Schools Round Table 2012

A lot of information was covered during the day, so the following notes attempt to capture highlights of what was presented and discussed.

SEHAC and the Asthma QuickTakes

  • Scott Kessler, Programs Manager for Schools and Child Care Settings at California Breathing, presented on the California School Environmental Health and Asthma Collaborative (SEHAC) and their recently created Asthma QuickTakes. His presentation can be found here.
  • California Breathing serves as the organizational home to SEHAC, which is comprised of government, education and non-profit organizations assembled to increase the K–12 school community’s awareness of the importance of addressing indoor air quality and asthma issues.
  • SEHAC recently created Asthma QuickTakes, a series of 3- to 5-minute training videos on asthma, created specifically for schools. Each QuickTake contains basic, useful asthma information and ready-to-use downloadable resources. They can be found here. The topics covered include:
    • Asthma emergency response and the self-carry law
    • Indoor asthma triggers
    • Outdoor asthma triggers
  • The Asthma QuickTakes were sent out with a joint letter from the California Department of Education, Superintendent for Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson, and the California Department of Public Health Director, Ron Chapman, emphasizing the importance of addressing asthma in schools. That letter, which can help you emphasize the importance of these QuickTakes to your colleagues, can be found here.

Policy/ Advocacy Opportunities

  • Brandon Kitagawa, RAMP Policy Associate, gave a policy update on asthma and schools, which can be found here.
  • Brandon described the mixed success in policy efforts during recent years. In 2011, RAMP supported the following bills:
    • AB 516 (VM Perez) – safe routes to schools—signed into law
    • SB 128 (Lowenthal) – high performance schools—signed into law
    • SB 394 (DeSaulnier) – IPM in schools—failed passage
  • In 2012, there are limited opportunities for state policies related to schools. There will be a school facilities bond in 2014. There is an important opportunity to influence the bond through advocacy efforts starting this year with an emphasis on the incorporation of need and equity in the bond in order to reduce asthma disparities.
  • RAMP maintains a list of current policy opportunities on its website, found here.

Breakout Discussion on School Needs Related to Asthma

Three breakout groups met to discuss the following questions. A summary of responses is provided below each question.

  • What asthma related information and resources would be valuable to you?
    • Resources to connect students to health care for those who don’t have access to consistent care
    • Greater connections to and information about other resources for students with asthma, including home visits
    • Packets with education resources for students and families (to send home and have available at registration)
    • Looping video and other asthma materials at schools registration in order to educate parents
    • In general, have materials translated into Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Arabic and focus on one-page resources with good visuals
    • Use adapted Asthma Action Plans and work toward getting all providers to use the same forms
    • Data consistency around absences
    • Information on how to use epi pens
    • What is the best way to get information and resource to you?
      • Email links
      • Downloadable forms
      • YouTube education
      • Health services coordinator to send to nurses and other staff
      • Link on school website, use school staff “champions” to add information
      • County offices to get information to districts
      • State organization members (CSNO, PTA, etc)
      • How do you get buy-in to implement activities and programs?
        • District level for facilities
        • P.E. teacher asthma education department heads and champions
        • Find key coordinator to “connect the dots” and move issue forward
        • Use/refer to model programs
        • Importance of data to make the case
        • Timing, beginning of the year is best

        Fresno Kicks Asthma

        Also at the Roundtable, Barbara Spark from the US EPA agreed to share the following resources:

        There are plans to update this list in the future and an updated version will be posted here when available.