What is a School Health Advisory council (SHAC)?
A SHAC is a group of individuals representing segments of the community, appointed by the school district to serve at the district level, to provide advice to the district on coordinated school health programming and its impact on student health and learning.
SHACs provide an efficient, effective structure for creating and implementing age-appropriate, sequential health education programs, and early intervention and prevention strategies that can easily be supported by local families and community stakeholders.
What Is COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH?
A quality CSH program is an integrated set of planned, sequential, school-affiliated strategies, activities and services designed to promote the optimal physical, emotional, social and educational development of students. The program involves and is supportive of families and is determined by the community. It is based on local needs, resources, standards and values. It is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team (CSH Leadership Team) that is accountable to the community for program quality and effectiveness. By addressing health-related issues, schools not only foster students’ academic achievements, but also help to establish healthy behaviors that last a lifetime.
Terminology: Comprehensive Versus Coordinated
The terms "comprehensive" and "coordinated" school health are often interchanged in school health literature, although there are differences.
Comprehensive school health
means "inclusive," covering completely and broadly, and refers to a broad range of components. It should be emphasized, however, that programs and services actually delivered at the school site may not provide coverage by themselves, but are intended to work with and complement the efforts of families, primary sources of health care, and other health and social service resources in the community. This will produce a continuous and complete system to promote and protect students’ health.
Coordinated school health
means "brought into combined action to cause separate elements to function in a smooth concerted manner." Coordination implies a formal relationship and blurring of boundaries between coordinating partners, although partners can still retain identity and affiliation to their profession.
CSH commonly consists of eight components that encompass all aspects of the school environment (see diagram). The components interact to function as a unified system and can become a theme for the entire school.
These components incorporate:
• Development of cognitive skills
• Development of policies that support a positive psychosocial and hazard-free environment
• Families and communities in promoting the well-being of young people
• Opportunities for staff members to foster their own well being stages that stressed prevention and detection of diseases, sanitation, intervention in illness and handicapping conditions and health promotion. Now, the emphasis has returned to teaching students to make responsible decisions regarding self-care.