We work to improve the health and well-being of school-aged children across Bennington County. We support supervisory unions, school districts, community organizations, students and their familes by helping with high-impact strategies that make a difference in health.
We help shcools develop wellness teams to build a culture of good health and wellness using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model.
In late spring of 2017, Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union established a Health and Wellness Committee with the following purpose statement: "We are a school and community collaborative team to promote and support the health and wellness of Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union students, staff, and community." The committee meets quarterly in order to develop action steps to address six goals established for 2017 through 2019, identified using the Health Department School Wellness Policy Guidelines:
- Nutrition environment, services, and promotion
- Physical education and physical activity
- Health education and services
- Family and community engagement
- Social/Emotional climate in school and counseling, and psychological and social services
- Employee wellness
Three goals for the 2018-2019 school year address physical education, health/physical education curriculum, and nutrition. The goals are to plan and implement a community event to connect physical activity and nutrition practices with community resources and prepare children to continue physical activity into the summer months; aligning resources available in the community to the Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union's prioritized health standards as reflected in curriculum – in particular bike and water safety; and moving individual schools toward following USDA Smart Snack Guidelines and creating an inventory of food-related programs in the school and community and how they are connected and promote continued connection.
We assist school nurses so they can better support student and family access to health services. Learn more about how we work with school nurses.
Today's students come to school with more challenges related to health and learning than ever before. Essential School Health Services focuses on improving student outcomes, school attendance, the mitigation of challenges such as chronic health conditions, complex medical needs, and other barriers related to social determinants of health, such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, food and housing insecurity, and lack of health care.
We help schools support access to medical care and promote medical and dental homes for children and youth. We support school and health care provider relationships and sharing health records. We support efforts to ensure families know recommended times for well-care visits, and what to expect at the visits following Bright Futures guidelines.
Vermont's Tooth Tutor program helps to ensure that every child has access to emergency, preventive, restorative and continuous care in a dental office. Tooth Tutors provide screenings and present classroom-based oral health education, giving students the opportunity to accept more responsibility for their own wellness.
The Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union works closely with the Bennington Oral Health Coalition to offer the services of a dental hygienist at Molly Stark Elementary as well as Mount Anthony Middle School. The Southwestern Vermont Supervisory Union also funds a Tooth Tutor position at the elementary level. A dental case manager position at the middle and high schools assists the Oral Health Coalition with screening and education of individual students and assisting those in need of services in locating a dental practice “home”.
The Health Department and the Vermont Agency of Education sponsor the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The YRBS was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor priority health risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disease, injury and social problems among middle and high school students. We share this public health data with schools and communities to promote response to decrease risk behaviors.
We encourage schools to use YRBS data to make decisions about how to support student health. One way to do this is the Getting to Y program, which is an opportunity for students to take a lead in bringing meaning to their own Youth Risk Behavior Survey data, and to take steps to strengthen their school and community.
Mount Anthony Middle School, Arlington Memorial High and Middle School, and Floodbrook School have sent teams of students to the Getting to Y training. This year, Burr and Burton Academy will be sending a team of students to the training, with the assistance of the The Collaborative – a coalition with offices at Floodbrook that promotes the mission of substance free youth. This team will then present the 2017 YRBS results to Burr and Burton’s parent organization.
We help schools get grants to support proven strategies such as Farm-to-School, and Girls on the Run. Find out more about strategies to improve health of Vermont’s school-aged children.
All five K-5 schools in the Southwestern Vermont Supevisory Union, as well as Fisher Elementary in Arlington, currently offer Girls on the Run after school programming in the spring.
We help local education agencies to meet the objectives of the Medicaid Administrative Claiming agreement.
A Guide to Smart Snacks in School (a USDA guide)
Adolescent Health in Vermont
Asthma & Lung Disease
Child Care and Early Learning
Healthy Non-food Rewards
Healthy Schools - Environmental Health
Local School Wellness Policy Action Implementation Tool
Nutrition/Physical Activity Guidance for Schools and Child Care
Prevent Domestic and Sexual Violence
School Wellness Policies
School-age Health Performance Scorecard
Screen Time & Activity
Vermont Youth Groups Tobacco Control Work (OVX and VKAT)
3-4-50 Prevent Chronic Disease
Kathleen, Public Health Nurse