What is a School Health Advisory council (SHAC)?
A SHAC is a group of individuals representing segments of the community, appointed by the school district to serve at the district level, to provide advice to the district on coordinated school health programming and its impact on student health and learning. The SHAC will assist the district in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the district's health education instruction.
SHACs provide an efficient, effective structure for recommending age-appropriate, sequential health education programs, and early intervention and prevention strategies that can easily be supported by local families and community stakeholders.
Benefits of Having a SHAC
1. Addressing the health needs of students through the work of the SHAC, helps meet district performance goals and alleviates financial constraints.
2. SHACs play an important role in communicating the connection between health and learning to school administrators, parents and community stakeholders.
3. SHACs can help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the health knowledge and skills children need to be healthy for a lifetime.
Every independent school system is required by law to have a School District Health Advisory Council; of which the majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the school district. Title 2, Chapter 28, Section 28.004 of the Texas Education Code at: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.28.htm#28.004p details the specifics of this mandate.
SHAC Guide for Texas School DistrictsThe School Health Program of the Department of State Health Services produced a helpful "School Health Advisory Councils Guide for Texas School Districts". The guide has been updated with the most current information available in support of efforts to provide school health education and services through the district’s SHAC.SHAC Membership
There are primarily three methods for selecting School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) members. These can be implemented independently or combined using one or more of the following:
- Recruitment. The most successful SHACs take the time to go through a carefully planned and implemented recruitment process in which a select group identifies and recruits individuals that
1) possess the desired qualities for membership, and
2) come from the recommended segments of the community.
- Appointment. Some SHACs consist of individuals who are appointed by school board members to represent them in planning and implementing school health programs. These SHACs generally reflect the views of the school board members.
- Volunteer. Some SHACs consist of individuals who volunteer to serve on the SHAC. Such SHACs often best reflect the diverse views of the community since representatives from many segments have the opportunity to serve. Make sure that volunteers meet the desired criteria for membership.
Every year in September a revised SHAC member list is brought to the Dallas ISD board for approval.
To nominate or volunteer to become a SHAC member or find out more information about SHAC membership, please contact SHAC Coordinator, Robert McElroy by email at RMcElroy@dallasisd.org or by phone, 972-925-8863.