TEXAS SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL
Welcome to the Texas SHAC Network Web Page!
Texas law requires every School District to have a School Health Advisory Council (SHAC)—with board appointed members, primarily parents—who review health-related issues and provide recommendations to the Districts. These SHACs keep children’s health as a top priority and ensure that local community values are considered in decision-making. But SHACs need family and community support to function at optimal levels!
SHACs are one of the best ways to make sure parents and community members have a voice in how health issues are addressed in schools. As we continue to face the evolving COVID pandemic, we cannot lose sight of all the other health issues our children face outside of the actual virus. If you are concerned about recess, or school meals, bullying, SEL or reviewing sexuality education, you need to be involved with your SHAC. Click for more details >>
What is a SHAC?
A School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is a group of parents and community members, appointed by the school board to serve at the district level. Members of the SHAC come from different areas of the community and from within the school district. The majority of members must be parents who are not employed by the district. Texas law requires the establishment of a SHAC for every school district. SHACs are required to meet at least four times each year.
SHACs assist the districts in ensuring that local community values are reflected in health education instruction. Additionally, SHACs play an important role in strengthening the connection between health and learning. They can help parents and community stakeholders reinforce the knowledge and skills children need to stay healthy for a lifetime.
Texas Dept. of State Health Services has prepared a guide and other great resources for establishing and maintaining a SHAC. CLICK HERE to access their resources.
Texas Education Agency has a SHAC FAQ document on the Health Education page of their website. CLICK HERE to access this resource.
Why do SHACS Matter?
Better Access: Schools have direct contact with 95% of all Texas youth (30+ hours per week) during the most critical years of their development, so there’s no better way to deliver targeted health education. SHACs help to maximize that learning.
Better Grades: School health programs are proven to increase academic performance and standardized test scores. SHACs help to strengthen those programs.
Better Choices: Teaching students the consequences of risky health behaviors better prepares them to make smart choices as adults, avoiding actions that could lead to death, disability or legal consequences. SHACs help to create a new generation of thriving Texans.