Recommendation . . .
Identify a facilitator for the School Health Index or HSAT.
Many schools have found that it is best to have someone from outside the school. This person might be, for example an ISD employee, a retired health educator, a community based dietitian, a professor at a local university, a graduate student, or a volunteer at a community-based health organization. Because they are removed from school politics, these individuals can be more neutral and help the staff deal with internal conflicts. Whoever coordinates the Index process needs to be
- a skilled group facilitator who can keep meeting participants on task while making them feel good about their participation,
- an excellent listener who does not attempt to impose his or her own opinions on the group, and
- an individual who is highly respected by all participants and by the school administration.
Role of the Facilitator . . .
Meet with the members of the School Health Index team.
- Explain the School Health Index/HSAT and its purposes. Encourage all team members to answer all questions as accurately as possible. Make sure they understand that results will not be used for punishing schools or comparing your school to other schools.
- Make sure that all team members understand the importance of healthy behaviors for young people. Completing the Index is a process for bringing people together to improve a school's policies and programs. Team members should understand that their work can make a great difference in the lives of your school's students.
Complete the Score Cards and Planning Questions for each module.
There is no single way to complete these tasks. Some schools have their entire School Health Index team stay together to do the entire self-assessment, sometimes in just one meeting. Others form subteams of two or more people to work on each of the eight modules. It is very important to have at least two people work on each module, because having more than one person involved will increase accuracy and elicit a variety of creative insights for improving school policies and programs.
Whoever completes the modules will need to receive photocopies of the following documents:
- Instructions for module coordinator
- Module Score Card and Sample Completed Module Score Card
- Module Discussion Questions
- Module Planning Questions and Sample Completed Planning Questions
Individuals working on each module need to
- answer the module Discussion Questions by writing the results on the module Score Card,
- review the module Score Card results to answer the module Planning Questions, and
- use the results from the third Planning Question to identify the one, two, or three highest priority actions for this module that will be recommended for implementation this year.
For some modules this work will take just minutes, but for others it may take an hour or more.
Complete the Overall Score Card.
Collect each module Score Card, and transfer the scores to the Overall Score Card (located in the Planning for Improvement section). Make copies of the completed Overall Score Card for every Index team members.
Meet with coordinated school health team and complete the coordinated school health improvement plan.