An online newsletter produced by EdSource
with support from The California Endowment. 

May 2, 2013 -- Issue 1

Dear Friends:

We are excited to send you the first edition of EdHealth, an online EdSource newsletter focusing on student wellness. It is in response to the growing recognition that there is an inextricable link between how a student does in school and challenges to his or her health and well-being. These can range from as basic an issue as an untreated cavity or the lack of a decent breakfast to mental health problems or trauma experienced as a result of growing up in a violent neighborhood.


The newsletter will include articles published in EdSource Today, many by our school wellness reporter Jane Adams, along with links to relevant research and information from a variety of sources on compelling strategies for what schools can do to address the health concerns and challenges facing their students. 


Please let us know if you would like to continue receiving our EdHealth newsletter, which we anticipate producing no more than twice a month, by replying to this email and putting "EdHealth subscribe" in the subject line. You can cancel your free subscription at any time. 


And please let us know what issues you think we should be looking at. Your comments and feedback are essential to our work.


Best regards,






Louis Freedberg

Executive Director



New Research
Positive school climate boosts test scores, study says
CA school climate schools that beat the odds

It's the million-dollar question or, given the size of the California education budget, the $50-billion-dollar question: What makes extraordinarily successful schools different from other schools? The answer: school climate, according to a new study from WestEd.


School climate encompasses factors such as caring relationships between teachers and students, ensuring a child's physical and emotional safety, and providing academic and emotional supports that help students succeed. The goal of a positive school climate is "a sense of belonging, competence and autonomy" for both students and staff, according to the WestEd study.  School climate continued  

Students learn how to care for their teeth and receive preventive care at a dental clinic at James Madison Middle School in Oakland. Credit: Alameda County Public Health Department
States with lowest ADHD in kids

By Jane Meredith Adams

EdSource Today


As California educators grapple with boosting student achievement across economic lines, the teeth of poor children are holding them back. Hundreds of thousands of children suffering from dental disease, some with teeth rotted to the gum line, are presenting California school districts with a widespread public health problem. Dental continued     



California ranks low in rates of attention deficit disorder

By Jane Meredith Adams
EdSource Today

California has one of the lowest rates of diagnosis in the nation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children, raising questions about the role of regional, economic and cultural differences in identifying what scientists regard as a brain disorder. ADHD continued   



News from other sources
Will morning-after pill now be more available in schools?

Source: Ed Week/Rules for Engagement

Does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's decision to allow the morning-after pill to be sold to 15-year-olds without a prescription mean it will be available at more schools? Learn more.  


Learning disabilities affect up to 10% of kids nationally

Source: Science Daily

Up to 10 per cent of the population are affected by specific learning disabilities (SLDs), such as dyslexia, dyscalculia and autism, translating to 2 or 3 pupils in every classroom, according to a new article.  Learn more.

Outdoor recess can reduce the risk of kids' nearsightedness

Source: Science Daily

Two new studies add to the growing evidence that spending time outdoors may help prevent or minimize nearsightedness in children. Learn more.

Data Update

The National Survey of Children's Health, 2011-12 is out!


Check out the newly released findings on children's health from the Centers for Disease Control, based on telephone surveys of parents on more than 100 measures of child well-being.  

The data include measures of autism, ADHD, dental health, television viewing habits, families eating meals together, and adverse childhood experiences from having parents who are divorced. 


California Legislation to Watch
Nutrition:  Assembly Bill 626 would require meals or snacks sold before or after school at an elementary school, middle school or high school to meet required nutritional standards, and also make changes in state laws to comply with new federal nutrition guidelines. Authors: Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, Bonnie Lowenthal, D-Long Beach. Status: Referred to health committee. 
School-based care for trauma. Assembly Bill 174 would create a state-supported grant program to fund school-based mental health services, including counseling; programs to prevent and address violence; and support for teachers and staff in responding to students' trauma-related needs. Author: Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Oakland. Status: Referred to standing committee on appropriations.
Upcoming Events
EdSource Symposium - Transforming Public Education: What's next for students, teachers and schools?

Linda Darling Hammond
Stanford University professor Linda Darling-Hammond is the keynote speaker at the EdSource symposium.
As California embarks on a slate of reforms that could drastically change the face of public education, an upcoming symposium sponsored by EdSource will help the public and policymakers make sense of the complex issues. The 2013 EdSource Symposium will be held Saturday, May 4, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the San Jose Convention Center.

Speakers include:

  • Linda Darling-Hammond, chair, California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and professor of education, Stanford University
  • Martha Kanter, U.S. Under Secretary of Education 
  • Michael Kirst, president, California State Board of Education
  • Pedro Noguera, professor of education, New York University
  • Ramona Bishop, superintendent, Vallejo City Unified School District
  • Linda Montes, principal, Adelante Spanish Immersion School 
  • Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, chair of the Assembly Education Committee 
Useful Webinars

Green cleaning
Raising Drug-Free Kids

Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Dr. Nora Volkow talks about addiction as a developmental disorder that usually begins in childhood and adolescence, during which critical brain areas are still under development.

Monday, May 6, 2013, 5 p.m. PT    



Clean Schools = Fewer Chemicals

Better for kids, better for everyone. Learn how to clean schools with fewer chemical products. The Healthy Schools Campaign presents "Blue GreenCleaning: Beyond Chemistry." Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 12 noon PT 

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