School Health in Rutland County

children with carrots just harvested
We work to improve the health and well-being of school-aged children across Rutland County.  We support supervisory unions, school districts, community organizations, students and their families by helping with high-impact strategies that make a difference in health.

 

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child
We help schools develop wellness teams to build a culture of good health and wellness using the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model.
  • Addison Rutland Supervisory Union Schools each have representatives in their respective schools to choose wellness initiatives funded with local monies.  As an example, Orwell Village School supports afterschool “Healthy Living Clubs.”  Activities include a cooking club and gardening club for students K-8.  Addison Rutland Supervisory Union also recently formed a District Wellness Team in the spring of 2018 comprised of a strong cross section of representation, including supervisory union leadership, nursing, health, counseling, cafeteria and parent representation.  A rich discussion focused upon aspects of health and plans to strengthen community connections that support student health.  
     
  • The Mill River Unified Union School District Coordinated School Health Team is a diverse team of school district leadership, nurses, health educators, physical education teachers and counselors.  The team is piloting an initiative spearheaded by two of their physical education teachers, the “Grade 6 Leadership Transition Program.”  They note this period to be “a time when sixth graders leave the safety of elementary school and enter middle school.”  Coming from four very small schools to a larger school where they may not know many other students can create a sense of anxiety. The program has team building activities at camping trips, barbeques and other joint activities. The goals of this initiative are to “increase a student’s independence, boost their self-esteem and create positive connections with each other and the middle school staff before this time of transition.”
  • Proctor Junior Senior High School supports the mental health of their students through strong community collaboration and student initiative.  Students on their UMatter team created a mental health fair in the Proctor High School gym oin the spring of 2018. Many area agencies worked with the students to show different ways to seek or maintain good mental health. Students had a week of information, an assembly, and the opportunity to speak with representatives from several local organizations. Some parents and community members attended, as did every Proctor High School students and all staff.
       
  • Rutland High School Coordinated School Health Team hosts a health fair every June during its “Yes Plan.”  In the spring of 2018 Rutland High School invited numerous agencies and organizations to provide information on topics such as nutrition, physical activity, safety, dental heath, tickborne illness awareness, and drug and alcohol prevention.  There were even demonstrations by the Vermont State Police and their K9 Team.  Participants must visit and engage at each activity table/set to be eligible for prizes. The afternoon was topped off by drawings for local prizes provided by local organizations and businesses. 
     
  • Rutland Northeast Supervisory Union designates wellness funds for initiatives at each of its schools. Initiatives include focus on exposure to lifetime sports, which several schools provide. In the 2017-18 school year, Sudbury Country School and Whiting Village School each held snowshoe and cross-country skiing events. Leicester Central School held a school-wide yoga event and Lothrop School utilized wellness funds towards a Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports Celebration Field Day.  Barstow Memorial School choose to dedicate their wellness funds towards providing Tooth Tutor Support, while Otter Valley Union High School held a “Community Service Day” and students donned Otter Valley Union Hight School t-shirts. 
School Nursing
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 (link is external)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 hold an Annual Rutland County School Nurse and Office Nurse Meeting co-sponsored by the Vermont State School Nurses Association (VSSNA) (local representatives).   A number of local organization representatives that serve families join us to share resources, grant and referral information.  Additionally, in partnership with VSSNA, we co-sponsor Rutland County School Nurse Discussions three to four times during the school year.  Local professionals present on topics that are highly requested by school nurses and nurses are afforded an opportunity to network.   The 2017-2018 topic discussions included the following:  Child Adversity (Adverse Childhood Experiences), Health Related Emergencies and Response, Rash Assessment in Children, and Common Pediatric Health Concerns. Continuing Nursing Education credits are offered as applicable to the topic selected.

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Standards of Practice: School Health Services Manual

Access to 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 (link is external).

Vermont’s Tooth Tutor program (link is external) 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.

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Youth Risk Behavior Survey
The Health Department and the Vermont Agency of Education sponsor the Vermont Youth Risk Behavior Survey (link is external). The YRBS was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (link is external) 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 (link is external), 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.
Resources for Wellness

We help schools get grants to support proven strategies such as Farm-to-School (link is external), Safe Routes to School (link is external), and Girls on the Run (link is external). Find out more about strategies to improve health of Vermont’s school-aged children (link is external.

We provide resource and grant information through local connections, such as the Annual Rutland County School Nurse and Office Nurse Meetings, as well as through weekly email distribution of the School Nurse Bulletin and through locak participation at Rutland County Wellness/Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child/Coordinated School Health Teams.

 

Medicaid Administrative Training
We help local education agencies to meet the objectives of the Medicaid Administrative Claiming agreement.