OCS Local Resources
SHAC: School Health Advisory Council
School Health Advisory Council is an advisory group composed of individuals selected primarily from the health and education segments of the community. The group acts collectively in providing advice to the school system on aspects of the school health programs. The members of the council are appointed by the school system to advise the school district.
Influencing students to lead healthy and productive lives is likely to be most effective when schools, the community, and parents work together. Each has unique resources, each can access students in ways the other can not, and each has different means of influencing the behaviors of young people. But the coordination of these efforts requires planning.
Local School Health Advisory Councils are one means of planning consistent and focused action. Councils, comprised of representatives from the eight components of school health (health education, physical education, nutrition services, family and community, mental and social health, staff wellness, school environment and health services) can objectively assess the needs of young people and identify the required resources. Councils can also serve as a communication link among schools, the community and parents to help prevent misunderstanding and clarify roles and responsibilities.
The Healthy Youth Act of 2009
House Bill 88, the Healthy Youth Act of 2009
FAQs 2009 N.C. Sess. Laws c. 213; 2009 House Bill 88
1. What is the Healthy Youth Act of 2009? On June 25, 2009 the North Carolina legislature ratified into law the Healthy Youth Act of 2009 which modifies GS § 115c-81 (e1) the School Health Education Act. This Healthy Youth Act of 2009 redefines what is to be included in the human sexuality education component of Health Education instruction in North Carolina’s 7th, 8th, and High School health education classrooms. Therefore the term Reproductive Health and Safety Education replaces the term Abstinence Until Marriage education in health education instruction. The full text of House Bill 88, the Healthy Youth Act of 2009 may be accessed by visiting: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/House/PDF/H88v7.pdf
2. When does the Healthy Youth Act of 2009 take effect? The law is effective at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year. Students in grades 7, 8, and high school will receive instruction, reflective of the guidelines in this Act, as part of the instruction they receive in their health education classes.
3. How do ACRE projects like the revision of the existing Standard Course of Study to the Essential Standards, relate to the Healthy Youth Act of 2009?
The existing (2006) Health Education component of the Healthful Living Standard Course of Study meets the language in House Bill 88. The Health Education component of the Healthful Living Education Essential Standards is in draft form and reflects the language within the Healthy Youth Act of 2009. To learn more about ACRE and the Essential Standards process please visit: http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/standards/
4. Can school systems teach beyond what is required in the current Healthful Living Standard Course of Study and future Health Education Essential Standards? The Healthy Youth Act requires each local school administrative unit provide a reproductive health and safety health education program that begins in the seventh grade and meets the statutory requirements. The Act specifically allows each local board of education to expand on the subject areas to be included in the program and on the instructional objectives to be met. Therefore, local boards of education may elect to provide instruction beyond what is outlined in the legislation and state standards.
The Healthy Youth Act repealed the local board of education’s obligation to hold a public hearing before expanding the sex education program beyond the statutory requirements. Local boards of education must still give parents/guardians the opportunity to review, for at least 60 days prior to instruction, all the State objectives and instructional materials (including any teacher-generated or commercially-generated lessons) prior to instructional delivery and provide parents and legal guardians with the opportunity to consent or withhold their consent to the students' participation in any or all the programs.
5. What policies and procedures should be in place prior to instructional delivery of Reproductive Health and Safety Health Education? School systems should ensure that policies notifying parents and legal guardians about the opportunity to review instructional materials at least 60 days before use as well as opportunities for parents and legal guardians to consent or to withhold consent to participate in any or all portion of health education instruction should be in place prior to instructional delivery.
6. Who is authorized to teach Health Education in NC public schools? Although school nurses, community health educators and others may serve as resource personnel, duly licensed teachers must deliver health education instruction, including reproductive health and safety education, as outlined by state standards and G.S. 115C-81(e1), the Healthy Youth Act. As per State Board of Education policy TCP-A-001, teachers employed by a school system must possess the designated professional educator’s license. In grades 7 and above those teachers with the designation of Health Specialist, 098 (formerly 097) or the new Health and Physical Education designation, 094 (available until 2012) are qualified to teach Health Education. In elementary grades (K – 6) teachers with the teacher license designation of 025 are also authorized to teach Health Education
7. What professional development exists to support grade 7, grade 8, and high school Health Education teachers in delivering effective Reproductive Health and Safety Education Health Education? Decisions related to health education teacher staff development are local decisions. School systems may consider engaging their K – 12 Health Education Professional Learning Community (including elementary education and health education teachers) to ascertain which face-to-face or online resources best meet the specific needs within the local school system.
For regular updates on upcoming professional development opportunities, please visit the DPI NC Healthy Schools web pages at www.nchealthyschools.org
SECTION 5. G.S. 115C-81(e1) is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:
"(4a) Each local school administrative unit shall also include as part of the instruction required under subdivision (4) of this subsection the following instruction:
a. Teaches about sexually transmitted diseases. Instruction shall include how sexually transmitted diseases are and are not transmitted, the effectiveness and safety of all federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved methods of reducing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, and information on local resources for testing and medical care for sexually transmitted diseases. Instruction shall include the rates of infection among pre-teen and teens of each known sexually transmitted disease and the effects of contracting each sexually transmitted disease. In particular, the instruction shall include information about the effects of contracting the Human Papilloma Virus, including sterility and cervical cancer.
b. Teaches about the effectiveness and safety of all FDA-approved contraceptive methods in preventing pregnancy.
c. Teaches awareness of sexual assault, sexual abuse, and risk reduction…
8. How many hours of direct instruction are required under this Act?
The Healthy Youth Act does not define instructional minutes.
9. How many hours of direction instruction are expected for effective health education instruction? The National Health Education Standards recommend students receive a minimum of 80 hours of health education instruction in grades 3 to 12 each academic year. In North Carolina as part of the Basic Education Plan (GCS-G-00) students receive instruction in Health Education directed by a teacher (GCS-G-002, GCS-G-003, GCS-M-001) concluding with successful completion of ½ unit of Health Education (GCS-N-004) at the high school level.
10. What instructional materials and teacher support materials are recommended? Decisions related to instructional support and teacher support materials are local decisions. School systems may consider engaging their K – 12 Health Education Professional Learning Community (including K – 12 elementary and health education teachers) to identify instructional material needs.
11. What specifically is to be included in the Reproductive Health and Safety Education component of health education instruction?
For a complete list of what is required health education instruction under the Healthy Youth Act, please refer to the entire text of House Bill 88 at: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2009/Bills/House/PDF/H88v7.pdf or contact: Nakisha Floyd, Reproductive Health Consultant at DPI: Nakisha.Floyd@dpi.nc.gov or 919/807-3857 *It should be noted that G.S. 115C (e1).9 “Contraceptives including condoms and other devices shall not be made available or distributed on school property.”
12. How do teachers identify what are the FDA-approved methods of contraceptive? As per legislation, each year the NC DHHS will provide guidance on the most current FDA-approved contraceptives.
13. What is meant by instructional materials that are objective and based upon scientific research that is peer reviewed and accepted by professionals and credentialed in the field of sexual health education? This statutory obligation requires local boards of education to assure that information presented in instruction be free of subjective bias, be based upon studies published in peer reviewed professional journals and be generally accepted by sexual health education professionals .
When choosing teacher-generated instructional materials consider how they reflect best practices in the field of K – 12 School Health Education such as those outlined by the National Health Education Standard’s Characteristics for Effective Health Education Curricula. www.cancer.org/NHES , the Division of Adolescent School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth as well as the American School Health Association at www.ashaweb.org
14. What resources exist to engage stakeholders in the school system decisions about Health Education? Schools and school systems may apply the Coordinated School Health Model by sharing decisions about Health Education with the School Health Advisory Council. The Director(s) of Curriculum may also consider engaging elementary teachers, middle school health education, and high school health education teachers in discussions about health education curriculum, instruction, assessment and instructional support within and across grade levels. Finally, school administrators can include health education teachers with the student support services teams to ensure referral procedures are in place for students.
15. What technical assistance is available via DPI? The following consultants at NC DPI may be contacted directly for additional support and guidance: Nakisha Floyd, Reproductive Health Consultant Nakisha.Floyd@dpi.nc.gov or 919-807-3942; Burt Jenkins, Health Education Consultant, Burt.Jenkins@dpi.nc.us or 919-807-3637
Burt Jenkins, Health Education Consultant, Burt.Jenkins@dpi.nc.us