage e-mail subscription options visit <>.

Mark Kittleson of Southern Illinois University maintains the HEDIR (the Health Education Directory). Subscribe at <>.

The CDC National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention provides a daily Prevention News Update with synopses of key scientific articles and lay media reports on HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. This daily update also includes information from CDC and other government agencies, such as background on Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) articles, fact sheets, press releases, and announcements. Subscribe at <>.

The CDC Public Health Law News is published weekly by the Public Health Law Program in the CDC Office of the Chief of Public Health Practice. Visit <>.

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools publishes news alerts of court decisions, important publications, and government actions at the local, state and federal levels. They also produce the E-journal, a monthly newsletter. Subscribe at <>.

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) sends a weekly news digest and periodic action alerts. Subscribe at: <>.

The Public Information Network publishes the PEN Weekly NewsBlast featuring school reform and school fundraising resources. Visit <>.

The National Association of State Boards of Education produces the NASBE Headline Review of state education news. To subscribe, visit <>.

APHA's monthly journal, the American Journal of Public Health, has an e-mail alert service for news releases and each issue's current table of contents. Sign up at <>.

Advocates for Youth produces Transitions, a quarterly newsletter for professionals and advocates which updates readers on a variety of health and sexuality issues facing adolescents-legislative issues, evaluated programs, services, and new initiatives. Subscribe at <>.

New York State Embraces Skills-Driven Health Education

The New York State Education Department is poised to release a new document entitled The New York State Health Education Scope and Sequence (NYSHESS). The NYSHESS is the result of a process begun in 1998 through the New York State Education Department and its network of Student Support Services Centers which have the goal of improving school health education. The NYSHESS was driven by a process called Navigate by the Stars, a curriculum model that include the following components: standards-based, skills-driven, scientifically research-based, learner-centered, strength-based, authentic, integrated into the total educational program, provided by qualified and skilled teachers, fully supported by the school and community, and within the coordinated school health framework.

The project director for NYSHESS is Kim McLaughlin, the coordinator of the Genesee Valley BOCES Student Support Services Center. The document development began in the 1999-2000 school year as exemplary health education teachers worked on the skills matrices, an integral part of the NYSHESS. The skills matrices consist of the following: self-management, relationship management, communication, decision making, planning and goal setting, stress management, and advocacy. Higher education faculty involved in health education teacher training were brought on soon after.

The process continued for the next several years through a series of awareness and training sessions culminating in what came to be called the Health Education Leadership Institute (HELI). The HELI consisted of staff from the statewide network of Student Support Services Centers, exemplary health educators from across New York State, and higher education faculty. The Health Education Leadership Institute is based on a diffusion of innovation model and there is research evidence (available at <>) of its significant impact on the professional growth and development of educators and standards-based, learner-centered education for students in New York. Members of the HELI are obligated to provide training using the NYSHESS for educators and administrators in their region. Health educators across New York State are shifting and improving their practice in the delivery of health education that is based on best practice and are committed to ongoing professional development.

The following Web sites provide further information on the New York State Health Education Scope and Sequence:

On this page you can find a PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of the New York State Health Education Scope and Sequence, entitled “Navigate by the Stars.”

This is the home page of the New York State Health Education Curriculum and Assessment Leadership Initiative.

This is the final draft of the New York State Health Education Scope and Sequence document.

For more information, please contact Michael J. Ludwig, PhD,
Hofstra University, Department of Health Professions and Family Studies, Hempstead, NY 11549, (516) 463-5885, <>.

NASN Announces 2005 School Nurse Educator Award

Phyllis Pelt, MS, RN, has been awarded the 2005 School Nurse Educator Award. Phyllis was a pioneer in online nursing education, providing Illinois nurses with an
opportunity for advanced preparation and certification regardless of their distance from an institution of higher education or personal barriers to campus travel. Phyllis is the Director of the UIC School Nurse Certificate Program. Phyllis will be recognized at the Awards ceremony at the The National Association of School Nurses Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., in June.

Martha Dewey Bergren, DNS, RN, BC, NCSN
University of Illinois - Chicago

Funding Sought to Improve Fruit Snacks Program to All 50 States

The Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program now operates in 25 schools in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and three Indian reservations in New Mexico, Arizona and South Dakota. A bipartisan group lead by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) are pressing for $42 million to expand the healthy program to all 50 states.

The Fruit & Vegetable Snack Program directly impacts children’s eating patterns, resulting in increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. By offering students a free fruit or vegetable snack during the school day, students are learning about proper nutrition, the importance of a healthy diet, and how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diets.

Crapo and Harkin are assembling Senate allies to support the agriculture appropriation. If this program sounds worthwhile and you would like to see it expanded to your state, call your Senators and ask them to sign the Crapo-Harkin letter of support.

No Bullies on Board: Putting the Brakes on School Bus Bullying

Each year in the United States, 440,000 school buses transport 24 million students to and from schools. Collectively these buses travel 4.3 billion miles daily, with only one adult to get them to their destination safely. When investigating the safety concerns, it is easy to find specifications for brakes, steering, exhaust, engine performance, lights, and other functions related to safety inspections. However, one of the most serious problems on buses has little to do with mechanical functions, and everything to do with the passengers themselves.

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in violence on school buses. Not only are students inflicting harm verbally, physically, emotionally and sexually on one another, but there is also an increase in bus incidents involving parents. There is little data on specific acts of violence on buses. However, there are more isolated reports on local and national news regarding shootings, stabbings, and other serious harassment. In working with thousands of children of all ages to reduce and prevent bullying behaviors, BJC School Outreach has developed a survey question to determine the areas where students encounter bullying most frequently. The results rank buses as the number two place for bullying, second only to the playground. The bus is noted by nearly 25 percent as the place for serious incidents of bullying. What are some factors that contribute to this significant problem?

First of all, we are asking the driver to be concerned with getting children to their destination safely without collisions. That is a difficult task! Drivers cannot always stop when conflicts occur, and many are on a tight schedule because their bus transports students to several schools. Bus drivers must obtain a chauffeur’s license to drive a bus, but that license does not involve training in behavior management. Many drivers are simply not equipped to handle the unsupervised behaviors they are faced with. Traffic control and behavior control are completely unrelated and incompatible.
Parents, students, teachers, administrators, and non-teaching staff (including bus drivers) need to be aware of what constitutes bullying and support the position that schools -– and buses –- are bully-free zones. While zero tolerance policies are important so everyone understands the consequences of bullying, it is essential to build strong positive relationships as primary prevention.

Having cameras on buses cannot solve the entire problem. When recently interviewing students about the effectiveness of cameras, they reported, “If you can’t see the lens, then the camera can’t see you. Anyway, lots of buses don’t have film in the camera.” Yet these same students report that when there is a bond between the driver and the students, behavior tends to be more positive. “Why would anyone want to be mean when the driver is so nice?” Working to improve the overall climate in schools and developing a positive school culture is essential to safety for students both in school and on buses.
Change cannot happen without support from all sources. Some of the key points to making those changes are:
• Define bullying and make sure everyone knows the definition: one person or more intending harm, humiliation and/or intimidation to others with words and/or actions. There are five types of bullying: verbal, emotional, physical, gender, and more recently, cyber (use of the computer).
• Create immediate and consistent consequences for misbehavior; post guidelines on buses.
• Train drivers to de-escalate aggression, and know where police and fire stations are along the route in the event they need help; also train them on safety procedures when weapons are present.
• Recognize the importance of dealing with low-level aggression such as name-calling, put downs, or negative humor in preventing more serious offenses.
• Have assigned seats.
• Praise and reward appropriate behavior.
• Get parents involved; have a “meet the driver” session before the year gets started to discuss mutual expectations,
• Consider adding another adult on the bus; this can be a volunteer or paid staff.
• Give daily reports of incidents – a bad experience on the way to school can affect the entire day for some children.
• When it is difficult to determine the fault, have all students write out statements privately so the truth can emerge.
• Support training and keep communications open with drivers and building administrators.
• Set policy that supports positive steps rather than punishments.
• Help troublemakers become peacemakers by giving them responsibility.
• Train students to be vigilant, caring witnesses – teach empathy; if students take responsibility for safety, they can work together to stop violence.
• Develop incentives for positive behavior.
• Bring bus drivers into classrooms to allow students to relate to them in a different environment.

With acts of violence on the increase, bus safety will continue to be a growing concern with regard to bullying. Perhaps if schools could create a diversion for bus passengers, such as classical music or even television (with properly monitored programming), students might remain calmer. Organizing a bus committee comprised of students, staff, drivers, and parents can be an opportunity to create a plan that ensures safety and well-being of all passengers, and will help improve school performance. Students who arrive at school without witnessing or experiencing incidents of violence will be ready for the academics that await them in school. When buses are friendlier environments, and drivers can focus on traffic and safety, then everyone wins.

Lynne Lang is a school-community-health educator for BJC HealthCare in St Louis. She writes and implements violence prevention curriculum for students and the adults who work with them. She holds a BS in Communications and her MS is in Health Management.

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005, BJC HealthCare School Outreach & Youth Development is joining the Girl Scout Council to sponsor a conference on Female Aggression. Details to follow -- anyone wishing to be on the mailing list, contact Lynne Lang, BJC School Outreach & Youth Development, <LML1435@BJC.ORG>, or (314)286-0504.

A Case Study in Ethics: Atkins Corporate Sponsorship

The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) recently published a special issue of its flagship journal, The State Education Standard, on “The Obesity Epidemic: What Schools Can Do.” It contains articles by array of writers who address critical issues of policy and practice. Among the contributors are two CDC division directors, Howell Wechsler of DASH and William Dietz of DNPA, Charlene Burgeson of the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), and Alicia Moag-Stahlberg of Action for Healthy Kids. Funding to develop, print, and disseminate 2,500 free copies of this special issue came from a corporate grant by Atkins Nutritional, Inc.

The announcement that Atkins was giving funds to NASBE and several other education organizations stimulated a firestorm of protest. The grants were denounced in a Los Angeles Times editorial and by several interest groups. NASBE received more than 150 e-mail messages and 20 letters of protest from all over the world. The protesters assumed that Atkins was trying to undermine the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and attempting to change what is prepared and served in school meal programs. (If only NASBE had such influence!)

As readers of the final product should readily recognize, these suspicions were misplaced. None of the articles suggest that schools should begin serving meals that conform to the Atkins diet. NASBE maintained full editorial control over the issue -— including over the article submitted by Stuart Trager of Atkins -— and we are proud that the end result preserves the integrity of NASBE and our contributors.

Should NASBE have turned down the offer of support from Atkins? Without it, the special issue would not have been developed. Ideally, NASBE would be supported to work on youth obesity prevention by the federal government or private foundations, but we have not been successful at obtaining such funding. In the brief time since the issue’s release, NASBE has received much positive feedback about its usefulness. This turned out to be a positive example of corporate sponsorship, and we have no regrets.

All current members of the APHA School Health Education & Services Section should have received a complimentary copy of the issue. Several of the articles are available online as PDF files at <>.

AIDS Cases Among Teens are Rising Rapidly

A new report from Child Trends at < > notes that: "The number of youth ages 13 to 19 newly diagnosed with AIDS increased from 32 in 1985 to 380 in 1995. These numbers declined to 283 in 1998, but have been increasing since then, reaching 458 in 2003, the highest number ever recorded. (See chart at <>)." This represents a 62 percent increase in the incidence rate from 1998 to 2003.

The new data come from "Health, United States, 2004" of CDC’s National Center on Health Statistics, which is online at <>. Only the incidence of clinical AIDS cases is reported, not HIV infections. Such data used to be reported every six months in CDC’s AIDS Surveillance Report, but for the past couple of years the statistics have not been broken out by age group.

New From the Center for Health and Health Care in the Schools

School-Based Oral Health Services: A Select Bibliography

The Center has also added new links to its Dental Health Services in School Web page: