Aligning Health and Education in the School Setting (Slade Keynote Oct 2011)
2011 NJ School Health Leadership Academy October 13 2011 Aligning Health & Education in the School Setting Sean Slade, Director, ASCD email@example.com
The Healthy School Communities Model: Aligning Health and Education in the School Setting ASCD, March 2011 Robert ‘Skip’ Valois, Sean Slade, Ellie Ashford
Introduce the issue Successes and limitations of CSHNeed for change?How to change?9 levers of change * Key levers
!IssueHealth and wellbeing have for too long been considered thedomain of health experts.For too long it has been silo-ed both geographically andphilosophically apart from the school and the educationalcontext.
Rarely has health been included or required to be an integralpart of the school’s educational process – but when it has theresults are surprising.Schools that work purposefully towards enhancing the health– mental, social, emotional as well as physical – of both theirstaff and students, frequently report results that Principalsand Administrators want to hear…
• higher academic achievement of students[i]• the development of a positive school climate[ii]• reduced absenteeism [iii]• increased staff satisfaction and less staff turnover[iv]• greater efficiency, increased resources and links into community [v]• and ultimately the development of a school-community culture that promotes and enhances student growth[vi].
• increased student-staff and student-school levels of connectedness (vii)• reduced risk-taking behavior … drug and alcohol use, early sexual activity, bullying and victimization behavior (viii)• and supports the development of the Whole Child …healthy, safe, engaged, supported, challenged. (ix)
Addressing the health and well-being needs of the school, itsstaff, and its students also address the teaching and learningneeds of the same constituents. [x]They are symbiotic, one and the same, and as such one doesnot exist for long without the other.
Establishment of CSHIntroduced in 19878 component modelBroader and more defined approach to school healthCDC/DASH disseminated this modelProvided a standard, reliable framework for organizing school health nationwide.4
Coordinated School Health Health Ed Family & PE Community HealthPromotion for Staff ? CSH Health Services Healthy Nutrition Environment Counseling & Social Services
Used in at least 46 statesSuccesses and limitationsThis health-centric CSH approach has undoubtedly had somesuccessCommon health-centric frameworkAlignment of health agencies, services, functionsPromotion of academic benefits for health
Approaches have frequently required a substantial change inthe way schools and their staff practiceSuccesses and limitationshowever it has never had the broad encompassing successand influence over the whole school environment that hadbeen envisioned.Gap between theory and practicePromotion that health is the duty of health professionals
Where there was a need 20 yrs ago to target the healthand wellbeing of students via a separate and distinctstructure in order to focus attention/resources towardshealth …there is a need today to combine, align and mergethese structures so that systems work in unison. We do not have the time nor resources to continue thecurrent push me-pull me environment and neither do ourchildren.
…limited resources and a shared commitment to “ [W]e must connect the dots between health and learning.children’s wellbeing make a coordinated approach not onlypractical but preferable …the promise of a coordinated school health program,thus far, outshines its practice Eva Marx, Susan Wooley & Daphne Northrop, 1998
In sum, if American schools do not coordinate and “modernize their school health programs as a critical part ofeducational reform, our children will continue to benefit atthe margins from a wide disarray of otherwise unrelated, ifnot underdeveloped, efforts to improve interdependenteducation, health, and social outcomes. And, we will forfeitone of the most appropriate and powerful means availableto improve student performance.Lloyd Kolbe, 2002
school health and school improvement. Persistence in “ Insistence on alignment of programs under the ‘‘health’’banner is detrimental to the purpose and mission of bothgarnering support for health ‘‘programs’’ rather than findingthe niche of the health-promotion process in ongoing schoolimprovement efforts contributes to insurmountable languageand organizational barriers that detract from the existentvalue of health in the school setting. Tena Hoyle, Todd Bartee & Diane Allensworth, 2009
“ Though rhetorical support is increasing, school health iscurrently not a central part of the fundamental mission ofschools in America nor has it been well integrated into thebroader national strategy to reduce the gaps in educationalopportunity and outcomes. Charles Basch, 2010
all schools adopted Coordinated School Health? Joyce Fetro, 2010 “ A paradigm shift is needed… why after 20 years haven’t
Need for change? So what has held educators back from whole heartedlyembracing health and wellbeing across their schools andacross their policies, processes and systems?
Need for change?Maybe CSH itself has played a role…The fact that there has been a separate section of thesystem that has been designed to cater to the healthneeds of students has in fact allowed education to ignoreor push health aside.Placing health as a separate entity has perpetuated thesilo-ing of health and education.
A change in how we view health and education is required - achange in how the two operate, align and integrate in theschool and community setting.However the biggest change must be in how education viewshealth. Therefore the conversation cannot be directedtowards health professionals but towards educationprofessionals.
A secondary change must be how health views itself and notallow itself to be considered separate from education.Health must see itself as key to the growth and developmentof youth; understand that champions are a ‘foot in the door’and not the end goal; and understand what is required toensure sustainability.It must outline and define the educational benefits of healthystudents, healthy staff and a healthy effective school – foreducation’s sake.
It should not be assumed, however, that the weight and onusof health and wellbeing should be transferred from health toeducation in the school context. Nor should it be inferred thatthe expertise of health professionals be ignored, disregardedor side-lined.Rather what should be assumed is that health and educationbe required to work as partners just as the school andcommunity must work as partners to establish safe, connectedand resource rich environments with common goals andaligned strategies.
How?Less has been articulated in how this is to be achieved.In short if we are to better align, coordinate and link healthand education in the school setting the conversation must beexpanded to include educators – teachers, school staff andadministrators.
1. 9 levers Principal as leader as leader How?2. Active and engaged leadership3. Distributive team leadership4. Effective use of data in planning process5. Integration with the school improvement plan Integration with the school improvement plan6. Ongoing and embedded professional development7. Authentic community collaborations community collaborations8. Stakeholder support of local efforts9. Creation/modification of school policy related to process
9 levers Principal as leader How?Principal leadership matters. In fact, the recent evaluation ofthe Healthy School Communities (HSC) pilot project showedthat the role of the principal was the most critical piece of thepuzzle in implementing meaningful school change and schoolimprovement.
9 levers Principal as leader How?Other elements were crucial… such as an understanding thathealth improvement supports school improvement, authenticcommunity collaboration, and the ability to make systemicrather than merely programmatic change—but these piecesmore often than not arose via the influence and role theprincipal took in the implementation of HSC.
9 levers Principal as leader How?Principal leadership in these sites not only provided anautomatic “educational acceptance” of the initiative to thewider school body, but also used the interpersonal andmanagerial skill of the principal in aligning stakeholders.Principal-led teams were found to develop more diversecommittees, involve more stakeholders, and initiate moresystemic change to school policy and process.
9 levers Principal as leader How?Principal leadership of the process takes what may have beenseen as merely a “health issue”— which might be consideredbeneficial but somewhat separate from education—andpositions it directly under the responsibility of the principaland the school improvement process.
9 levers Principal as leader How?In many ways the school principal is the most important andinfluential individual in any school. It is the principal’sleadership that sets the tone of the school, the climate forteaching, the level of professionalism and morale of teachers,and the degree of concern for what students may or may notbecome.
9 levers Principal as leader How?The principal is the main link between the community and theschool, and the way he or she performs in this capacity largelydetermines the attitudes of parents and students about theschool. If a school is a vibrant, innovative, child-centered place,if it has a reputation for excellence in teaching, if students areperforming to the best of their ability, one can almost alwayspoint to the principal’s leadership as the key to success.- U.S. Congress, 1970, p. 56
9 levers How? Integration with the school improvement planFor change to be meaningful and sustainable, it needs toaddress school improvement at the systemic level, rather thanjust the programmatic level. Programmatic changes are morelikely to be tried and rolled back or become “siloed” as theproperty of a particular staff member or department.Authority to make systemic changes often resides with theprincipal, the administration, and the school board.
9 levers How? Integration with the school improvement planThe evaluation found that when sites did not include theseparties - principal, the administration, and the school board -as well as key community stakeholders, they were morelikely to focus on a programmatic rather than systemicapproach.
9 levers Authentic community collaborations How?All partners in the school community need to have a sense ofownership and control of meaningful aspects of the school’sprocesses and functions. Token requests for involvement,which usually consist of volunteering or donating services for aset time period, do not inspire collaboration or requireengagement and are neither empowering nor sustainable(Epstein & Salinas, 2004).
9 levers How? Authentic community collaborationsWhat is the most meaningful involvement communitystakeholders can have? • Ask • Expect = School Improvement Process • Management, Improvement, Educational • Non tokenistic
9 levers Authentic community collaborations How?Health isn’t a buzz word at Howe; it is a frame of mind and anapproach to caring for one another and to building a betterschool community. The concept has become such an integralpart of the school’s identity that the staff integrated adetailed action plan into the school’s improvement plan basedupon our latest results from the Healthy School Report Card.—Jamie Buffington, Special Education Teacher, T. C. Howe
Points How?You are essential to educationSing benefits of health to education (not just to do better onstandardized testing)Go in via principals door not gym doorConvince principalState ‘ASCD’ says…Examples (http://whatworks.wholechildeducation.org/examples)