Background and History of the SHAC
In compliance with the Texas Education Code 28.004, the Health Education Advisory Council (HEAC) began meeting in late 1995 to “assist the district in ensuring the local community values and health issues are reflected in the district’s human sexuality instruction.” Early on, this diverse group of parents, community members and educators recommended grade levels for human sexuality instruction, determined the methods of instruction to be used and set a minimum standard of 10 hours per semester of health related instruction for all students grades K-8.
Upon a recommendation by the HEAC, the Hays CISD Wellness Encouraged through Lifelong Learning (WELL) Clinic, was born in late 2001. This school-based health clinic serves all Hays CISD students and their siblings. A pediatric nurse practitioner and licensed professional counselor provide the following services: Immunizations; Physical examinations (well check-ups) for all ages; Sports physicals; Diagnosis and treatment of minor illnesses (for example: ear infections, throat infections, asthma, bronchitis) and minor injuries; Case management of chronic illnesses and emergencies; Health teaching for nutrition, disease and injury prevention; Prescribe medication as needed; Counseling services to address issues including self esteem, self control, impulse control related to ADHD, depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, school phobia and family conflicts.
In September 2003, according to mandates by Senate Bill 1357, all school districts in Texas were required to establish Student Health Advisory Councils. Hays CISD has been a leader in this area—the HEAC had been in operation for nearly 10 years before it was mandated by the state. The name of the Hays council was changed according to the Senate Bill to Student Health Advisory Council (SHAC).
More recently, the SHAC served a critical role in the development of a district Wellness Policy. The Texas Legislature mandated that “a school district must consider the recommendations of the local SHAC before changing the district’s health education curriculum or instruction.” The Hays CISD Board of Trustees adopted a Wellness Policy at June 2006 and district administration will give regular updates in regards to addressing the components of the policy.
SHAC meets a minimum of six times a year. Minutes and agendas are posted on the district’s web site.
A printable PDF version of the State of Texas School Health Advisory Council Guide will appear below: