Health and Wellness

Email: health@paloaltopta.org

Committee Members include:   Belinda Ryan (co-VP), David Shen (co-VP), Jessica Ferrell, Rebecca Scholl, Lama Rimawi, Ann Yeawon Lee, Amrutha Kattamuri.

The goal of the Health and Wellness Committee is to support school site efforts within one or more of the broad areas of the CDC’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model:

  • Health Education
  • Nutrition Environment and Services
  • Employee Wellness
  • Social and Emotional School Climate1
  • Physical Environment
  • Health Services
  • Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
  • Community Involvement
  • Family Engagement
  • Physical Education and Physical Activity

1 Social and Emotional School Climate is the focus of the PTAC Social and Emotional Learning committee.

The Roles and Duties of the Health & Wellness reps at each site can be found in this document: PTA Health & Wellness Role and Duties 11-8-17

NEWS AND INITIATIVES

PTAC Health and Wellness All-hands Meeting and Training 11-8-17

We held an all-hands meeting and training on November 8, 2017. There were 11 team members and parent representatives in attendance as well as Rebecca Navarro, Sustainable Schools; Alva Spence, Food Services; and Lissette Moore-Guerra, Student Services Coordinator.

The presentation of the training can be found here: PTAC Health & Wellness 11-8-17

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Lead is a metal that occurs naturally and has been used in many products including paint, gasoline and even in food cans in the past. Paint from homes and buildings built prior to 1978 contained lead in it. Certain products and folk remedies have lead in them as well.

Is there lead in or around your home?

Lead is poisonous and harmful to the body. There is no known
safe level of lead in the body. Children are at higher risk
because their bodies and brains are still developing. Lead in
their bodies can cause permanent problems in their brains.

Lead Poisoning is the most common environmental illness in
California children.

California has enacted landmark legislation to prevent
childhood lead poisoning. This legislation has established the
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Branch, a children’s environmental health program offering multi-layered solutions to this complex problem.

What can our schools do about lead?

One of the initiatives that the State Water Resources Control
Board’s Division of Drinking Water has taken, in collaboration
with the California Department of Education, is to begin testing drinking water in schools (K-12) for lead. Schools that are served by a municipality, water district, mutual water company, or other public water system may request assistance from their public water system to conduct water sampling for lead and to provide technical assistance if an elevated lead sample site is found.

We are working with PAUSD to request testing for our district
schools through this initiative.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Sun Safety

It is predicted that one in five Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetime.  Most skin damage from the sun occurs in childhood (Source: American Association of Dermatologist’s website). Some school playgrounds in California can be very sunny and hot in the middle of the day, with high levels of UV radiation even when the weather is cloudy.

Several PAUSD schools already have sun smart initiatives to encourage kids to protect their skin when outside at school by wearing hats and sunscreen.  The PTAC Health and Wellness Committee is looking at whether other PAUSD schools are interested in taking up this health initiative to prevent skin and eye damage.

Health and Wellness Committee members are also investigating whether there is a need for more built shade in PAUSD schools.

Read these two documents on sun safety from the American Academy of Dermatology:

Sun-safety-awareness

Children-and-skin-cancer

Sugar and Nutrition Guidelines

Last year (2016-2017), we presented a series of guidelines on celebrations, rewards, and fundraising with a focus on healthy nutrition and limiting sugar. PTAC endorsed these guidelines, and they are being implemented through the elementary schools now.  The guidelines that we presented are here:

PAUSD Draft Dietary Guidelines v7 June 2017

Celebration Guidelines v1.3 June 2017

Healthy Alternatives to Fundraising v1.1 June 2017

Alternatives to Food Rewards v1.2 June 2017

PTAC supports these guidelines and supports their implementation across the district:

PTAC Letter of Endorsement for Sugar-Nutrition Guidelines Audrey Gold Signed 9-18-17