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


Dec. 13, 2013 Issue 11

Dear Friends:

Welcome to our latest issue of EdHealth!


In this issue, our feature story looks at how brain science is informing the way teachers manage traumatized students, who are living through what San Francisco pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris calls "adverse childhood experiences," including abuse and neglect. Sustained trauma and stress can leave these students in a state of anxiety that makes it difficult for them to concentrate, and difficult for teachers to know how to work effectively. 


Among other topics, we also look at how interest in full-service community schools, which provide a host of health and academic supports, is increasing under California's new school funding and accountability law.  


As always, please let our health and wellness reporter, Jane Adams, know about any student wellness issues and upcoming events you think deserve greater coverage. And if you have not yet subscribed to EdHealth, please click here


Best regards,





Louis Freedberg

Executive Director


Behavioral Health and Wellbeing

Schools promoting 'trauma-informed' teaching to reach troubled students

Backed by brain research, California schools are beginning to address the effect of severe trauma on the health and achievement of their students.


Joyce Dorado, director of UCSF's Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools Credit: Jane Meredith Adams, EdSource Today

In districts including Humboldt, Richmond, Santa Cruz, Aptos and San Francisco, groups of teachers are being trained to recognize that students' explosive anger, classroom outbursts, habitual withdrawal and self-injurious behaviors could be symptoms of traumatic stress, the result of repeated exposure to violence, abuse and neglect.  


But while other initiatives focus on providing counseling services to youth, these trainings aim to provide teachers with the science and skills to better manage traumatized students in the classroom, an approach known as "trauma-informed" or "trauma-sensitive" teaching, EdSource reports. 

Community schools gaining traction under state's new funding formula
Students in an after school program at Oakland High School, a community school. Credit: EdSource/Today, Jane Meredith Adams 

Efforts to create full-service community schools that focus on serving the "whole child" with a wide array of services are gaining traction under the state's new funding formula for schools.


The convergence of more money for low-income students and a new mandate to work with families under the Local Control Funding Formula has created "a unique point of time" for community schools to thrive, said Renee Newton, director of the Center for Community School Partnerships at UC Davis, EdSource reports. 



Healthy Schools: Drinking Water and Nutrition
Elevated lead levels found in water at 15 Chino Valley schools
Study: Energy drinks' effect on heart function is a concern for teens

Nutrition education

leads to healthier food choices for students

A second round of water quality testing was to be completed Dec. 13 at 15 schools in the Chino Valley Unified School District where elevated levels of lead and copper have been found in water from some fountains and sinks. The district increased the number of affected schools from 12 to 15 after reviewing results of testing that found water samples above the Environmental Protection Agency's "action level" for toxicity for lead and copper.
The rationale for new federal regulations banning the sale of sugary sports and energy drinks on school campuses got a boost from a new study showing that
highly caffeinated energy drinks increase heart contraction rates in adults. Researchers in Germany said the effect raised safety concerns, particularly for adolescents. As of July 1, 2014, California schools will not be allowed to sell energy or sports drinks
that have more than 40 calories in eight ounces.
Well-designed nutrition education programs at school can increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income elementary school children, according to a new study by the Food and Nutrition Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In addition, after receiving lessons in school and completing take-home materials, students were more inclined to choose low-fat or non-fat milk. Involving parents improved success.
Webinar: Obesity Solutions
Hosted by the Institute of Medicine's new Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, this live-broadcast workshop/webinar is billed as a status update on the current epidemiology of obesity. Presenters will discuss settings, including schools, where change is happening, focusing on nutrition, physical activity, health care disparities and what should happen next. Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, 9:30 a.m. PT. Register here.
Recent Editions of the EdHealth Newsletter:

EdHealth Newsletter Issue 10: New law increases awareness of concussions
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 9:   More teens drinking sugary beverages
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 8:   Free lunch sign-ups crucial to school funding
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 7:   Lunch tally triggers dispute with districts
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 6:   Tracking the impact of anti-bullying programs

Want to a free online subscription to EdHealth? Click on the button below.  

to EdHealth
Stay Connected
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Find us on Pinterest