What is a SHAC?
A SHAC (School Health Advisory Council) is a school board appointed advisory group of individuals who represent different segments of the community. By law, a majority of the members must be persons who are parents of students enrolled in the district and who are not employed by the district. The SHAC is made up of parents, community members, students, and school staff working together to improve the health of all students and families through coordinated school health programs.
Why do we need a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)?
- It's Texas law
- Healthy children learn better
- Healthy homes and healthy schools support healthy children
What is included in a coordinated school health program(CSHP)?
The components of a coordinated school health program include:
- Family and Community Involvement Committee
Parents, teachers, administrators, businesses, state, county and local governments and volunteer health organizations all work together to focus attention on student health issues.
- Nutrition Committee
Promotes healthy food choices and provides nutrition education.
- Physical Education/Activity Committee
Features activities that emphasize cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength and flexibility; encourages the development of lifetime leisure skills; and includes daily physical activity for students.
- Health Education Committee
Comprehensive health education curriculum offers age-appropriate, sequential K-12 instruction that includes information on consumer health, community health, environmental health, family life, growth and development, nutritional health, personal health, prevention and control of disease, safety and accident prevention, and substance use and abuse.
- Social-Emotional Wellness Committee
Concentrates on mental health, fosters substance abuse prevention, promotes life-skills training and builds problem-solving skills.
- Health Services Committee
Includes prevention, education, early detection screenings, interventions and referrals to community services in cooperation with other agencies. Involves nurses in classroom education, staff development, and state and volunteer health organizations.
- Healthy and Safe School Environment Committee
Enhances physical and social surroundings of students and staff and ensures safe surroundings including clean air and water.
- Staff Wellness Committee
Promotes positive role models for students and reduces absenteeism and insurance costs.
The SHAC committees are based on the eight components of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) School Health Model www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/CSHP/
There is a growing body of evidence showing the positive impact of one or more components on student health and learning outcomes. Many school leaders also report that their efforts at coordinating health initiatives result in improved attendance, less smoking among students and staff, lower rates of teenage pregnancy, increased participation in physical fitness activities, and greater interest in healthier diets.
SHAC committee membership is open to any individual interested in supporting health and wellness through development of coordinated school health programs in the CVISD community.
How can I help?
Become knowledgeable about district efforts to create healthy learning environments. Read the district Wellness Policy and work with your school's PTA and principal to help implement the policy. Attend monthly SHAC meetings.