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!

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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. 

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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

Next week... SHAPE America, in Boston!

Next week, 5500+ health educators, physical educators, dance educators will be coming together for SHAPE America's annual convention, held in Boston this year. It's not only SHAPE's biggest annual event, but it's March Madness & St Patrick's Day. Let the craziness begin. 5500+ fellow educators creating, learning, facilitating, presenting, sharing, networking and advocating for the whole child. 

The Cairn Guidance team will be there in full force... we will be exhibiting for the Dove Self Esteem Project, booth #519, so come see us for free give aways! We are also thrilled to be sponsoring the General Session on Wednesday morning-

“Creating a Kinder and Braver World”
Maya Enista Smith will discuss Born This Way Foundation’s (founded by Lady Gaga) commitment to supporting the wellness of young people, and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.  Working together with SHAPE America members, the foundation wants to see a world of people whose decisions and conversations are driven by kindness, acceptance and compassion.

We are presenting the following sessions:
Tuesday, 8am-noon - Systems Changing; Systems Changing simulation: In an engaging skill-building team session, participants will be confronted with realistic decisions and experiences, be compelled to consider new ways of looking at their goals and their work, be challenged to review what they consider legitimate indicators of success, try proven methods for making system-wide changes in their school setting related to their health education, physical education or school health initiative/program, distill their experience into action-oriented learnings and have fun! 
Wednesday, 3:30-5:30pm - Facilitating Role Plays in the Health Education Classroom: Role Playing is an effective skills-based learning strategy in the health education classroom, as it aligns to most of the National Health Education Standards. This session will guide participants through a variety of activities to increase their comfort and confidence facilitating role plays as well as give ideas on how to overcome challenges. Scoring rubrics will be shared aligned to role plays if using as an assessment tool in the classroom.
Thursday, 3-4:15pm - Enhancing Assessment in Health Education: an update and history of the Health Education Assessment Project and how SHAPE America is updating/revising and supporting this resource for teachers.

We have some other commitments- we are sponsoring the health education track and will be doing a 20 minute Dove Self Esteem Demo on Wednesday from 2-2:20 in the Exhibit Hall.

Can't wait to connect with colleagues, friends, cadre members, clients and partners in Boston! 

 

 

 

Dove Middle School Self Esteem Project

UPDATE: Participate in this week's free SHAPE America webinar to learn more about the program and win a chance to attend a national conference of your choice, at no cost! You may watch the webinar at a later date as well, however, register here

Why is body confidence and self-esteem important for students?

The early teen years are one of the most dynamic in terms of development- physically, emotionally and socially. Fitting in and being accepted by peers is central. In fact, brain science tells us that during early adolescence social acceptance by peers may be processed by the brain similarly to other pleasurable rewards, such as receiving money or eating ice cream. In most cases, affinity for peer groups leads to the healthy identity development and an increase in social connections. However, the drive to be accepted socially can lead to issues like disordered eating, engaging in risky behaviors (like drinking and drug use) or depression. Young people need the support of caring teachers and adults to help them build skills to make healthy choices. Among high schoolers in the US:

•One in five reported being bullied on school property, and is more common among girls than boys (25% vs 15%). Young people are bullied for a number of reasons, but appearance, including body shape, weight, and skin, are common.

•30% were depressed in the past year. Again, more girls reported being depressed than boys (40% vs. 20%).

There is growing acknowledgement that social/emotional and mental health of students is a vital ingredient to success in school and beyond the classroom. Self-esteem works in concert with other personality traits, like openness, conscientiousness and belief in one’s ability to overcome obstacles (self-efficacy). Research has found that self-esteem positively impacts academic self-efficacy and belief that school is important, which in turn impacts academic success (like grades).                          

What is the Confident Me curriculum?                            

Dove’s Confident Me is designed to promote body confidence in a classroom setting. The lessons are aimed primarily at 11-14 year olds, but can also be used with older girls and boys if you think it’s appropriate for your students. The free downloadable materials include a range of curriculum-relevant teaching resources, developed in collaboration with teachers and students. Research has shown that students who participate in Dove Confident Me workshops have improved body image and self-esteem, and they feel more confident to participate in social and academic activities.

The core themes covered in Confident Me include: Appearance Ideals, Competing and Comparing Looks, Media and Celebrities, and Body Talk.  There are presentations, teaching guide and student worksheets available to facilitate discussions around body confidence issues.            

How can the Confident Me curriculum can help me meet accountability standards for high-quality health education?

The Confident Me program is currently going through a national pilot implementation process to inform how to update and revise the current single-session and five-session programs to be most relevant in the US classroom. This means alignment to the National Health Education Content Standards (NHES), the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) and the effective practices in health education.  

The instruction within Confident Me will support building student knowledge and skills, including analyzing influences, accessing information and advocacy. The HECAT Healthy Behavior Outcomes and knowledge and skill expectations are still to be determined, based on the outcomes of the pilot process.

Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), formerly No Child Left Behind, offers new opportunities for states and schools to focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of students. Provisions allow schools to use funding to develop school-wide health programs, such as implementing positive behavior and social-emotional support strategies. Within Title I, II and IV of the new federal legislation, there are opportunities for during and after-school for programs focused on the social-emotional well-being of students.

How can I download the Confident Me curriculum?

The curriculum is currently being updated for use in schools across the country. The link to the single session program is here and the link to the five session program is here.  Both programs may also be found at http://selfesteem.dove.us/

Incentives

Health and PE teachers, school nurses and school counselors may Implement the 1-session or 5-session Confident Me! Middle School Program by December 15, 2016 and win a chance to attend the state conference of your choice or attendance at the SHAPE America Convention in Boston, March 2016—all expenses paid! 9 lucky teachers in total will be selected to win.

To be eligible to win, email Samantha Lowe at Samantha@cairnguidance.com and share the following information with her:

Full Name 

Work Email 

School(s) Name

District

State 

Current Number of Students

References: 
McNeely C, Blanchard J. 2009. The Teen Years Explained: A Guide to Healthy Adolescent Development. Center for Adolescent Health at John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. High School Survey, 2015. Retrieved from https://nccd.cdc.gov/youthonline/App/Default.aspx

Di Giunta L et al. 2013. The determinants of scholastic achievement: The contribution of personality traits, self-esteem, and academic self-efficacy. Learning and Individual Differences, 27, 102-108.

Let's Move Active School PAL Training of Trainers!

Loved spending the past 4 days at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton OR with a fabulous group of professionals! The Let's Move Active Schools initiative brought together trainers from all over the US for two objectives:
1. Re-connect seasoned trainers and provide updates on the Let's Move Active Schools Physical Activity Leader (PAL) training
2. On-board a new group of national trainers for the PAL training

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No more cupcakes for birthday parties?

What do you mean I can't task a student do laps around the track when he/she misbehaves?
I can't hold my annual cookie dough fundraiser for our football and band uniforms?
What do you mean I can't take away recess when a student hasn't completed their work?

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Kentucky Association for Health, PE Recreation and Dance (KAHPERD)

For years, I've attended the Oregon chapter of this same organization. It's the professional organization for educators and faculty in school health education, physical education, recreation and dance. It was my first year attending the KAHPERD conference and I was impressed. Sunday kicked off with a free pre-training (about 60 in attendance!) on the Presidential Youth Fitness Program. It is a free program developed to ensure what happens before, during and after the fitness assessment is beneficial for students and teachers and leads to youth who are active for life. 

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KY Let's Move Active Schools Physical Activity Leader Training

Yesterday was Kentucky's first ever Let's Move Active Schools (LMAS) Physical Activity Leader (PAL) Training. Jamie Sparks, Coordinated School Health Director at the Kentucky Department of Education and I were the trainers. We had 57 PE teachers (K-12 represented) from all over the region excited to join in on the skill-building workshop, and, of course the fun!

Jamie Sparks and I were the trainers for the first #KYPAL training in Kentucky!

 

Let's Move Active Schools PAL training equips educators and other school health advocates to implement Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP). I don't love that we call it Programs, because in reality, CSPAP is really about implementing programs, policies and practices that create a culture of health in your school. The mantra is "60 a Day!" with the goal being students are physically active 60 minutes per day. That might sound like a lot, but it is really not.. Those 60 minutes of physical activity could include: time being physically active in physical education class, before and after school physical activity (laps programs, after school inter-murals, walk and bike to school efforts) and during school physical activity opportunities (within classroom environments, or breaks and recess). Plenty of opportunities to get students moving!

We know that there is research to demonstrate that incorporating physical activity (PA) in the classroom doesn't affect academic performance in any negative way. And, as Jamie Sparks alluded to in the training, we know that our brain on PA is like Miracle Grow on plants. In the classroom, it boosts attention & concentration. 

         
  
 
  
    
  
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     Physical  activity improves learning on three levels: “first, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus.”     John Ratey , SPARK

 

Physical  activity improves learning on three levels: “first, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus.”

John Ratey , SPARK

 

The training was full of movement, music, laughter and activities that engaged our participants. The participants participated in a carousel activity in which they were able to work in groups of 10 to brainstorm what they were currently doing around the areas of physical education, before and after school PA programs, PA during school, family and community engagement, and staff involvement at the elementary and/or secondary level. They also had a chance to discuss what could be done at their schools to strengthen these 5 areas of CSPAP.  We provided opportunities for them to learn the 7 Step Process for implementing CSPAP in their school (create a School Wellness Council, complete a needs assessment, create vision, goals and objectives, action plan, define outcomes, develop a plan of action, implement and measure success).

The teachers were engaged and enthusiastic for a summer professional development day! It was great to meet new teachers passionate about this work in my home state. Loved having the opportunity- thank you to all the partners that made it happen!

 Carousel Activity

Carousel Activity

Let's Move Active Schools Physical Activity Leader Training

 Welcoming the participants for the day.

Welcoming the participants for the day.

Yesterday, LMAS held it's first-ever LMAS PAL training at a national conference. Judy LoBianco and I facilitated the full-day event and had the opportunity to work with 40 fabulous new PALs from around the country and even the world! 

The goal of the training is to bring participants through a process in which they gain knowledge and skills to go home and implement a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. It's actually not a program, but a philosophy or way of incorporating a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity throughout a school day. The core of this work is quality physical education programs, taught by a certified physical education teacher who receives on-going professional development (ideal!). But, reality is that most students do not get 60 minutes of physical education a day. So, how do we incorporate physical activity throughout the day? Before and after-school programs, like walk and bike to school, open gym opportunities. We can promote physical activity during recess including incentives for walking or running laps for students. We can incorporate physical activity within the classroom- any classroom, any subject. For example, yesterday I encouraged participants to get up and make shapes and obtuse and acute angles with their bodies. Why not incorporate math and movement? With all those opportunities to include physical activity throughout the day, it should be no problem for every school in America to provide 60 minutes of physical activity (PA) throughout the day for their students. 

 Judy LoBianco role modeling "Making the Case" pitch to "principal" Jamie Sparks.

Judy LoBianco role modeling "Making the Case" pitch to "principal" Jamie Sparks.

So, why do it? Well, obviously the obesity epidemic is on everyone's mind. But, there are a lot more benefits to implementing PA programs. Walking and biking to school means less vehicles on school grounds, which may mean less accidents and can result in better air quality that decreases asthma triggers and increases attendance (asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism related to chronic disease in many state). Walking and biking is also better for the environment and creates safer communities when youth are out and about. That is one example and realizing not every school is walk and bike accessible, there are 100s of other ways to incorporate PA throughout the day. The research on what PA does for the brain is there. It jumpstarts it again! It may lead to higher test scores and academic achievement. PA leads to increased motivation, alertness and attention. 

Jump on board! Learn about how you can get in involved in increasing PA for your students (and, I'd include staff in that as well!) by going here!

Gearing Up for School Health- Webinar!

I'm facilitating a webinar hosted by SPARK on Wednesday, March 19 at 3pm PST/6pm EST! More information on how to register to come, but see description below. Feel free to share with others.

“Riding the Path to a Comprehensive School Health Program”

You can’t ride a bicycle unless all the parts are working. In addition, the parts need to work cohesively for a smooth ride to your destination.  A successful comprehensive school health program (CSHP) must have multiple components working together for one common goal…. building healthier schools. Join us at the next SPARK webinar to learn about best practices and successful strategies for building your program, as well as develop action steps to support activities to make it happen. Students must be healthy in order to be educated, and they must be educated in order to stay healthy. Implementing a comprehensive school health program does not need to always be an uphill climb. Lead your school down the path by guiding the implementation of programs, policies, and activities to improve the health of children. Our guest speaker, Jessica Lawrence of Cairn Guidance will share her lessons learned and experiences in building a CSHP. Register now to start the journey towards a healthy school environment!

Attendees will:

  • Be presented with the relationship of health issues to education accountability measures (test scores, graduation rates, attendance);
  • Understand the CSHP model and how CSPAP fits into the model, and hear examples;
  • Be presented with information on best practices when building sustainable school health programs;
  • Be encouraged to set one next step goal around what you learned on the webinar.

Time to Include Nutrition Ed into PE?

I'm responding to an article written in Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators, in the January/February issue called, It's Time to Include Nutrition Education in the Secondary Physical Education Curriculum.

The authors did a good job of 'making the case' to increase both physical activity and nutrition education in schools. We have a childhood obesity problem and schools do play a role in awareness, education and prevention of this issue. The authors advocate for PE teachers to include a 17-week nutrition program within their PE class. Now, I see that suggestion as a  two-fold problem. First, I'm not a PE teacher, but I assume that PE courses in high school do not have a ton of time leftover if addressing and aligning their program to the National PE Content Standards. Secondly, although incredibly supportive of more nutrition education and integrated learning, the article wasn't written or apparently reviewed by a health educator.  I'm concerned the authors, Susan L Bertelsen and Ben Thompson, associate professors in the Human Performance and Sport Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver in CO, did not work with a health educator. And, here's how I know this. They don't mention the importance of alignment to the the National Health Education Content Standards. They don't talk about the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool and developing a sequential health education program integrated to what their health teachers are teaching and aligned to the Healthy Behavior Outcomes (HBOs) within the HECAT. What they have in the article as a suggested 'curriculum' (which it's not by definition a curriculum, but rather a scope and sequence, or list of topics), is not all function knowledge. I recently blogged about functional knowledge. It means- what are the concepts students REALLY need to know to change their behavior or intend to stay healthy? What the authors have listed there isn't all functional knowledge. The authors also state nothing about reviewing your local or state Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data... using data to drive curricular decisions. Instead they just suggest nutrition topics that don't necessarily lead to behavior outcomes. 

I hate to pick on these two authors. I mean- I get at the core of what they are saying is that we need more nutrition ed (amen!) and integrated learning (amen!). But, next time, please advocate for strong implementation of ideas using what we know is best practice in health education.