Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Wyoming Program Aims to Help Students Adopt Healthier Habits: The "Take It Off" initiative at Kelly Walsh High School in Casper, Wyo., uses grant money and donations to help students participate in a 10-week program that gives them access to a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and counselor. Registered Dietician Brittany Bennett said the program focuses not on weight loss but on getting students to change bad eating habits and exercise more.

Study Finds Poor Driving Skills Account for Most Teen Crashes: Researchers found that 76 percent of 795 teen crashes were because of critical driving errors, including underdeveloped skills in scanning the environment and vulnerability to distractions. "This study shows the vast majority of crashes occur not because the teen drivers are behaving badly, but because they have not yet developed the crucial skills they need," said Allison Curry, lead author of the study published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

School District Finds Success by Cooking Healthy Meals in Bulk: The school-lunch program in California's Salida Union School District has won honors for figuring out how to cook about 4,000 fresh, nutritious meals for students each day. Billy Reid, who heads the district's food-service program, entices children with bite-sized bits of colorful fruits and vegetables; serves favorites such as pizza made with healthy ingredients; and carefully plans menus based on calories, nutrients, fats, sugars, and sodium.

Virginia and D.C. Schools Face Controversies over Chocolate Milk: Select schools in Virginia's Fairfax County and Washington, D.C., plan to introduce a reformulated chocolate-milk drink that is lower in fat and does not use high-fructose corn syrup after the beverage was banned from lunch programs because of criticism from health advocates. The new formulation got nods from some former critics, but other experts and nutritionists said the change in sweeteners will have little effect if the beverage's calorie content is the same.


SNA's Tray Talk: Tray Talk is the School Nutrition Association's (SNA) public awareness campaign designed to spotlight school meal successes, share information on the latest trends in school cafeterias, and celebrate the fact that school meals are healthy meals.

Recreating Successful Strategies at Your School: An article shows how one rural school district was inspired and mentored by an acclaimed urban school in California. Free resources and tools to replicate project-based learning are offered.

Take Action

NASBHC Convention, June 26–29, 2011: Please join Whole Child Partner National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) from June 26–29, 2011, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile for a deeper dialogue about how the partnerships between school-based health centers (SBHCs) and community schools can create stronger communities and healthier, more successful youth. The 2011 theme is "School-based health care and the community: A partnership that works highlights the focus on collaborations between SBHCs and community schools." View a preliminary program and register online. Register by May 20, 2011, for a special early bird discount.

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Survey: As part of the Let's Move in School initiative, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance is conducting the 2011 Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) Survey to gather baseline data about the extent to which schools are implementing CSPAP components (physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, staff involvement, and family and community involvement) at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Physical education teachers across the United States are invited to complete the survey by Monday, April 25. Results will help inform future efforts aimed at increasing physical education and physical activity in schools.

Health and Nutrition Grants from Albertsons Grocery Stores: Albertsons is accepting grant applications to address the following areas: hunger relief, health, and nutrition. Award amounts vary. Eligible applicants are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and schools in areas where Albertsons grocery stores operate. Deadline: Rolling.

ASCD's L2L Conference: Registration and conference information is now available for the 2011 Leader to Leader (L2L) Conference. Find out answers to these questions about the conference:

  • What is the L2L Conference?
  • What makes the L2L Conference unique?
  • Why should I attend the L2L Conference?
  • What's new this year?

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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