The Department of Education is pleased to announce the release of the School Health Annual Report summary for 2017-18. This report is a combination of the required reporting for Maine and optional data that is being collected as part of the national initiative with the National Association of School Nurses, Every Student Counts™. Collecting school health data informs local, state, and national student health policy and helps to promote best practices in school health services. Creating data driven polices to advocate for the needs of students, we can increase evidence-based school nursing practice and improve youth health outcomes.
To highlight a few points of interest in the report, students seen by a registered nurse in the health office returned back to class 91% of the time, compared to only 85% when seen by a health aide or unlicensed person in the school. There were 41 reports of epinephrine being administered in Maine schools for suspected anaphylaxis. 29% of those were for a peanut allergy and 25% were to people with a previously undiagnosed life threatening allergy.
As a reminder, there will be a change in the way this report is collected starting with the report for 2018-19. In the past, this report has been done by each school. The reporting link will be sent to the superintendent listed in NEO for each district, who will need to select and forward it to one point person to be responsible for compiling and submitting the data from all schools within the SAU.
The following is a list of the data points that are being collected:
- Number of students screened for distance acuity, near acuity, and hearing in the required grades and the number of students referred/number of students with completed referral (required reporting per Chapter 45)
- Summary of epinephrine administration (required reporting per Chapter 40)
- Staffing levels for health services (direct services, supplemental staff, special assignments, supervisory position provided by RN, LPN, and health aides)
- Number of students with a diagnosis (from a health care provider) of asthma, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, seizure disorder, life threatening allergy
- Health office visits & disposition (number of students seen face to face by RN, LPN, health aide and resulting disposition: return to class, sent home, or 911 call)
If you have questions about the School Health Annual Report or Every Student Counts™, please contact the School Nurse Consultant, Emily.Poland@Maine.gov or 207-624-6688, or visit the Every Student Counts™ Website.
The Maine Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Program is excited to announce the launch of Maine’s Harvest of the Month Program. Currently in planning phases, the program is slated to launch in schools in the Spring of 2019. Jenn So has been hired by the Maine DOE as the Harvest of the Month Program Manager and will be leading the development, implementation, and trainings for the program statewide. This program is a collaboration between the Maine DOE Child Nutrition Program and the Maine Farm to School Network.
Harvest of the Month (HOM) is a nationwide marketing campaign promoting the use of seasonally available, local products in schools, institutions, and communities. Each month, a different local product is highlighted and participating entities pledge to serve the product and promote it through educational materials and activities. The program launched in California and has been replicated by dozens of other states across the country. With Maine’s participation, all of New England will now have Harvest of the Month programs.
Maine Harvest of the Month Background
In its pilot year, Maine’s HOM program will develop a unique Maine HOM crop calendar and create corresponding marketing materials and recipes for food service directors and schools to display and utilize. Regional trainings will be delivered to train food service staff and other interested stakeholders on how to best implement the program; support will be provided to schools as needed. The program’s goal is to increase the procurement and consumption of local Maine products in schools (K-12), and thus the total number of meals provided. To participate in the program, schools will sign a pledge committing to: serve the local HOM product at least twice per month (local being defined as grown or caught in Maine); display HOM materials provided by the Child Nutrition office; and participate in pre-and post-evaluations. Schools are also encouraged to integrate the HOM into educational activities.
If your school or district is interested in participating, please contact Jenn So at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-624-6639 for more information.
Alcohol is the most frequently used substance by adolescents in Maine. Almost one of every four Maine high school students used alcohol in the past 30 days, and more than one third of those students reported binge drinking (2017 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey). Alcohol consumption by students is impacted by factors such as low perception of harm, low perception of getting caught, and ease of access.
Schools and community organizations are encouraged to work together to address alcohol issues. In alignment with Maine statute, schools across Maine can raise awareness about alcohol use and abuse by observing Alcohol Awareness Day on Monday, December 3 (or another designated day in December). The statute indicates Alcohol Awareness Day shall be observed by studying for at least 45 minutes, a constructive approach toward the use of alcohol and the problems and dangers of alcohol abuse upon the individual, the family and society.
Consider using one or more of the following resources to prepare a message or lesson to enhance your existing health education curriculum:
It is important for Maine students to receive education and awareness about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use as part of comprehensive school health education, Pre-K through High School, and in alignment with the Maine Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction, Health Education Standards. Selecting Evidence-Based Substance Use Prevention Programs: A Guide for Maine Schools Grades K-12 may help determine the most appropriate program for a school community.
There is also a guide to help schools create, update, and enforce a substance use policy. The guide, “Substance Use Policy: A Comprehensive Guide for School Policy Development” provides practical suggestions for a complete policy, based on research and best practices.
For assistance or additional resources, contact the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program at 287-8901, TTY 711 or email: TSUP.DHHS@maine.gov. You can order a limited quantity of free alcohol use prevention pamphlets through the Prevention Store http://www.mainepreventionstore.org./
The Tobacco and Substance Use Prevention and Control Program with the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (MECDC), in partnership with the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE), is seeking interest from Maine schools who would like to pilot the social emotional learning (SEL) program, Second Step, funded by a grant through MECDC.
The grant’s larger goal is to provide primary prevention for substance use and is part of Maine’s State Opioid Response plan. The Second Step Curriculum is research-based and available for grades Kindergarten through 8th grade. Many of the skills within the Maine Learning Results for Health Education in elementary school align with goals of Second Step, to nurture skill building and prevent problematic developmental behaviors that are part of the trajectory toward later substance use.
If you are interested in adding Second Step to your school’s curriculum, are already implementing Second Step, or are implementing a SEL curriculum other than Second Step, the MECDC and Maine DOE would like your feedback about your interest and experience.
This brief survey will take approximately 5 minutes. Your input will be used to assess what programs are currently being implemented, where there are opportunities to pilot Second Step in Maine, and what districts are specifically interested in piloting Second Step.
Maine CDC and DOE will select pilot sites based on best fit and evaluate the program’s success, with the goal of expanding the program to more sites in coming years. Thank you in advance for your interest and feedback.
For more information, contact Hannah.Ruhl@maine.gov at Maine CDC.
Adverse childhood experiences—commonly known as ACEs—affect children and families across all communities. ACEs can impact kids’ health and well-being, and they can have long-term effects on adults’ health and wellness. They can even have consequences that impact entire families, communities, and our whole society. Thankfully, ACEs are preventable.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Cervices, Center for Disease Control has provided an new online training tool, Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences.
This training will help you understand, recognize, and prevent ACEs. You’ll learn about risk and protective factors, outcomes associated with ACEs, and evidence-based strategies you can use to reduce or eliminate the impact of ACEs and stop them from occurring in the first place.
Get the knowledge and insights you need to help create healthier, happier childhoods for kids today, and bright futures for adults tomorrow.
Training topics include:
- Adverse Childhood Experiences, Brain Development, and Toxic Stress
- The ACE Study
- Prevalence and Consequences of ACEs
- Risk and Protective Factors for ACEs
- Essentials for Childhood: Assuring Safe, Stable, Nurturing Relationships and Environments
For further information, contact Emily Poland, School Nurse Consultant for the Maine Department of Education at email@example.com.