David Ulrich: Building healthy Moffat County schools
January 11, 2018
A vital component of the Moffat County School District Strategic Plan is the eight belief statements that guide our work. For this month's column, I want to focus on one of the district's teams, Building a Healthy You, and two of our belief statements:
• We believe everyone deserves a healthy and safe environment.
• We believe in addressing the mental, physical and social well-being of children.
For the past year, the Building a Healthy You team has worked with district administration and teachers to develop a comprehensive approach to help students make positive decisions about healthy relationships, teen domestic violence, safe use of social media, pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases, depression and suicide prevention and alcohol and marijuana use.
The work of the Building a Healthy You team is in response to the research of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. According to the CDPHE, Moffat County has the seventh-highest teen pregnancy rate among the 64 counties in Colorado. In addition, the report states that 50 percent of students at Moffat County High School reported being sexually active by the end of their senior year.
To address these issues, the Building a Healthy You team will provide five after-school sessions at Moffat County High School during January and February, as well as five after-school sessions at Craig Middle School during February and March. Parents are encouraged to attend the Parents' Night session with their students.
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Specific dates and times are available on the district's website, moffatsd.org. The weekly sessions are as follows.
1. Parents' Night
2. Reproductive Health and the Skills to Wait
3. Healthy Relationships
4. Drug and Alcohol Education
5. Depression and Suicide
The sessions are all after school and optional. These optional sessions correlate to the health units taught during the regular school day. If parents or other community members have questions about the health education program, they are asked to refer to Policy IHAM on the district's website, moffatsd.org.
In addition to upholding the district's belief statements, this work also helps the district move forward on the Strategic Plan Focus Area V, Goal 1: MCSD will increase parental involvement; as well as Goal 4: MCSD will increase inter-agency collaboration and partnerships.
MCSD staff participation included Zack Allen, David Grabowski, Todd Hildebrandt, Tyler Seislove and Todd Trapp.
I would also like to thank the following community partners who dedicated time to this effort: Kathy Bockelman, Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center; Krystal Baker, Northwest Colorado Health; Officer Ryan Fritz, Craig Police Department; Ryan Lucas, Myranda Lyons RN, Kevin Monahan PA-C, Jennifer Riley, Dr. Elise Sullivan and Dr. Jeff Womble, Memorial Regional Health; Dana Duran, Boys & Girls Club; Karli Bockelman, Grand Futures; Kailee Greenwood, Chuck Grobe and Patty Maradiegue, Advocates Crisis Support Services; Sherry Adams and Craig Thornhill, Mindsprings; the Rev. Deana Armstrong, First Congregational United Church of Christ; and Olivia Neece, Moffat County High School.
David Ulrich is superintendent of the Moffat County School District.