SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL
FUNCTIONS OF A SCHOOL HEALTH COUNCIL
School health councils facilitate understanding and cooperation among those interested in developing and improving the local school health program. In addition to their overall purpose of advising and supporting school health programs, school health councils may perform various functions according to the needs of the particular school district and community.
1. Visibility for School Health
An active school health council provides visibility for school health within the school system and community. Having an active council communicates to school personnel and community members a message of concern for the health of children and staff.
2. Parent and Community Involvement
A school health council can promote parent, citizen, and professional involvement in the schools. A well-organized council provides an opportunity for participation by parents in activities and decisions influencing the lives of their children. It also serves as a mechanism for involvement of other community members, including those from business, religious organizations, civic groups, and human service agencies.
3. Advocacy for School Health
The school health council can conduct or facilitate activities that bring attention to the benefits of a quality school health program. These activities often generate further support and momentum for the school health program.
4. Forum for Health Issues
Often there are health issues affecting students and school staff that need a specific place in the community for discussion, decision making, and planning. Occasionally, these issues are controversial and require the opportunity for presentation and review of different viewpoints. The school health council can provide a positive environment for constructive reviews of issues through its meetings, subcommittee structure, and representatives.
5. Recruitment of Community Health Resources
The identification of needs in the school health program may lead to a solution requiring the participation of multiple community health resources. The school health council can coordinate the involvement of resource persons and agencies for a specific need in the school health program.
6. Facilitate Understanding of Schools and Community Segments
Participation in school health council activities provides opportunities for parents and other community members to gain further insight into the life of schools. Similarly, the council allows school personnel to learn more about varied backgrounds and views of community segments.