School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)
"Healthy Students and Healthy Staff Achieve More Together"
"The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School (CMS) Board of Education is committed to providing school environments that promote and protect children's health and well-being, reduce childhood obesity, and enhance students' ability to learn by supporting healthy eating, physical activity, and the development of lifelong wellness practices." - CMS Wellness Policy JL, August 2006. Among several objectives that address these goals, two are specifically related to School Health Teams and the Advisory Council.
To achieve these goals, CMS will:
- Establish and maintain a School Health Advisory Council to help to plan, implement, and monitor compliance with CMS Wellness Policy JL and other CMS policies and regulations related to student wellness;
- Establish and maintain School Health Teams in each school. (CMS Wellness Regulations JL-R, November 2006)
The CMS School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) meets quarterly to share information and to increase awareness of CMS programs and policies that address the health and well-being of students, staff, and families. Its members include school administrators and staff from various CMS departments, the Mecklenburg County Health Department, parents and other community representatives. Members of the SHAC represent the ten components of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model:
- Health Education
- Nutrition, Environment and Services
- Employee Wellness
- Family Engagement
- Physical Education and Physical Activity
- Social and Emotional School Climate
- Physical Environment
- Health Services
- Community Involvement
- Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services
By promoting communication and collaboration among these ten component areas, the SHAC enhances the coordinated approach to school health, which improves students' ability to learn.
School Health Teams
A School Health Team is a group of individuals from a school who work together to help identify health needs, set priorities, and write a plan of action, specifically for their school. Each School Health Team is unique because the issues, individuals, community, and resources are not the same for every school. At each school, the School Health Team should be composed of representatives from each of the ten components of the WSCC model. For example, a team's members may include the principal or assistant principal; health teacher; physical education teacher; classroom teachers; school nurse; cafeteria manager; safety officer; custodian; counselor or social worker; parent or PTO representative; family advocate; community business partners, and others. It is recommended that School Health Teams report to the School Leadership Team (SLT). Suggested ways for structuring the School Health Team are:
- as a subcommittee of the School Leadership Team (SLT),
- as part of an existing committee that reports to the SLT, or
- as a new and separate committee that reports to the SLT.
School Health Teams have planned and implemented a variety of initiatives, including Walk-to-School days and other programs that incorporate more physical activity for students and staff; nutrition education; training for staff on chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes; and health and wellness fairs for students, families, and communities.
The Coordinated School Health Team Tool Kit has been distributed to all schools. It includes step-by-step guidance on establishing a team, assessing the school's needs, and developing an action plan, as well as success stories and examples of existing programs in CMS and a variety of resources. In addition, coordinated School Health Team Training workshops are offered through the Professional Development Center.
Registration is through MyPD. Participants need to register for only one session.