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CREATING A BALANCE AT SCHOOL

Many districts already taking part in program to keep students healthy, engaged

By THE CHAUTAUQUA HEALTH ACTION TEAM

It’s back to school month, so let’s consider: how do schools help kids to be healthy?

Is it gym class? Health class? Healthy school lunches? Turns out, Chautauqua County schools are doing much more.

When it comes to helping children in our community to live their best, healthiest lives, school districts throughout the region are adopting the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model.

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model is championed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Association for Supervision, Curriculum, and Development. It emphasizes a comprehensive, systemic approach to education with the goal of having students who are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES supports this shift in focus through collaborative and innovative partnerships, allowing schools to focus on the 10 components of coordinated school health. These components include: health education; physical education and physical activity; nutrition environment and services; health services; social and emotional climate; counseling, psychological and social services; physical environment; employee wellness; family engagement; and community involvement. This comprehensive approach to improving student learning and wellness is called ICE8.

Through ICE8, BOCES and community partners work to provide programming that impacts all 10 coordinated school health components. Together with our public school districts, we collaborate to provide supports to communities where gaps remain and school districts are in need.

To assist in the implementation of the coordinated school health components, BOCES offers a designated School Health Specialist to work with School Wellness Coordinators and districts in implementation of the Whole School Community Child model. The comprehensive model includes: the Michigan Model for Health curriculum and professional development K-12; Project KNOW at two grade levels; Physical Activity/Physical Education Lending Locker; Panorama Education; forums for PE/Health Teachers, School Wellness Coordinators, Cafeteria Managers, School Counselors, School Nurses, and DASA Coordinators; additional professional development opportunities supporting the Whole School Child Community; and support in completing assessments that provide valuable data for planning. By including all of these services into one package, districts see a significant cost savings.

Over time, ICE8 efforts will help us to achieve a healthier population in Chautauqua County. Currently 19 BOCES component districts are Comprehensive ICE 8 Districts and that list continues to grow. To learn more about WSCC and ICE 8, visit http://www.ascd.org/programs/learning-and-health/wscc-model.aspx or https://www.e2ccb.org/ and search “ICE 8.”

CHQ 250 is an initiative of the Chautauqua Health Action Team (CHAT), encouraging you to take action to be one of at least 250 strokes, heart attacks, or related deaths prevented in Chautauqua County in the coming year. This column is written by CHAT members to share information to help you to do your part to live a life free of stroke or heart disease; it is not intended to replace advice provided by your healthcare team. Please direct questions or comments to: activecounty@co.chautauqua.ny.us.

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