Health Education in NC: Results from the 2012 PROFILES Study


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This session will provide highlights from the North Carolina School Health Education Profile Survey that was published by the Department of Public Instruction in 2013. School health and physical education, tobacco use, STDs, and other important health issues at the middle and high school levels will be discussed.

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Health Education in NC: Results from the 2012 PROFILES Study

  1. 1. North Carolina Association for Middle Level Education’s Annual Conference 3:30 pm – Biltmore Room March 17, 2014
  2. 2. Presented by: Dr. Terri Mitchell Dr. Melanie Greene Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina
  3. 3. What do you know… about health behaviors among North Carolina middle school students? Find a partner and see if you can answer the following questions from the 2011 NC Middle School YRBS. (2013 should be available within the next few months)
  4. 4. 2011 NC MS YRBS 1. __% reported ever having been in a physical fight (__% of males, __% of females). 2. __% rarely or never wore a bicycle helmet (of those who reported riding a bike). 3. __% describe themselves as slightly or very overweight. 4. __% have ever been bullied on school property (highest among white students at __%). 5. __% ever drank alcohol. 6. __% of students consider themselves to have a disability.
  5. 5. 2011 NC MS YRBS 1. 55% reported ever having been in a physical fight (69% of males, 41% of females). 2. 77% rarely or never wore a bicycle helmet (of those who reported riding a bike). 3. 25% describe themselves as slightly or very overweight. Hispanic/Latino overall: 32% 4. 42% have ever been bullied on school property (highest among white students at 46%). 5. 29% ever drank alcohol. 8th grade: 44% 6. 9.8% of students consider themselves to have a disability.
  6. 6. Presentation Outline •Introductions •Background of the Profiles Study •Current Study •Research Findings •Questions and Discussion
  7. 7. School Health Profiles • Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. • Profiles is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, territories, and tribal governments. • Profiles surveys are conducted every 2 years by education and health agencies among middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers.
  8. 8. The Study • Two questionnaires are used to collect data - one for school principals and one for lead health education teachers. • Questionnaires were mailed to 432 regular secondary public schools containing any of grades 6 through 12 in North Carolina during spring 2012. • Response rate: principals 71%, teachers 70% (weighted and representative date).
  9. 9. Coordinated School Health Programs
  10. 10. Areas Included in Profiles • Coordinated School Health and Health Education • HIV Prevention and Sexual Orientation • Physical Education and Physical Activity • Tobacco-Use Prevention Policies • Nutrition-related Policies and Practices • Health Services • Family and Community Involvement in School Health Programs • Collaboration • Professional Development and Preparation
  11. 11. Reporting Procedures • An Executive Summary of 2012 findings is presented in the report. • All findings from 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012 are included to give an indication of changes that have occurred in the past six years. • Trend data is not available for all items.
  12. 12. Highlights of 2012 Findings
  13. 13. Coordinated School Health • 2012 saw an increase in the use of assessment tools for policies, activities, and programs in all areas. New to 2010 was injury and violence prevention, with 38% of schools reporting the assessment of policies, activities, and programs for this program area in 2012. • 44% of schools report using YRBS or fitness data as part of the school’s improvement planning (SIP) process. • 80% of schools report coordinators for all school activities (decline from 84% in 2010)
  14. 14. What do you know… • About SHACs (School Health Advisory Councils)? • Healthy Active Children Policy, Section 1. LOCAL SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL • Each school district shall establish and maintain a local School Health Advisory Council to help plan, implement, and monitor this policy as well as other health issues as part of the coordinated school health plan. • The local School Health Advisory Council shall be composed of community and school representatives from the eight areas of a coordinated school health program mentioned in Section 4 (a), representatives from the local health department and school administration.
  15. 15. HIV Prevention and Sexual Orientation • 31% of Middle Schools provide professional development for staff on HIV, STD , or pregnancy prevention issues and resources for ethnic/racial minority youth at high risk. • MS: 11% report a Gay Straight Alliance (32% at HS level) • 97% report teaching HIV prevention (83% in 2010) • 46% identify “safe spaces” where LGBTQ youth can receive support from administrators, teachers, or other school staff.
  16. 16. What do you know… about the NC School Violence Prevention Act? List at least three groups that are explicitly protected from bullying. • real or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, socioeconomic status, academic status, gender identity, physical appearance, sexual orientation, or mental, physical, developmental, or sensory disability.
  17. 17. Physical Education & Activity • Physical education is required for grades six through eight in 96% of schools, 99% of high schools. • 91% of middle schools report that physical education teachers received some type of professional development within the past two years. • 59% of middle schools provide opportunities for students to participate in activities such as Intramurals or physical activity clubs (a 8% point decline from 2010).
  18. 18. What do you know… • The number of minutes of physical activity a school is required to provide weekly to children is _______. 150 (according to the Healthy Active Children Policy)
  19. 19. Tobacco Policies and Programs • 98% of middle schools have a policy that prohibits tobacco use on campus. • 92% of middle schools include instruction on Identifying tobacco products and the harmful substances they contain. • 97% of all schools report having a tobacco prevention policy that specifically prohibits the use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipes by visitors during any school-related activity.
  20. 20. What do you know… What does it mean if a school is 100% tobacco free? A 100% Tobacco-Free school has a policy that prohibits the use of tobacco products by anyone, including students, staff, and visitors, on school grounds or at school events at all times. This tobacco-free zone includes school premises, school vehicles, and school events, both indoors and outdoors, and both on and off school property. (
  21. 21. Nutrition Policies/Practices • 35% of schools report that they almost always or always provide fruits or non-fried vegetables during school celebrations. Thirteen percent report that they never or rarely offer these healthier food items during school celebrations. • 77% of high schools and 49% of middle schools allow students to purchase snack foods or beverages at various places on the school campus. This reflects a steady decline for both middle and high schools since 2004. • 43% of middle schools allow students to have a water bottle during the school day in all locations. • 91% of middle schools report teaching about the benefits of health eating.
  22. 22. What do you know… • What are some common diseases associated with childhood obesity? •Type II Diabetes •High Blood Pressure •High cholesterol •Sleep apnea •Asthma (from the CDC)
  23. 23. Health Services • In 2012, 28% of schools had a full-time registered nurse to provide health services to students. • 33% of high schools report having a full-time nurse compared to 24% of middle schools, a slight increase since 2010. • 93% of schools report that all or most students with known asthma have an action plan on file with the school. • Less than half of all middle schools report referral services for reproductive healthcare to their students (ie, HIV and other STD testing, pregnancy testing, condom and other contraception access)
  24. 24. What do you know… • What is the Healthy People 2020 objective for school nurse to student ratio? Recommended: 1 nurse per 750 students by 2020 Currently: 1 nurse per 1,200 students in a school district
  25. 25. Family and Community Involvement • Only 13% of schools report that families help develop or implement policies and programs related to HIV, STD, or teen pregnancy prevention. • 21% of schools report that community members have helped develop or implement policies and programs related to HIV, STD, or teen pregnancy prevention.
  26. 26. Required Health Education • At the middle school level health is a required subject with 87% of 6th graders, 88% of 7th graders, and 88% of 8th graders required to take the course. This reflects a 9% increase since 2010. • 92% of teachers at the middle school level report that students take one or more health courses at their respective schools.
  27. 27. What do you know… • In a classroom of 30 children about ___ are likely to have asthma. 3… and is the leading cause of school absences
  28. 28. Required Health Education • At the middle school level, attention is given to nutrition and dietary behavior (98%), physical activity and fitness (98%), and tobacco-use prevention (96%), very similar to 2010 results. • Ninety-three percent of lead health teachers report that middle school students are taught how HIV and STDs are transmitted, a 17% increase since 2010. • Lead health education teachers in grades 6, 7, or 8 reported an increase from 34% (2010) to 69% on teaching the importance of using condoms correctly and consistently. New items in 2012
  29. 29. What do you know… • What percentage of NC parents would like their children to receive sexuality education from the school? 91.8%... and more than 2/3 of parents thought sexuality education should start by the 6th grade (from the NC Parent Opinion Survey of Public School Sexuality Education)
  30. 30. HIV Prevention • 93% of middle school students are taught how HIV and STDs are transmitted, up from 76% in 2010. Ninety-three percent are taught the differences between HIV and AIDS, up from 87% in 2008 and 74% in 2010. • 13% of lead MS health teachers report providing curricula or supplementary materials on the topics of HIV, STD, or pregnancy prevention that are relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth.
  31. 31. What do you know… About House Bill 88? • State legislation for sexuality education in NC (signed into law 2009) • Changed from “Abstinence Until Marriage” to “Reproductive Health and Safety Education” – Sexually Transmitted Diseases, contraception, sexual assault/abuse • Grades 7, 8, 9 • Implemented Fall 2010
  32. 32. Collaboration • 36% of middle school lead health education teachers work with food service staff and 87% of work with physical education staff. • Middle school teachers were somewhat more likely to provide health information to parents and families in the areas of physical activity (48%) and HIV prevention (42%) than in nutrition (38%) or asthma (24%).
  33. 33. Professional Development Middle school teachers have received a variety of workshops, conferences, continuing education or in- service programs in – physical activity(68%), – HIV prevention (60%), – violence prevention (53%), – human sexuality (49%), – and alcohol or other drug use prevention (40%). • Middle school teachers were much more likely to receive professional development on HIV prevention (60%) and human sexuality (49%) in 2012 than in 2010.
  34. 34. What do you know… • About % of teens report online harassment (cyberbullying), with more girls/boys being targets. ~Pew Internet and American Life Project 33
  35. 35. Professional Development • Middle school lead health education teachers have a strong interest in staff development for – violence prevention (80%), Same as 2010 – physical activity and fitness (74%), - since 2010 – nutrition and dietary needs (80%), + since 2010 – suicide prevention (71%), - since 2010 – alcohol and drug use prevention (71%), - since 2010 – emotional and mental health (73%) + since 2010
  36. 36. Questions and Discussion
  37. 37. Resources • North Carolina Healthy Schools: • Profiles, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, and 2012: profiles/ • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction: