HEALTH AND WELLNESS POLICY
WELLNESS is an active, lifelong learning process of developing healthy behaviors and habits, and becoming aware of and making healthful choices that effect our present and future lives. Healthy behaviors, habits, and choices are essential for students to successfully engage in learning, be prepared for their future, develop learning and work-essential social competencies, and to be prepared to transition to a productive career. Students enter FPA exhibiting every range of physical, emotional and academic behaviors, habits, and choices. Consistent with our Vision, Mission and Values statement the school will support multiple ways for students to be successful in learning healthy behaviors, habits, and choices; and will guide students toward making positive health and wellness decisions for themselves.
Continuum of Support
The school will support a school-based and school-linked continuum of support for students and families.
Level 1. The continuum begins with primary prevention, health promotion, and youth development strategies targeted toward the entire student population. These are focused courses, activities, informational sessions for students and parents, and other deliberately designed student engagements.
Level 2. Many of our students enter school having experienced childhood trauma that impede students’ ability to make healthy decisions, and are significant risk factors for poor health, academic failure, poor quality of life, and often include dysregulated behavior. Schools have a unique opportunity and responsibility to help children recover from trauma and develop the skills necessary to experience academic and social success. Early intervention services are directed toward targeted youth through a collaboration of teachers, social workers, school leadership, and other support staff who develop and monitor individual student support plans. These plans analyze the root causes of student actions, develop focused plans, and monitor progress.
Level 3. More intensive interventions for youth with more critical needs will develop individual student support plans that rely on clinical counselors, and important linkages to social and health service providers in the community. To ensure that students and families effectively benefit, these supports do not exist in isolation. There is structured interagency communication between the student’s participation in school and community resource supports.
Addressing Health and Wellness
Physical health and wellness include: Keeping the body medically healthy; Keeping the body in good physical condition; Maintaining proper nutrition; Having intellectual access and physical access to people and agencies that are positive influences on healthful decision making.
Emotional health and wellbeing include: Developing positive emotional regulation; Developing productive social skills; Developing healthy relationships.
Academic wellbeing includes: Improving self-efficacy; Assuring educational stability and support for vulnerable youth.
PHYSICAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
- All students new to the building participate in hearing and vision screening. Follow-up as needed is available through community partners at no cost to students or families.
- Student immunization records are reviewed, and referrals made to medical support as needed.
- Medical care providers are available monthly at the school for well-childcare, to conduct physical examinations, to assess the possibility of focused needs including dental health, and provide medical counseling.
- School monitoring of medications prescribed to students, including diabetic students (Policy JHCD).
- The building and grounds are reviewed regularly to identify potential safety concerns (Policy EBAA).
- Health and safety practices are included in all athletic programming.
- Health education is a graduation requirement. Students are expected to earn ½ credit. The course is offered during the school day. Course content includes instruction in nutrition; benefits of physical activity to overall health; developing healthy relationships; harmful effects of drug abuse including opioids, abuse of prescription drugs, alcohol and tobacco; venereal disease education; dating violence prevention; information for accessing community agencies that are available to support student and family needs; and the process for organ or tissue donation.
- Physical activity
- Physical education is a graduation requirement. Students are expected to earn ½ credit in fitness and/or movement activities. This programming is provided during the school day.
- The curriculum stresses physical fitness, encourages healthy active lifestyles, and includes physical activities as part of the curriculum.
- Instruction includes knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to participate in lifelong, health-enhancing physical activity.
- Nutrition education is included in the Health curriculum, and is the core of instruction in Cooking classes during the school day and during after-school programming.
- The nutritive value of foods, including natural and organically produced foods, the relation of nutrition to health, and the use and effects of food additives is included in instruction.
- The school food service program shall comply with federal and state regulations pertaining to the selection, preparation, consumption, and disposal of food and beverages.
- The food service program will provide all students affordable access to a variety of nutritious food.
- The school will provide students with a clean and safe environment, and adequate time for eating meals.
- The School takes steps to notify staff of students with food allergies, will provide substitute meals to food-allergic students, and inform the food service provider of these allergies. Substitute meals are provided in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of the student. (Policy EFH).
- Community Supports. In addition to including this information in the Health curriculum, information for accessing community agencies that support student and family needs will be available on the school web-pages, and contained in the student handbook. Level 2 and Level 3 interventions could focus on these areas and would engage the school social worker team, clinical counseling and referrals to community agencies. Of specific attention are the following areas that have negatively impacted our students’ physical health and wellness: chronic disease management, insufficient sleep, insufficient nutrition, homeless youth, child welfare agency involvement, foster care programs, child abuse and/or neglect, sexual abuse, program for cessation of substance abuse/ smoking; pregnant students, trafficked students, suicide prevention, pre-natal care.
EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Teenagers have many developmental emotional needs. These are reflective of developing brain functions expected at different ages of maturation. In addition to these expected emotional needs FPA students are heavily influenced by childhood traumas. Sustained trauma becomes a stressor and interferes with actual brain development and functioning. Toxic stress – when the stress is ongoing and unremitting—negatively impacts cognitive skill development. In addition to the traumas listed above under Community Supports, poverty can be a trauma. Ongoing academic failure can itself become a significant toxic stress to students. Students impacted by trauma often exhibit dysregulated behavior making schooling an even more difficult experience.
- The school has adopted Trauma-Informed Practices to establish a climate that demonstrates students’ desired regulated behavior and social competencies.
- Classrooms are consistent and predictable.
- Teachers actively model the behaviors they expect students to embrace.
- Consistent instructional routines exist in classrooms across the school.
- The school provides clear and consistent communications of expectations (Policy JFA).
- School discipline plans are restorative rather than punitive (Policy JFC).
- The school values its diverse student body.
- The school is an emotionally safe place for all students.
- Teachers and the learning community are intentionally inviting.
- The learning environment is characterized by patience, understanding, and empathy.
- Teachers create positive learning environments where students can improve their academic achievement.
- Small mentoring groups are formed to address student needs and interests, for example Men’s Group; Girl’s Group; Teen Moms. These may be short termed, or ongoing as needed.
- Restorative Practices are used as the structured response to dysregulated behavior. This is a process for students to learn to use more productive behaviors. It focuses proactively to build the regulated capacity of students.
- Teachers are participating in Neurosequential Model in Education (Bruce Perry) to understand brain development that has been impacted by trauma.
- Social Skill development is coordinated in the weekly Advisory Period. Ohio has developed Ohio Means Jobs Readiness Seals. These are 14 professional social skills, plus a drug-free pledge, that students can demonstrate and receive validation for completion. The areas have been identified as those needed for success in the workplace. They are reliability, work ethic, punctuality, discipline, collaboration, professionalism, learning agility, critical thinking/ problem solving, leadership, creativity, oral and written communication, digital technology, global/intercultural fluency; career management.
- A social worker team provides school and community support services to students and families using processes and practices of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
- A clinical counselor is placed full time in the school to provide counseling support to students and families.
- Level 2 Behavioral Plans are developed by the school Social Worker team with input from teachers. The plans are monitored frequently for student improvements, and can be modified as needed.
- Level 3 interventions focus on more severe behavior areas and engage the school social worker team, clinical counseling and referrals to community agencies.
Improving self-efficacy; and assuring educational stability and support are the foundation for academic wellness for vulnerable youth.
The impact of self-efficacy on learning is significant. Students with high self-efficacy perform better and understand that their efforts can result in better learning. Students with poor self-efficacy see each challenge and setback as evidence that they aren’t learning, and in fact can’t learn, further reducing the likelihood that they will be inclined to engage on the next task assigned. A belief that failure is the outcome leads to resistance to engage in learning, and also leads to inconsistent attendance, chronic absenteeism, changing schools frequently, truancy and dropping out of school.
Improved learning behavior follows an expectation that success is possible, which students must experience with enough frequency that they can believe in their own abilities. Students will engage in difficult, complex, or perceived risky learning if they believe that help is nearby, that there are safety nets to support them, and that they will not be ridiculed if not successful.
There is a direct correlation between the nature of the tasks teachers give students, and students’ self-efficacy and potential academic success. Primary Prevention include the following that take place within each classroom.
- Classroom tasks are engaging and interesting to students.
- Clear introductory information of goals, purposes, and expectations of the unit
- Guided use of techniques on well-defined problems
- Provide an appropriate level of difficulty
- Incorporate choice and social interaction
- Make positive connections with students
- Create high levels of trust between teacher and students, and between students
- Welcome errors as a positive step toward learning
- Group students thoughtfully
- Establish short-term learning goals
- Provide positive feedback
- Elicit feedback from students
- Support students to reach learning targets
- Provide evenhanded responses to classroom situations
- Tasks are differentiated
- Tasks are of appropriate duration
- Include direct instruction of learning tools as they are needed. These include: Vocabulary, Reading comprehension, Organizational patterns, Note-taking, Writing a summary, Math problem analysis, Levels of questioning, Graphic organizers, Time management and task monitoring, Organizing the binder, Studying, Test taking strategies, Using technology as a productivity tool, Finding information.
Level 2: These are strategies to strategically prepare groups of students for success in the upcoming core class unit of instruction. Students revisit missing basic skills instruction only in prior knowledge and remediation of prerequisite skills, that if missing, would create a barrier to the new learning. This strategic approach of preparing for the future while filling in a few critical holes from the past yields strong results. This instruction is organized at a different time than the core class, but is in full alignment with the content and focus of the new instructional unit.
Level 3: Academic Achievement plans specifically developed for individual students. Plans involve teachers, school leadership, special education teachers and others with knowledge of the student’s learning strengths and needs. Information is gathered including classroom observations, conversations with the student and caregivers, to analyze a root cause of the level of academic work being exhibited. Plans are developed and monitored regularly.
The school will periodically review the extent to which it has complied with this policy and the progress toward achieving the goals in the policy. A wellness committee consisting of representatives of the school leadership, teachers, students, parents, food service provider, health professionals or community members will be formed for this review. The committee will review the policy, the actions of the school, and make any recommendations for changes. This process and results will be shared with the Board at a public meeting.
Child Nutrition and WIC reauthorization Act (Title I, section 204), 118 Stat.729
National School Lunch Act; 42 USC 1751 et seq.
Child Nutrition Act of 1966; 42 USC 1771 et seq.
ORC 3313.814; ORC 3313.816; ORC 3313.817
Ohio Community Collaboration Model for School Improvement. Implementation Guide, Version 2. Health and Social Services. 8.1 through 8.20.
Ohio Department of Education. Behavioral Health and Wellness Resources Toolkit. October 2018.
Ohio Department of Education. Student Wellness and Success Funds Guidance. October 2019.
Rollins, Suzy Pepper (2014). Learning in the Fast Lane: 8 ways to put All students on the road to academic success. Alexandria VA. ASCD.