Online Program

Engaging decision makers in school health: Lessons from the field

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:54 p.m. - 1:06 p.m.

Kelly A. Beckwith, MPH, CHES, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, Alexandria, VA
Sharon Adams-Taylor, MA, MPH, American Association of School Administrators, Alexandria, VA
Sapna Batheja, MS, RD, American Association of School Administrators, Alexandria, VA
Kayla Jackson, MPA, American Association of School Administrators, Alexandria, VA
School system leaders play a critical role in developing and sustaining successful school-based health initiatives in schools. This session will highlight successful initiatives led by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) that directly impact student health and achievement.

For example, public school superintendents influence the overall wellness through the adoption of the coordinated school health model. In AASA's work with 10 superintendents in a leadership cadre, leaders indicate that the model has strengthened wellness policies in schools, increased community-school collaboration, and provided greater access to services for students, staff, and families.

Also, superintendents can influence district policies on competitive foods. In AASA's Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative, superintendents act as mentors to help develop strong competitive foods policies in mentee districts. Examples will be given of how a weak policy changed to a stronger policy through this mentorship model.

Finally, superintendents can help increase the number of children eating breakfast every day. AASA worked with 10 urban school districts to move from serving a traditional breakfast to serving breakfast in classrooms and via kiosks. Moving where breakfast is served reduces the stigma and makes breakfast more accessible to all. It also significantly increases breakfast participation. While how breakfast is served is largely a project of a district's food services team, the leadership of the superintendent is critical in making the change a success. Overall, this session is in order to inspire others to understand the leadership role of school system decision makers to inspire action on school health-related initiatives.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
List the eight components of the coordinated school health model Describe what makes a strong competitive foods policy Identify alternative ways to serve breakfast at school Discuss the role of the superintendent in district-level school health initiatives

Keyword(s): School Health, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am one of the project directors of the grants discussed in this abstract.
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.