250673 Transforming School Health: How to Mobilize Superintendents for Change across a Large County

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 11:45 AM

Michael Clough, MA, Superintendent , Sheridan School District, Sheridan, CO
As an educator for over 26 years, a former Regional Manager for the Colorado Department of Education, and currently the Superintendent of Sheridan School District in the Tri-County, CO Area, this presenter serves as an active member of the Leadership Team of the CDC-supported Tri-County, CO Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) Program. In that role, he has accepted the challenge to represent his peers and translate the goals of CPPW into the school environment so they result in students who are fit to face the world, both academically and physically. One of Tri-County's major initiatives involved getting all 15 school districts in the jurisdiction to agree on what needed to be changed or improved about school wellness policies to enhance wellness while still meeting academic standards. To make this policy change across all school districts a reality, public health couldn't do without the support of those who govern school policies - Superintendents. This speaker and another local Superintendent presented to the other 13 Superintendents, addressing the need to create a healthy school environment. After much negotiation and discussion, the Superintendents agreed to focus on the implementation of wellness and other policies that result in: increased access to healthy food/drink, and/or limit availability of unhealthy food/drink; increased non-food or healthy food-related parties or rewards in the classroom; and, increased weekly physical activity. This talk will describe how public health can engage Superintendent and school-based personnel audiences and guide them through policy change while being responsive to their constituency groups.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe how to reach out to Superintendents to engage them in the discussion of environmental change to improve the school health environment. 2. Discuss the approach taken in the Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative to mobilize 15 Superintendents for school environmental changes. 3. Identify the common goals of the education and public health sectors and discuss how to leverage those similarities.

Keywords: Community Health, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be a presentation Author on the content as I am the Supertintendent of Sheridan School District and am a Leadership Team member of the CDC Communities Putting Prevention to Work program in Tri-County Colorado
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.