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School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs)

School Health Advisory Councils (SHACs) are an important component of the Coordinated School Health initiative. These councils, comprised of school district personnel, students’ family members, and community stakeholders, advise school boards on student health issues such as physical education and nutrition.

In 2009, Louisiana legislators passed Act 286, which required each school district to create a School Health Advisory Council. This bill was sponsored by more than 50 legislators. Several other states including Texas and Missouri have adopted similar measures to form advisory councils surrounding school health.

The SHAC is considered to be a best-practice intervention for the Coordinated School Health initiative. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that the SHAC should play an integral part of wellness policy development and review.

The Picard Center has worked with more than 20 school districts to provide training and technical assistance in forming SHACs. Additionally, our children’s health data, including fitness assessment results, are provided to all SHACs to assist in making informed decisions about school health policies and programs.