Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Oklahoma High School Parents and Principal Frown at New School Lunch Guidelines: Not everyone seems pleased with the new efforts to improve school nutrition. Some critics say that the new guidelines will cost schools money when it's not certain students will even eat the healthier choices. Without buy-in from some parents, principals, and even students, how likely is it that the USDA's nutrition standards are going to have an effect? Comment on ASCD EDge.

Researchers Study Role of Gossip and Ostracization in Bullying: More researchers are beginning to focus on the role that relational aggression plays in school bullying. The behavior, which includes social ostracization and gossip and often involves students who are considered popular, has typically been overlooked and considered less dangerous than physical or verbal abuse. Research shows that programs such as Steps to Respect, which teaches students and teachers to intervene, may help diffuse such situations.

Active Gaming in Physical Education: Embracing the Future: How can teachers spark enthusiasm for physical activity in students who enjoy more sedentary engagement and games? Physical education and exercise educator Lisa Hansen suggests using modern tools to make physical education fun. She points to a new strategy—active gaming—in her recent guest Whole Child Blog post.


Promote the Importance of School Counseling: This week, February 7–11, we celebrate National School Counseling Week with Whole Child Partner the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). Learn how you can acknowledge and support the effect school counseling has on so many students' success by checking out all of the materials and ways to stay up-to-date.

Spread the Word About Bullying and Cybersafety: ASCA has two new videos on bullying and cybersafety that you can share with your local school boards, parent groups, websites, the press, or others interested in getting involved with the issue.

Clean Up Your Classroom: Clorox Classrooms offers free lesson plans, tools, and even grant opportunities to help educate kids about healthy habits and maintaining a germ-free environment.

Take Action

Achieving Excellence and Innovation in Family, School, and Community Engagement Webinar Series: The Building Strategic Partnerships to Foster Community Engagement in Education webinar today, February 9, 2011, 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET, will examine practical examples of how to build successful strategic partnerships that foster community engagement, including how to select the organizations, people, and services to be included; how to structure communications to ensure ongoing collaboration; and how to build connections with families and schools. Register now!

Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools Announces Its First Webinar for FY2011: Participate in Making the Case for the Importance of School Climate and Its Measurement on Thursday, February 10, 2011, 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. ET. Register now! Space is limited. If registration is full, the center will maintain a waiting list and contact those on the list if space becomes available.

During this webinar, participants will learn about

  • Safe and Supportive School Models;
  • Frameworks for understanding school climate;
  • Integration of school climate in creating safe and healthy learning environments;
  • Strategies for communicating the importance of school climate to different stakeholders; and
  • Characteristics of good school climate surveys.

Healthy School Communities is a worldwide ASCD effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow, curriculum-centric and accountability system focus to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes. Visit the Healthy School Communities group on ASCD EDge and share everything from ideas and solutions to common concerns.

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