Healthy School Communities

Health and Learning News and Updates


Ontario School Tests Effects of a Later Start Time: Students at a Toronto, Ontario, school are earning better grades, coming to school more often, and getting more sleep since the school pushed its start time to 10:00 a.m. The school began starting school at 10:00 a.m. in 2009—later than the previous 9:00 a.m. start—in response to research showing that teenagers are predisposed to waking up later. Educators say they are encouraged by learning gains and improvements in students' well-being. (ASCD Worldwide SmartBrief, 4/28)

Maintaining School Facilities as a Part of School Wellness: In addition to contributing to successful learning environments, well-maintained, safe, and up-to-date school grounds and structures have a multipurpose role in the community. Columnist Jay Coalson's opinion is that the state of school facilities should be assessed and addressed more often in discussions about Oregon's school reforms and student and staff wellness. (, 5/1)

Proposed Education Act Seeks to Curb Bullying in Alberta: Under a new education act, school boards in Alberta, Canada, would have greater authority to prevent cyberbulling and bullying acts that take place outside of school hours. The proposal, which now goes before the legislature, also establishes responsibilities for students and parents. The act also includes more controversial provisions that would allow school boards to make decisions on issues such as school closures and student busing. (ASCD Worldwide SmartBrief, 4/28)

New Report Says Canadian Kids Aren't Active Enough After School: Evidence suggests that obesity is on the rise for children in Canada. Children are reportedly getting only about 14 minutes of exercise between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. Researchers suggest more federal funds be directed to promoting after-school programs that encourage physical activity and time outdoors. (, 4/26)


CDC Launches New Health Literacy Website and Blog: The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools's latest issue of the Challenge is now available. This newsletter provides information and resources to help schools create safe and healthy learning environments for students. This month's theme is on school climate and includes articles, resources, and research findings on this topic. (ED's Safe & Supportive Schools News, 4/28)

Take Action

Saucony Run for Good Youth Running Program: The Saucony Run for Good Program is awarding grants to nonprofit organizations that support fitness and running programs to encourage active and healthy lifestyles in children and fight obesity. Grants are awarded up to $10,000. Applicants must demonstrate positive impacts on participants' lives through increased participation in running. Deadline: June 13, 2011. (

2011 Superintendents' School Health Leadership Award: The Council on Administrative Support for School Health of the American School Health Association—a whole child partner—is seeking nominations for the 2011 Superintendents' School Health Leadership Award. The award was established to celebrate superintendents who are committed to meeting the needs of the whole child in a coordinated and comprehensive fashion and demonstrate exemplary commitment to student and staff health within their districts and beyond. ASCD and the Center for Health and Learning are cosponsors of this award. Review the criteria for consideration and submit nominations electronically to Andrea Mocca by June 1, 2011. (

What Will Happen to School Health Without DASH? With the impending restructuring of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), some are concerned about the prioritization of children's health in school. Start the discussion on ASCD EDge and express what concerns are valid or not regarding federal support for school health. ( blog, 4/27)

ASCD Is Accepting Proposals for Its 2012 Annual Conference: ASCD is encouraging members of the education community to submit proposals for next year's Annual Conference. The event will be held March 24–26, 2012, in Philadelphia. Proposals are due May 12, 2011. (

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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