Preparing for Success

Healthy students are better learners, true for the littles just starting kindergarten and the older students heading off to college.

  1. Promoting healthy behaviors: Research shows a strong connection between healthy behaviors and academic achievement.
    1. Sleep Children and adolescents who do not get enough sleep have a higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, diabetes, poor mental health, and injuries. They are also more likely to have attention and behavior problems, which can contribute to poor performance in school as measured by attendance, grades, and graduation rates. Action Step: Moving bedtime earlier.
    2. Nutrition: Hunger and thirst make it difficult for students to focus. Healthy eating has been linked in studies to improved learning outcomes and helps ensure that students are able to reach their potential. It’s important to eat breakfast and a nutritious lunch for the energy to learn and grow. Based on household income and size, many children in Montgomery County qualify for free or reduced meals. Parents whose children may qualify may need to complete an application in the first 30 days of school. Action Step: Complete that application.
    3. Physical activity: Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, concentration, and classroom behaviors. Children are recommended to have 60 minutes of physical activity every day, but according to the CDC, less than 25% of children get this much physical activity. Action Step: Encouraging physical activity.
  2. As we head into this 2023-2024 school year, we can promote healthy behaviors by maximize student sleep, optimizing nutrition, and encouraging physical activity.

  3. Prevent illness.
    1. Hand washing. Hand washing results in less illness and fewer days of missed school. The CDC estimates that keeping hands clean can prevent 1 in 3 diarrheal illnesses, and 1 in 5 respiratory infections, such as a cold or the flu. At school, it’s important for students to wash their hands before eating; after using the toilet; and after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing. Parents can reinforce these good habits at home.
    2. Up-to-date vaccines. Routine vaccinations decreased during the pandemic. Staying up to date with routine vaccinations keeps children safe from serious, preventable diseases like measles, whooping cough, and polio. Germs spread quickly among children in schools. Vaccination keeps children healthy, in school, and ready to learn. The Vaccines for Children program offers vaccines at no cost to eligible children to make sure all children have a better chance of getting recommended vaccines.
  4. As we head into this school year, we can prevent illness in students, staff, and the community by continuing good hand washing, being up to date with vaccines that prevent diseases, and staying home when sick.

  5. Collaboration: When school staff and families communicate, student health and learning can improve.
    1. Teachers & other School professionals - can be the trusted adults connecting students to needed help.
    2. School nurses -
      1. Coordinate daily care and provide support for students with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, asthma,
      2. Help prepare for potential emergencies at school (ex. epi pens for allergies, Narcan for overdoses)
    3. School counselors and mental health professionals
      1. Conduct assessments of academic, social, and mental health barriers to learning,
      2. Help students with transitions such as changes in schools or family structure.
      3. Provide or refer students and families to school- and community-based counseling services.

Communication between families and schools places the student in the best position for success for a healthy and successful school year

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