Urban School Wellness Coalition

This week, Jamie Sparks and I co-facilitated two sessions of the Urban School Wellness Coalition convened by Action for Healthy Kids. This Coalition, comprised of thirty large urban districts came together in Denver to network, share stories, gain knowledge around Wellness Policies, the WellSATEvery Students Succeed Act (ESSA), Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) and observe WSCC in action at a local school!

IMG_5040.JPG

Jamie and I spent about 90 minutes Tuesday afternoon on ESSA. We introduced the federal legislation, including key Titles for those unfamiliar with it, shared Cairn Guidance's State ESSA Analysis, and allowed district participants time to review their states' analysis to determine opportunities and challenges within their districts as they move ahead. Yesterday, we spent the morning on WSCC- introducing the framework, sharing effective practices around the school health approach, systems thinking; systems changing, creating buy-in and addressing resistance and brought participants through a variety of engaging activities in order for districts to essentially begin to see how ESSA and WSCC, advocacy, support, implementation are feasible and achievable at home!

We created and share our ESSA/WSCC Symbaloo page- a page that showcases the most current, helpful resources in the school health field. Feel free to share with your colleagues.

We were honored to have the chance to network, socialize, share, train education leaders around the country this week- what a fabulous group truly dedicated to shifting the norms of how we define school success in the United States. 

IMG_5034.JPG
Since 2013, the Urban School Wellness Coalition brings together urban district health and wellness leaders to facilitate discussion around mutually important issues, provide opportunities to share information, network with peers, coordinate joint efforts, and inform urban educational leaders on the importance of student health as a driver of academic success.
— Action for Healthy Kids

Every Student Succeeds Act: A Snapshot of State Plans

States are in the process of finalizing their plans for implementation of the Federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA gives states new opportunities to more fully integrate health into education policy and practices. Several policy and funding provisions in ESSA are aimed toward supporting student social-emotional, physical, and mental health and ensuring that all students attend school in a safe, supportive environment.

Cairn Guidance is launching a State ESSA Plan Webpage for educators, school health professionals, parents, students and other champions to use as a tool to quickly see what their state’s ESSA plan includes in key sections around supporting the whole child; comparing that to other states across the country; seeing the strengths of the plan; and sharing opportunities for improvement or continued advocacy.

The plans are dynamic and changing, as many states have opportunities for public comment or input in the coming weeks and months. We are also monitoring developments in state plans due to the release of modified guidance from the US Department of Education.Please continue to check back as more and more state plans will be added. Also, please reach out to liz@cairnguidance.com if you have feedback, comments or suggestions to your state’s ESSA Plan overview.

Any interest in technical assistance related to these state plans? Examples of what to say at a town hall event? Need examples of specific content to email your Superintendent or Commissioner? Dr. Kymm Ballard is a proud partner of ours working on this project. Contact her for support and technical assistance at: ncpe4kids@gmail.com