As I head back to Oregon, on a plane after a layover in Salt Lake City, I reflect on my week in San Antonio. I'm exhausted, overwhelmed, invigorated and feel a little postpartum like I usually do after seeing so many colleagues, meeting new people and having an opportunity to connect with people I consider close friends.
I think of the highlights, buzz words and new information that I collected. I think about how I can be a better school health consultant to share my knowledge, spread the word, create better materials, write stronger papers, facilitate more effective training events, support more organizations and state DOE's and DOH's. I have left with a list of about 25 next steps, including how I can use social media to better connect, collaborate and create. My list includes the people I need to follow up with, the books I need to read, the apps I need to check out and the ideas I have for the Portland ASHA conference in 2014!
I need to bring back to Oregon these highlights, updates and buzz words. Included in that list are:
-Who was recognized by ASHA and what their contributions have been
-Updates on emerging areas that continue to grow like school employee wellness and integrating school health practices, policies and programs in School Improvement Plans
-Updates from CDC/DASH, like the new SHI and HECAT that will be available soon and a new page on their site on Strategies for Engaging Parents
-I want to share how Superintendent Larry Mussoline from Downingtown Area Pennsylvania has a mission for his district that states: "Promoting healthy school communities for students, staff and faculty by aligning health and education to support the whole child."
-Finally, I want to share Howell Wechsler's TOP 10 Strategies for advancing school health.
1. Use tools to make school health work easier: School Health Index, Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool, Physical Education Analysis Tool (all http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/), and so many other tools and documents we have access to. Maybe my next blog post will be the tools and resources I use on a regular basis!
2. Showing that health is academic, like Charles Basch's Healthier Students are Better Learners, or CDCs data tables on risk behaviors and the correlation to grades in school
3. Publicly recognize our champions and leaders in school health. Celebrate them.
4. Gain state funding for Coordinated School Health infrastructure.
5. Focus on pre-service education! Build those programs.
6. Hold School Health Leadership Academies
7. Support longer school days
Integrating School Health into the Mission of Schools:
8. Require school health processes (SHAC development)
9. Include health in School Improvement Plans
10. Support and require student assessment in health education
So, leaving yet another ASHA conference full of information, ideas and new contacts. I'm wiped out completely. See you all next year, if not prior, in Myrtle Beach!