Sexual Health and Safe School Environments
Safe and Supportive Environments
Creating safe and supportive learning environments involves school personnel, leaders of community organizations, parents, and youth working together to build positive, supportive and healthy environments that promote acceptance and respect. Safe and supportive environments are characterized by the absence of discrimination, intimidation, taunting, harassment, and bullying.
The school environment is shaped by a number of factors, including:
- district and school policies and practices;
- school structure and decision-making processes; and
- classroom factors, such as classroom management methods and nurturing relationships.
Laws and regulations affect the health and safety of students and school personnel, learning environments and other aspects of the school community. Partnership districts have focused on developing policies that address:
Sample local board of education policies include:
Promoting Parent/Family Engagement
Parent engagement is a positive protective factor. through meaningful parent engagement opportunities, there is greater shared responsibility for children's learning and increased communication. Parent engagement takes on many different forms, from reading with a child at night to being an active member of a Health and Wellness Council.
School Health Advisory Councils
Each partnership district has a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) that helps oversee and inform their work. Each SHAC is a collaboration of community, school, parent and student stakeholders. Some districts integrate the SHAC into their mandated district Health and Wellness Councils. Working collaboratively, partner districts are able to make positive changes:
Stephanie Knutson, RN, MSN