DASH Partner Update – July 2021
For many, summer is a time to rest and recharge before the coming school year. Now that we’re vaccinated, my spouse and I took the opportunity to travel to the Northeast to visit family, see friends, and spend some time on the beautiful coast of Maine and at Acadia National Park. This was not only our first vacation since the start of the pandemic, but also the first time I’ve been able to see either of my parents in more than 18 months. I know many of you are experiencing the same kinds of relief and joy, while also continuing to be concerned about the on-going pandemic.
After an extremely difficult school year for many, students across the country are off to camp, new destinations, families’ homes, summer jobs, and more. Teachers and staff are getting a well-deserved respite. For many working in schools and public health, however, this summer is also a time for planning and preparation for the school year to come. This year is a particularly important back-to-school season as it marks a return to in-person learning for many students. In DASH, we are balancing the need for rest and relaxation with the critical work of preparing for students’ return. We are ready to support our funded school districts, partners, and communities as we all continue to help youth recover from the pandemic.
Before we all dive into this important work, I hope that you can take some time to recharge and renew this summer, wherever you are. You deserve it.
Kathleen A. Ethier, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Adolescent and School Health
National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Updated COVID-19 Guidance for K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education/Childcare Programs
Updates to CDC’s Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools and for Operating Early Care and Education/Childcare Programs reflect the latest science on COVID-19, the layered prevention strategies most important to these locations, and the widespread availability of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines for those aged 12 and older. CDC also updated the Science Brief: Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in K-12 Schools and Early Care and Education Programs which provides the scientific support for the recommendations.
- COVID-19 Partner Call on Returning to School
CDC’s monthly COVID-19 partner call will take place on Monday, July, 19 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET. Dr. Greta Massetti will share information and updates on the K-12 school guidance. Register hereexternal icon.
- Webpages on Schools and COVID-19 Vaccination
- Webpages on How to Conduct More Effective Professional Development
Professional development enhances the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of health and education professionals so that they can effectively implement strategies that positively impact youth. A new series of DASH webpages describes effective professional development practices and provides tools and resources to assist school districts in achieving a sustainable professional development framework.
- Effects of Condom Use on HIV Transmission Among Adolescent Sexual Minority Males in the US: A Mixed Epidemiology and Epidemic Modeling Studyexternal icon
This study examined condom use patterns and population-level effects of a hypothetical condom intervention on HIV transmission among adolescent sexual minority males. Findings show that condom use is low among adolescent sexual minority males and remained stable from 2011-2017.
- Substance Misuse and Condomless Sex among Transgender Youthexternal icon
This study found that transgender youth, like their cisgender peers, who report any lifetime substance use are more likely to report not using a condom during sex than those who did not report substance use. Findings indicate that school-based and community-health centers can be used to reach nonbinary and transgender youth to provide education about the importance of using condoms and PrEP for HIV prevention, as well as to provide education about substance use.
Updates from Partners
- Supporting Mental Health in Schools
The American Academy of Pediatrics, in collaboration with the National Center for School Mental Health and with support from the CDC, released a report on supporting mental health in schoolspdf iconexternal icon. This report highlights core features of a comprehensive school mental health system and how to operationalize these core features in schools.
- The National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health
The Trevor Project released findings of its third annual National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Healthexternal icon. Results demonstrate the need for greater investment in mental health care and intersectional policy solutions to confront the public health crisis of suicide.
- Notes from the Backpack: Healthy Minds Miniseries
The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) released a Backpack Notes podcast miniseries focused on mental health and social emotional wellbeing. Visit webpageexternal icon for conversations with expert guests providing the information needed to help families thrive!
In the Field
To expand opportunities for social and emotional learning (SEL) and connections to peers and trusted adults, Orange County Public Schools designed student-led SEL Clubs to be hosted in every secondary school in the district. Clubs have taken off in 29 of 47 middle schools and 12 of 20 high schools. Across the district, students lead each meeting with the purpose of building environments in which the value of each person is recognized. In addition to providing safe and supportive environments for students to express themselves and practice important social and emotional skills, SEL clubs give students opportunities to foster their sense of purpose, self-esteem, and agency.
- September is Sexual Health Month
- September is Suicide Prevention Month