Texas School Health Advisory Committee sets benchmarks for FY 2020

The Texas Department of State Health Services released their 2019 Texas School Health Advisory Committee annual report this month. Established through Senate Bill 42 back in 2005, the committee is charged with analyzing school health data, and proposing potential policy solutions where gaps in current legislation exist. 

The report summarizes the initiatives that the committee discussed during the current fiscal year, and lays out a list of priorities for fiscal year 2020 as well.

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Thus far in 2019, the committee has met a number of key benchmarks laid out in previous annual reports. Accomplishments include recommendations for increasing student physical fitness outside of the classroom, the creation of a bully prevention tool kit, samples for health education for all students K-12 grade, and the establishment of a suicide and mental health toolkit as well. 

The committee is expected to meet two times during the year and seeks to review and revise a number of documents discussed during this current cycle of meetings.These are some of the core goals of the committee moving forward:

  • Recess and Physical Activity: Impact on Student Health and Academic, Social, and Emotional Development; 
  • Recommendations and Research on Physical Education;
  • Research and Recommendation on School Bus and Automobile Idling; 
  • Benefits to Students in School Districts that Prohibit Physical Education as Punishment;
  • Resources for Students and Families Dealing with Economic Crisis; 
  • School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) Self-Assessment and Cover Letter; 
  • SHAC Annual Progress Report to the Board of Trustees and Cover Letter; 
  • Student Consumption of Regular and Diet Soda in High Schools; 
  • Late Start of School Activities for Students in High School;
  • Research and Resources Promoting Positive School Climates to Improve Student Outcomes;
  • Sample Resolution for Obesity Prevention in Texas Public Schools and Cover Letter; 
  • Resolution Supporting Inclusive Practices for Students with Exceptionalities in Texas Public Schools; 
  • Health Issues and Parent Involvement and Engagement in Student Academic Success; 
  • Physical Activity: Impact on Academic Achievement; and,
  • School Health Initiative Screening Tool and Cover Letter.

Many of the issues set to be reviewed are newly established by the committee, and will be assessed for their impact on overall child health. The data collected by the committee can be used in future legislative sessions.