178590 Tracking the Impact of Legislation on the Establishment of School Health Councils

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:30 PM

Marlene K. Tappe, PhD, CHES , Department of Health Science, Minnesota State University- Mankato, Mankato, MN
Kristin Oles, MS, MPH , Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis, IN
Suzanne Crouch, MS , Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis, IN
As of July 2007 Indiana school corporations were required by law to establish School Health Advisory Councils (SHAC). This study examined the impact of this legislation on the existence, structure, and function of SHACs in Indiana. An electronic survey was sent to each corporation's Healthy School Point of Contacts (HSPC) (n = 249) in August 2007. The 34-item survey assessed characteristics of the HSPC and their corporation, SHAC training and technical assistance related to coordinated school health programs (CSHP), CSHP infrastructure, SHAC structure and function, and HSPC perceptions regarding the SHAC. Analyses included descriptive and correlation statistics, Cronbach's alpha, and independent sample t-tests. Most respondents (n = 178, response rate = 71.9%) were school nurses (46.9%). Many of the corporations had a SHAC (68.8%) and received CSHP training (79.2%). Among corporations that had a SHAC, 54.2% had health goals recommended by the SHAC as part of their school improvement plan (SIP). Corporations that included health goals in their SIP had more CSHP initiatives (t = 3.01, p < . 01). CSHP training was positively associated with the use of data to plan CSHP initiatives (r = .57, p < .01), SHAC commitment (r = .33, p < .01), the number CSHP initiatives (r = .41, p < .01), and documentation of CSHP initiatives (r = .42, p < .01). Given that corporations that include health goals in their SIP have higher levels of CSHP activity, Indiana law should be amended to require corporations to include health goals in their SIP.

Learning Objectives:
Participants identify the impact of legislation on the existence, structure, and function of school health councils.

Keywords: School Health, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted the research.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.