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

July 15, 2013  Issue 4

Dear Friends:

Welcome to our latest issue of EdHealth, an online EdSource newsletter focusing on student health and wellness. 


As in our previous newsletters, we take an expansive approach to student health. In this edition, you will find reports on new federal school lunch guidelines requiring fresh water to be available in school cafeterias as well as efforts to promote a positive school climate, which in turn contribute to the emotional health of students.  


Please be sure to keep us notified about any student wellness issues you think deserve greater coverage. And if you have not yet subscribed to EdHealth, please click here


Best regards,





Louis Freedberg

Executive Director


Outwitting Obesity

By Jane Meredith Adams 

EdSource Today 


A student filling a water bottle at a hydration station at Fort Bragg High School. 
Credit: Jennifer McClendon, Network for a Healthy California

Let them drink water. That's the message of a new federal regulation that requires schools to expand free water service for students at meals, beginning in September.


As a drink with zero calories and near-ubiquitous availability, water would seem an obvious choice for a school beverage -- assuming children can be persuaded to drink it. 



But making drinking water available in cafeterias has been a challenge for some schools, despite state and federal laws requiring that they do so at lunch. The new regulation, issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in its rules for school vending machine snacks and beverages, for the first time requires free drinking water at breakfast, and is the latest legal prod in the effort to bring water instead of sugary drinks into the mouths of students. Read more
Healthy Schools

Creating a Campus Where Everyone Belongs

Instead of suspension, teach students to learn from mistakes and repair harm, some educators say

By Jane Meredith Adams
EdSource Today

California schools urgently need new strategies for discipline that help children learn from mistakes, and where possible repair the harm they may have caused, some educators recently told the state Senate Education Committee.

The educators made their case in support of Assembly Bill 420, which would dramatically change school discipline practices by banning the use of "willful defiance" in meting out expulsion and restricting its use in mandating suspension. Written by Assemblymember Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento, the bill was passed by the committee and moved to the Senate floor. Read more 

By Jane Meredith Adams 
EdSource Today   

Transgender students would have the right to participate in school sports and use bathroom facilities that correspond with their expressed or desired genders under a bill awaiting Governor Brown's signature. 


Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old transgender boy from Manteca, spoke before the state Senate Education Committee in favor of the bill and said he found it difficult to learn because he couldn't be a boy at school. "I just want to be treated the same as all the other boys, but my school forces me to take P.E. in a class of all girls and live as someone I'm not," Lee told the Gay-Straight Alliance Network.  

Read more 

Keeping Students Safe

Fatal Firearm Injuries 
School Violence
Youth Concussions
Fatal firearm injuries are the second leading cause of death for children and youth ages 1 through 19, according to new research published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. Children in states with "Stand Your Ground" laws have higher incidents of accidental firearm injury, according to the report, "Guns and States: Pediatric Firearm Injury."
Some 31 students, school staff, and non-students died violent deaths in 2010-11 on or near school campuses across the nation, according to the newly released "Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2012" by the National Center for Education Statistics. The deaths included 11 homicides and three suicides of school-age youth ages 5 through 18.
Heads Up To Parents is a new website and cellphone app from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about preventing, identifying, and responding to concussions in children. Brain injury-related hospital visits have increased 60%  for children in the last decade. The site includes online training for school staff.
Photo Op:  Preparing for Kindergarten

First, here's how to raise your hand.  Jason Polastri teaches preschoolers in West Oakland social and emotional skills they will need to prosper in kindergarten, including raising hands, taking turns, being patient and coping with disappointment. The children are attending a kindergarten "boot camp" at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in West Oakland, one of eight sites for Oakland's Summer Preschool program. For these students, most of whom have not attended preschool before, the program provides an opportunity to practice sharing, cooperating and navigating the classroom, so they will be more ready to learn in kindergarten this fall. Credit: Lillian Mongeau, EdSource Today.

What is Congress Doing About Student Health?

School-based Health Centers Program Reauthorization Act of 2013. U.S. Representative Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, introduced a bill that would allow school-based health centers to apply for federal grants under the federal school-based health centers program to fund operations. More than 200 school-based health centers in California provide students with care for physical health, mental health, dental hygiene and social services. The bill in the House of Representatives, HR 2632, has 19 co-sponsors. Status: Introduced July 9 and referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Webinars: Healthy Minds, Healthy Foods

What can we do about disparities in mental health care for children?

A panel discussion on multiple barriers to mental health care for Latino, Asian, African American and Native American children is among the topics to be discussed in a webinar hosted by The National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention. The webinar will be on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 10 to 11 a.m. Pacific Time. 
How can we bring fresh, local food into schools?

Learn about the National Farm to School Network and the Growing School Gardens community of educators, gardeners, parents, and volunteers at the "Celebrate National Farm to School Month!" webinar. The webinar will be on Monday, August 5, 2013, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Pacific Time. 
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