The School Liaison is a primary contact for school communities and health care providers to support the needs of schools, families, and community partners to improve health outcomes for school age children.
We also work with school nurses to ensure that every child has insurance and a medical and dental home where they can receive consistent, quality care, and we support families understanding recommended times for well-care visits, and what to expect at the visits following Bright Futures guidelines.
The Supervisory Union Wellness Policy guides local education agency-level wellness teams and school wellness teams to implement, monitor and evaluate school wellness policies. The policy aims to create supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments. The local education agency-level wellness team may include health care professionals, business partners, youth service organizations, parks and recreation representatives, local coalitions and the Health Department.
Our School Liaison supports the Bennington Rutland Supervisory Union Coordinated School Health Team, which is currently developing a wellness policy for all schools in the supervisory union. There are grant funds to assist in this effort. We are also working with the Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union as they develop a Coordinated School Health Team, and will support similar efforts in the Battenkill Valley Supervisory Union.
The School Liaison is a resource to schools in implementing the wellness policy through their school wellness teams as part of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child framework.
A School Wellness Team includes members of the community, administration, students, food service program and staff. The team:
- Encourages staff to model healthy eating and physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.
- Oversees an annual assessment of school wellness policy implementation and progress towards wellness goals.
- Informs and updates the public about content and implementation of the wellness policy.
In 2015 and 2016, the Bennington Local Health Office worked closely with the members of the Mount Anthony Union High School Coordinated School Health Team, the Mount Anthony School Board and the Southwest Supervisory Union to support the development of a condom availability program for the high school based on current incidence rates of sexually transmitted diseases among teens and young adults in Bennington, Rutland and Windham Counties. This program is an integral part of the high school’s comprehensive health education program, and emphasizes healthy behaviors, informed decision making and knowledge of the risks associated with sexual activity. The new condom availability program also includes a robust education and counseling component.