DASH Partner Update – November 2021
This week is American Education Weekexternal icon, a week to honor and celebrate the individuals in schools working to ensure that our Nation’s youth receive a quality education. We know how important it is for adolescents to have adults in their schools that care about them and their success. Students who feel connected to adults and peers in their schools are less likely to experience negative health outcomes related to sexual risk, substance use, violence, and mental health.
Schools are pivotal to the health and wellness of adolescents. And the people that help create a sense of community in schools – from a favorite teacher, to a GSA advisor, a principal who knows every student by name, to the custodian that says hello in the hall – can have a truly profound impact on the students in those schools.
Educators and school staff have been working extraordinarily hard over the past year and a half to make sure students have the support and resources they need to thrive. I am in awe of their dedication and resilience. This week, please take a moment to thank an educator or school staff member in your life. They deserve be celebrated now more than ever.
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
- COVID-19 Vaccination for Children 5-11 Years Old
This webpage highlights information and resources for jurisdictions, healthcare providers, pharmacists, schools, and community partners to help get children ages 5 through 11 years old vaccinated. COVID-19 Vaccines for Children and Teens and Considerations for Planning School-Located Vaccination Clinics provide additional information about pediatric vaccination and school-located vaccination clinics.
- CDC’s Health Equity Guiding Principles for Inclusive Communication
CDC’s Health Equity webpage now features a guide on inclusive communication principles to help public health professionals, particularly health communicators, within and outside of CDC ensure their communication products and strategies adapt to the specific cultural, linguistic, environmental, and historical situation of each population or audience of focus.
- Adolescent Mental Health, Connectedness, and Mode of School Instruction During COVID-19external icon
This study found that students receiving virtual instruction reported poorer mental health outcomes than those who received in-person instruction. However, students who felt connected to school or family were less likely to report: high stress, having more mentally unhealthy days, persistent symptoms of depression, and thoughts of suicide in 2020 regardless of whether they received in-person or virtual instruction.
- Minority Stress, Coping, and Transgender Youth in Schools-Results From the Resilience and Transgender Youth Studyexternal icon
This study used data from interviews and focus groups with transgender youth to examine their in-school experiences. Transgender youth report high rates of negative experiences in schools and feelings of isolation on campus. Youth expressed that they cope with school-related negative experiences by seeking out and finding connections with supportive school staff and friends
Updates from Partners
- Contagious Conversations: A CDC Foundation Podcast
The CDC Foundation and National PTA have collaborated on a new episode of the Contagious Conversations podcastexternal icon. The episode focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on schools, children, and parents— with emphasis on mental health – and provides advice for nurturing healthy minds. The two organizations also collaborated on the NPTA Healthy Minds Toolkitexternal icon that provides families with a wide range of mental health resources.
- Leadership Exchange for Adolescent Health Promotion Website
The National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) and Child Trends, in partnership with the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE), launched a new websiteexternal icon dedicated to facilitating interactive virtual trainings and sharing resources for the Leadership Exchange for Adolescent Health Promotion (LEAHP) participants. Funded through CDC’s PS18-1807, LEAHP aims to support states in making research-informed decisions to support adolescent sexual health policies, practice, and implementation through multi-sector, state-level leadership teams. LEAHP works with leaders at state education agencies, state health departments, and other school health stakeholders to build capacity to collaborate, review policies and data related to school health, and improve policy and practice.
- Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Health
The U.S. Department of Education’s Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral and Mental Healthpdf iconexternal icon provides information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and the social and emotional well-being among children and students. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. It also includes many real-world examplespdf iconexternal icon of how the recommendations are being put into action by schools, communities, and states across the country.
- Tools for Supporting Emotional Wellbeing in Children and Youth
In light of the challenges children and youth have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Academies has developed a suite of toolsexternal icon – available online in both English and Spanish– to help children and youth manage feelings of stress, anxiety, and sadness. The tools include a series of graphic-novel style PDFs and videos that were created to teach skills that can help children and youth cope with some of the challenges associated with the pandemic.
In the Field
As one way to foster a sense of community among LGBTQ youth, families, and staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, DC Public Schools created the Pride in DCPS Podcast. In each episode, the host, who is a trusted district staff member, discusses backgrounds, passions, and stories with local and national LGBTQ+ people. Interviewees ranged from a high school Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) member, to GSA advisors and classroom educators, and LGBTQ + community members.
- November is American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month and National Homeless Youth Awareness Month
- November 15-19: American Education Week
- November 19: Parent Involvement Day
- November 20: Transgender Day of Resilience
- December 1: World AIDS Day