Health & Well-Being
*UPDATE, March 30, 2020* OSPI continues to update its website with relevant and timely information for teachers and parents. While most Washington school districts have already begun engaging students and families in learning, OSPI expects educational services for all students will begin by today.
*UPDATE, March 20, 2020* The March 19 Leadership News shared the document “Online Resources for Parents and Students During COVID-19 Closures” created by the European PTA. You can access the document here or through this link. (Thank you to the European PTA for sharing this wonderful resource.)
*UPDATE, March 12, 2020* Washington State PTA has issued a statement regarding the Tacoma office and a new blog post regarding PTAs and Coronavirus.
*NEWS, March 2, 2020* Washington State PTA has issued a statement regarding COVID-19.
The Washington State Parent Teacher Association (WSPTA) is aware of the concern and anxiety around the outbreak of COVID-19 in the state of Washington and across the world. At this time, we would like to express our confidence in the Department of Health and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to get timely information out to the public and to school districts.
This is an incredibly fast-developing situation, and each school district is handling the situation differently. Washington State PTA is advising each local PTA to speak with their district’s administration and monitor the district websites for updates. In addition, we recommend that they go to the Department of Health (https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/Coronavirus) for the most up-to-date information for the state.
Washington State PTA is the oldest and largest child advocacy organization in the state of Washington. Since 1905 we have been advocating to improve the health, safety, well-being, and education of all children. In addition, National PTA has provided resources for all parents at https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/health/flu-prevention which families may find helpful in reviewing for tips and ideas to stop the spread of germs.
The Washington State PTA (WSPTA) believes that to achieve our vision to help every child’s potential become a reality, we must be strong advocates for the whole child; including his or her health and well-being. Healthy students are absent less often, experience fewer behavior problems, and have an easier time learning.
A student’s health and well-being may be achieved with a healthy diet, physical activity, safe drinking water, and mental health and emotional support.
More information can be found on the National PTA website Family Resources / Health pages.
Washington State PTA is a proud member of the Learning First Alliance. Mental health awareness is at the forefront of the group’s focus. On this page, you can find resources provided by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), as well as WSPTA’s member-created resolution 11.26 “Mental Health Needs for Children”.
Like WSPTA, OSPI strives to foster an education system that encompasses the whole child. Suicide is the second leading cause of death for teens 15 to 19 years old in the state of Washington. The pages on OSPI’s website contain information and resources about suicide prevention, social-emotional learning, substance use prevention and intervention, and more.
Washington State Governor’s Office of the Education Ombuds (OEO) is a resource for parents needing help in facilitating resolutions regarding issues or complaints that impact students as well as many other types of assistance. For more information, visit the OEO website.
Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Child Nutrition assists school districts and other institutions in providing quality nutrition programs that promote life-long healthful living while providing nutritious meals each day that prepare children for learning. For more information, visit the OSPI Child Nutrition website.
Starting in the school year 2014-15, all foods sold at school during the school day were required to meet nutrition standards. This regulation applies to foods sold a la carte, in the school store, and vending machines. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a number of resources to help PTAs work with schools to identify food that meets the Smart Snacks criteria, and to encourage children to make healthier choices. For more information, visit the USDA Smart Snacks website.
The Healthy Lifestyles program provides family-centered education and tools that connect them with schools and advocate for healthy changes in nutrition and physical activity. For more information and resources, visit the National PTA Healthy Lifestyles page.
Healthy School Meals
National PTA’s Healthy School Meals Initiative aims to encourage families to partner with their school leaders to help support the school meals program and advocate for an environment that promotes healthy behaviors. For more information and resources, visit the National PTA Healthy School Meals page.