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


Dec. 10, 2014, Issue 24

While vision screening is mandatory for California students, they often don't get the glasses they need. Increasingly, schools and nonprofit organizations are working together to help.

Effective Jan. 1, two new state laws will clarify and expand the protocol for mandatory vision screening of students, but they don't address the crux of a major children's health conundrum: ensuring that students who fail the vision test actually get eyeglasses.

Read more at EdSource Today.
Vaccinations and Tobacco Use

In what California health officials are calling the worst outbreak in 70 years, 9,935 cases of whooping cough (pertussis) were diagnosed between Jan. 1 and Nov. 26, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Infants under the age of 1 year were the most susceptible to the disease.
A new study suggests that use of Hookah water tobacco pipes and snus -- a type of moist chewing tobacco -- among teens could be gateways to cigarette smoking, according to research published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. Water tobacco pipes are largely unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, one author wrote.

Eight California farm-to-school programs received federal grants with the goal of making broccoli cool on the North Coast, bringing traditional Karuk Tribe foods into Siskiyou County schools and supporting local farmers across the state, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced.

Nearly $620,000 in one-year grants will be distributed to programs, including nearly $100,000 to the Chico Unified School District to increase the amount of local produce on cafeteria menus and $100,000 to Community Health Improvement Partners, a San Diego-based public health collaborative, to expand farm-to-school programs in San Diego County schools.

With the release of a $1 trillion spending bill from Congress, advocates of the new healthy lunch menus are assessing the damage done by rollbacks on sodium and whole grain standards included in the budget bill.  Phased in since 2012, the school meal rules call for more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and limits on sodium, sugar and fat.

Roosevelt Middle School -- the first school in the San Francisco Unified School District school to renovate its cafeteria in a design process that includes ideas from staff and students -- is also participating in California Thursdays, a statewide program to serve a locally grown California food each Thursday and teach about the source of the food.
Speaking at Fresno's Edison Computech Middle School, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said more than half of the nation's high-poverty schools are now offering breakfasts and lunches to students at no cost through the Community Eligibility Provision in the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Positive discipline gets boost in district plans
With a big push from the state's new approach to education spending, many California school districts appear to be ramping up investments in positive approaches to discipline.

The majority of the 50 largest school districts have included programs in their July 1 budgets that emphasize connecting with troubled students or offering them a chance to make amends, rather than taking more punitive actions, according to a preliminary analysis by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California.

Read more at EdSource Today.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a "Correctional Education Guidance Package" to strengthen the quality of education in juvenile detention facilities.  About 60,000 young people are in confinement every day, the report said.
New disciplinary approaches known as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and restorative practices were rolled out in the Standard School District in Bakersfield this year  -- and the new methods are already yielding positive results for school suspensions, district officials say.

Survey shows difficult path for foster youth
The vast majority of California's foster youth plan to graduate from college, but a much smaller percentage of them have the academic background they need to succeed, according to a new survey of 17-year-old foster youth in the state.

Read more at EdSource Today.

Sponsored by the U.S. Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services' Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the webinar will highlight recommendations from the School Discipline Consensus Report, created by the Council of State Governments. Presenters will discuss strategies for creating school systems and structures for behavioral interventions, including early warning data systems, student support teams, external partnerships, and alternative schooling options.
  • "Targeted Behavioral Interventions for School Discipline"
  • Wednesday, Dec. 10 from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m. PT.
  • Register here.
Other Student Health and Wellness News
Recent Editions of the EdHealth Newsletter

EdHealth Newsletter Issue 23: Effective school discipline network launches
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 22: Districts ordered to use millions in unspent school lunch funds
Edhealth Newsletter Issue 21: National school boards group ends tobacco partnership
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 20: Mixed results for student health-related legislation
EdHealth Newsletter Issue 19: Will kids eat more school lunches in quiet cafeterias?

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