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Articles: Health & Wellness

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which reimburses schools for free or reduced-price meals, will require all schools participating in the program to adopt a policy on how handle the issue of unpaid meals by July 1, 2017. (GettyImages.com: xixinxing).

Lunch shaming is the sort of term that never existed until this past spring, when it was seemingly everywhere.

Paul Tough offers practical steps that adults can take to improve students’ chances for a positive future in his book Helping Children Succeed: What Works and Why (2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

In his previous book, How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character, journalist Paul Tough looked at how non-cognitive personal qualities like perseverance, self-control and conscientiousness play a critical role in children’s success.

WELCOME RESPITE—Wellness centers at Gunn High School, left, and Palo Alto High School, right, are designed to stem the number of teenage suicides in the U.S. The centers work to teach students certain skills to help cope with stress and personal problems.

There’s a new tool in the battle against student depression, anxiety and suicide—the in-school wellness center.

Alex Fertig is a psychologist for the Parsippany Troy Hills School District in New Jersey. He can be reached at afertig@pthsd.net. Ray W. Christner is a psychologist with Cognitive Health Solutions.

Our goal with this column is not to imply that school administrators should take on the role of mental health professionals, but instead it is to impart information on strategies, based on the principles of cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT. 

Every morning, principals in the West Bridgewater School District in Massachusetts get on the PA system to lead students through a few minutes of mindful breathing exercises.

IN THE DARK OF MORNING—An Ohio district school bus makes a stop at 6:35 a.m. one winter morning. More districts are changing school start times to ensure students get proper sleep to perform at their potential in class.

Many district administrators seem to agree that teenagers need more sleep. A new study released in February indicates that attendance and graduation rates may match the science, too.

Telemedicine, in which a remote doctor or physician’s assistant provides health care via the internet, has caught on in the business world and is now making its way into public schools.

How do you design a wellness program that appeals to the employees who stand to gain the most? (Gettyimages.com: Drafter123)

Since 2014, 20 percent of schools offered diabetes screening, 31 percent provided nutrition education and 30 percent offered weight management, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Steph Jensen,
Director, Community Contracts and National Training,
Boys Town National Training

Now more than ever, why is social emotional learning a key area on which administrators need to focus resources?

High school students in the tiny Magazine School District in Arkansas receive three hours of sex education a year in grades 9 through 12—an approach that Superintendent Brett Bunch acknowledges is inadequate. 

SMILE EVERY DAY—Magazine second-graders brush their teeth during a wellness center event that promotes healthy living for K12 and the community.

Some parents of students in Magazine, Arkansas, can’t afford the gas to drive their sick child 50 miles to the nearest doctor, says Brett Bunch, superintendent of the town’s school district.

Interest in virtual reality is becoming an increasing reality in public schools as ed-tech companies offer more cost-effective devices.

As we face a new year with a new president, Newsletter Editor Ariana Fine looked back on 2016 to consider the biggest and most influential stories in K12 education. 

A 2015 study shows that education that focuses on the causes and consequences of depression and how to cultivate healthy emotions can decrease the rise of suicide.

The suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds is on the rise. While the statistics are dire, a solution seems to be taking shape. Prevention may be in the hands of the students themselves.

Since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, K12 students face suspension before expulsion when found in possession of the drug. (GettyImages.com: Traffic_Analyzer)

Superintendents in states that passed referendums legalizing marijuana in November are pressing for more clear legal guidance on how to best address issues like drug possession. They also say more research is needed on the possible impacts of marijuana legalization on K12 academic achievement. 

The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)The U.S. Department of Education has released guidance over the new Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants, a funding initiative under ESSA. (Gettyimages.com: Macrovector)

Schools that offer more comprehensive instruction, increase school safety and student health, and better integrate educational technology may be eligible for new federal funds. A new grant program from the U.S. Department of Education will reward schools that improve access to music, social studies, environmental education and computer science.

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