The International School Health Network (ISHN) is a recently established network but it has already organized or been part of several initiatives and activities. These include:
Prior to 2005
- Organization and Delivery of ISHN Webinars: Working in partnership with several organizations and funders, ISHN will be organizing and delivering over 25 webinars and web meetings on a wide variety of topics that discuss better practices derived both from research evidence and professional experience. Each webinar is supported by the development and discussion of a Wikipedia style summary, written in the form of a Glossary Term of a couple of paragraphs. ISHN will also begin archiving web links to the webinars offered by several other organizations.
- Expansion of the number of topics in the World Encyclopedia on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development: The Wikipedia style web site is being expanded with other 100 new summaries being added. As well, we have started several new International Discussion Groups led by selected experts and related organizations, added monthly reports and Twitter-based news/research feeds and initiated editable GoogleDoc versions of different sets of Glossary Terms for several of these discussion groups. Membership in each discussion group is now above 100 in most instances. Our goal is to involve over 1000 people in these groups by the end of August 2013. The www.schools-for-all.org web site is now attracting over 2000 visitors from over 100 countries each month and is increasing rapidly as we expand the number of interactions with new people every day
- Regional Networks: As part of the ISHN effort to facilitate communications across the various sectors (health, law enforcement, social services, community development, etc) that work with schools, ISHN will be starting its work to create or strengthen cross-sectorial regional networks in Europe-Central Asia, South-East Asia, Western Pacific, North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, Middle East and Africa. These networks will be hosted on our Wikipedia style network and supported by Twitter-based news/research feeds and a few webinars/web meetings on issues of common concern.
- International School Health Symposium, August 23-25, 2013 in Pattaya, Thailand: Working in partnership with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), ISHN will be organizing its next international symposium in Pattaya, Thailand on August 23-25, 2013. The theme of Contexts and Constraints will act as a further development of our work on several fronts on a wide variety of topics.
- Partnerships using the World Encyclopedia on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development: The number of bibliographies/toolboxes and the quantity of selected, web-linked items within the collaborative encyclopedia/knowledge exchange program lists as well as the number of draft, in progress and completed web summaries continued to grow this year. ISHN has drafted a partnership format for use with other organizations so that they can use the web-based expertise (webinars, web meetings, online discussions, wiki-based editing and document development, twitter accounts etc) and tools developed by ISHN as well as the content expertise based on the use of multiple intervention programs to address issues in an ecological. systems-based approach.
- ISHN Membership Access to our Global Information Service: As of December, a membership in the International School Health Network or one of its partner organizations was required to access our daily, weekly and monthly monitoring/reporting from over 250 journals, over 150 media and over 100 media outlets. Membership is available on an individual, organizational, state/provincial and national basis through the purchase of annual memberships or license agreements. Partnerships to share revenues and responsibilities with national and international associations are being developed.
An ISHN membership is now required to access the vast amount of information which includes identifying and posting the titles and links to thousands of selected journal article, reports, news stories, planning and educational resources, web sites, research reviews and more from the journals, blogs and other social media accounts published by education, health, welfare, development and other organizations, major media outlets around the worlds, tracking and posting reports and key web sites from all 200 countries and their respective provinces/states, collecting and archiving links to recorded webinars, document collections, presentations and bookmarks from the various social media outlets. This vast amount of information is collected and analyzed in different ways and published in daily, weekly and monthly formats that members can choose to receive at their convenience. As well, ISHN has transfered a large collection of links to lesson plans that has been developed over several years as well. these will also be accessible to ISHN members. For more information, go to the ISHN Membership section of this web site or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contacts/correspondents in all countries. states and international organizations, networks and agencies: In 2011-12, ISHN will be approaching a researcher, government official and NGO staff person to ask that they act as contacts or correspondent for their country, state, organizatioin or network. As a contact, they will be asked to update a web page/report twice a year with any major reports, web sites or key contacts relating to promoting school health, safety, equity, social or sustainable development. In return, these contacts will receive access to a part of the School Health Insider information service and be able to post selected items from the SHInsider Twitter account and blog on their own web sites (See example here).
- Fourth International School Health Symposium (Montreal November 28-29, 2011): ISHN is pleased to be cooperating with the Institut national de sante publique du Quebec (JASP), the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE), and the Canadian Association for School Health in organizing a fourth international symposioum on school health, equity and other forms of human development. The program is focused on making the transition to new understandings and approaches to school-based and school-linked promotion and development. ISHN will co-chair the conference and host several web-based activities related to the event that will be aligned with ISHN's encyclopedia and knowledge exchange program. Members of ISHN will receive a reduced registration fee for this event. Two virtual symposiums discussing the themes of the conference being held on September 15 and 29, between 8-11:00 am (Montreal time). To participate in these free webinars, even if you are not able to attend the Montreal conference, register on this meeting RSVP doodle. Go to this web page for more information and to access these webinars on the days of the sessions by clicking on the Participants Link noted on that page (which will be active 30 minutes prior to the start of the sessions).
- Webinars introducing models, approaches and consensus statements on promoting health, safety, equity, social and sustainable development through schools. This series of webinars will be recorded and supported by links to key web sites and organizations promoting these different approaches, models, planns and consensus statements on the social role of schooling. See the list of multi-intervention approaches/programs being compiled by ISHN and view an earlier webinar describing the UNESCO program on sustainable development through schools. This series of webinars will continue throughout 2011-12 and is intended to promote awareness and linkages among the various approaches.
- International Consultation & Web Dialogue on Homophobic Bullying and LGBT Students: The brief summary of the issue (to be used in further consultations), an extensive wiki-based list of research, reports and resources on LGBT students and a jointly-operated Twitter account focused on LGBT student health and well-being will be aligned with a UNESCO consultation on the health and well-being of LGBT students being organized for the fall of 2011 in Brazil. ISHN is pleased to be working with the Global Alliance for LGBT Education (GALE) based in the Netherlands and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educators Network (GLSEN) based in the USA on next steps. Over 100 international, national and state/provincial organizations and officials have been identified for these discussions.
- Webinars and Wiki-based Discussions on School Substance Abuse Prevention: ISHN is pleased to be part of a four year knowledge exchange program associated with a nationally funded program addressing substance abuse among indigenous youth in three Canadian jurisdictions. The program is being adapted from a successful peer, classroom and school-based program that has been operated by the Council on Drug Abuse in Canada. ISHN will support the implementation and reflection on the project through a series of webinars, web meetings and the preparation wiki-based summaries. The first webinar was on the principles and values that should be used in adapting school SAP programs for aboriginal youth. This program is being funded by Health Canada. These discussions will feed into the ongoing international discussions on school Substance Abuse Prevention being done through the ISHN/partner World Encyclopedia.
- Implementation Issues and Capacity-building in School Mental Health: This series of webinars, web meetings and online discussions will examine five key issues in the implementation and capacity-building related to school mental health programs. These five issues are inter-ministry collaboration & leadership, inter-agency coordination on SMH programs, system and agency capacities, evidence-based implementation models/planning and maintaining fidelity in complex, ever-changing school-community ecologies. This project is being funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada through funding allocated to a project-based consortium of organizations in Canada. This project will draw from and help to build two themes and international discussion groups now working through the ISHN & partners World Encyclopedia & KE Program. The mental health discussions are being led by Stan Kutcher from Dalhousie University and the Implementation/Capacity/Sustainability theme being led Louise Rowling (University of Sydney) and Oddrun Samdahl (University of Beergen, Norway) and Marthe Deschenes (Institut national de sante publique du Quebec)
- Physical Activity and Schools: ISHN is pleased to be working with the Global Advocacy on Physical Activity (GAPA) and the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE) in promoting whole school or comprehensive approaches to promoting ;physical activity through schools. The initial activities include a series of webinars/discussions, the development of a wiki-based collection of research, reports and resources (from which GAPA will select the better resources) and a jointly operated Twitter account for sharing research articles, reports and resources.
- School-based and School Linked Sexual Health Promotion: The series of web-based discussions will be continued in 2011-12, with ISHN linking these discussions with an similar inter-agency discussion being started by the UN Inter Agency Task Team in HIV-AIDS Education. The discussions will include representatives from UNESCO, WHO, UNAIDS, International Federation of Planned Parenthood, World Association for Sexual Health, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Save the Children and others.
- Nutrition and Schools: ISHN will be resuming its efforts to engage practitioners, advocates and experts in discussions about school nutrition programs and nutrition friendly schools. The senior editor of these discussions, Mary McKenna, from the University of New Brunswick, Canada will be leading these discussions along with key international and national organizations concerned with school nutrition.
- Teacher Education and Development: ISHN is working with Didier Jourdan (l’Institut universitaire de formation des maîtres d’Auvergne), Patricia Mannix McNamara (University of Limerick) and Helen Butler (Australian Catholic University) to initiate a discussion of teacher education and development related to health promotion and social development concerns. A call for contributors has been issued within the ISHN and partners Encyclopedia, a jointly operated Twitter account will be used to keep people informed and a series of activities has been started, including a webinar describing TED in high income countries, three wiki-based documents summarizing the concepts, stages/structures and models/approaches in TED and a bibliography/toolbox.
- Integrating Health & Social Concerns within Education Systems: An international discussion on how health, equity, safety, environmental and social concerns can be integrated within the mandates and preoccupations of education systems is being launched in conjunction with the Montreal conference in November. An initial call for contributors has been issued. This discussion group will be led by Peter Paulus (Leuphana University,
Germany), Ian Young (International Union for Health Promotion and
Education), Diane Allensworth (Consultant), Bob Harper (York School
District, Canada), Colleen Stanton (Athabasca University), Dan Laitsch
(Simon Fraser University, Canada) and Bill Potts-Datema (Center for
Disease Control & Prevention, USA)
- Community Schools: ISHN will be working with the International Centre of Excellence on Community Schools to initiate a dialogue on community schools. The framework for these discussions will be the CS standards developed by the international centre of excellence. A jointly operated Twitter account and a initial description of the concept of the community schools approach has been described.
- Expansion of the School Health Insider Information Service: ISHN has gradually developed the School Health Insider information service to include monitoring over 150 research journals, over 75 media outlets and over 75 social media outlets. A veritable torrent of "clippings" are posted each week on the SH Insider web site, which has been left public as we developed the service. As of December 2011, only ISHN individual, organizational or national/state/provincial members will have access when the site is made private and a password required. The service identifies web sites, educational and planning resources, live and recorded webinars, documents, videos and bookmarks available in social media platforms and more. Effective, professional uses of Twitter covering a variety of topics (such as developing countries, mental health, physical activity, community schools and many more) have also been developed in a manner similar to listserves and announcement-style email lists with the added value that widgets displaying the latest postings to these lists can be displayed on multiple web sites, thereby maximizing the dissemination process and enabling ISHN partners to benefit directly from their cooperation in operating these lists.
- Expansion and Positioning of the World Encyclopedia on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development: The number of bibliographies/toolboxes and the quantity of selected, web-linked items within those lists as well as the number of draft, in progress and completed web summaries continued to grow exponentially this year. As of June 2011, there were active calls, senior editors and lead contributors for these and other topics and areas within the Encyclopedia/Knowledge Exchange program; core aspects of programs and approaches, mental health, nutrition, sexual health, physical activity, community schools, disadvantaged communities, LGBT students, and more. The encyclopedia and knowledge exchange program is positioned as a shared work space and resource for a number of international organizations, agencies and networks.
- Sexual Health Promotion: ISHN developed an extensive collection of research, reports and resources on school sexual health promotion and initiated a discussion of comprehensive approaches, coordinated agency-school programs and whole school strategies on this health issue. This listing will be maintained through the use of a jointly operated Twitter account that identifies the latest research, resources and reports. A series of webinars has been started to discuss the evidence base underlying such multiple intervention programs and approaches. The first webinar examined the research on school-based and school-linked sexual health services. This series will be continued in 2011-12, with ISHN linking these discussions with an similar inter-agency discussion being started by the UN Inter Agency Task Team in HIV-AIDS Education. The discussions will include representatives from UNESCO, WHO, UNAIDS, International Federation of Planned Parenthood, World Association for Sexual Health, the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Save the Children and others. This initial project was funded by the Sexual Health and STI Section of the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Homophobic Bullying and LGBT Students: ISHN began work on addressing the immediate issue of homophobic bullying in schools by initiating an informal meeting between representatives the US Department of Education, the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention in the US in November of 2010. At that meeting, there was agreement that participants would work together to organize an international policy-oriented discussion about this urgent issue as well as a series of web activities to exchange knowledge on better practices and policies. With the financial support of the Sexual Health and STI Section of the Public Health Agency of Canada, ISHN developed a brief summary of the issue (to be used in further consultations), an extensive wiki-based list of research, reports and resources on LGBT students and a jointly-operated Twitter account focused on LGBT student health and well-being that will be open to others and available as a widget-based service whereby the latest postings (tweets) can be embedded and displayed on other web sites.
- Third International School Health Symposium: ISHN co-organized the third international School Health symposium in partnership with the Swiss Network of Health Promoting Schools and Schools for Health in Europe. The symposium was held in Geneva in July 2010 prior to the 2010 IUHPE conference. The symposium delegates endorsed the consensus statement on how schools can alleviate disadvantage, reduce disparities and promote equity as well as a discussion paper linking health promotion and sustainable development in a final communique linking health, equity and sustainability.
- Consultations with Counties, States and Provinces: ISHN Executive Director Doug McCall was very pleased to participate in workshops and meetings in Singapore, seeking to bring information and insights about programs and strategies being used in other countries. In the future, ISHN will develop a process whereby the network can service as a facilitator in helping countries and states to locate people, programs and experts relevant to their specific needs.
- Consensus Statement on Disadvantage. Disparities, Determinants: In cooperation with the Centre of Excellence on Community Schools, the Canadian Association for Community Education and the Canadian Association for School Health, ISHN developed a draft consensus statement on school-based and school-linked programs to better serve disadvantaged communities. The statement was the basis for the annual conference of the Canadian Association for School Health held in Dartmouth in April, 2010. The statement had been developed by a Canadian Community of Practice through webinars and other discussions following up on the WHO Technical Committee meeting of 2007 in Vancouver.
- Resilience and Schools: A series of five webinars and related web summary documents were developed and published on how schools can promote resilience. Funding for this project was received from the Drugs & Tobacco Initiatives Program, Health Canada.
- School Nutrition: A series of webinars and three sets of web summaries were developed and published in school nutrition, including the topics of multi-intervention programs in school nutrition, school nutrition policies and school activities to promote healthy eating. The web summaries include embedded video, recorded webinars and slide presentations that help to explain or illustrate the better practice being discussed.
- International Webinars & Web Summaries on Monitoring, Reporting and Evaluation: Five international webinars were presented in December 2008 along with accompanying web summaries of better practices in Monitoring and Reporting Systems on school health programs, child and youth health and student health literacy. These webinars use a web meeting platform that eliminates long distance telephone charges and permits participants to view the presentation and listen to the presenter through their computers. Additional webinars are being planned, go to our Webinars page for more information. (Sponsored by Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, in cooperation the International Union for Health Promotion and Education).
- Expansion of the World Encyclopedia on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development: Work continued on the development of the World Encyclopedia on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development. Over 30 individuals and ten organizations have already contributed their time,
expertise and funding to the calls
for writers, contributors and sponsors in several subject areas (core
concepts, nutrition friendly schools, monitoring/reporting/ evaluation, school
substance abuse prevention, mental health, implementation issues, girls and
women’s health and behaviour theories). As of June 2010, 18 Glossary Terms
(1-2 paragraphs) 23 Encyclopedia Entries (2-3 pages), 18 Handbook
Sections (15-20 pages) and 40 Bibliographies of web-linked research,
reports and educational/planning/training resources have been
developed. There are seven “first edition” documents that have been developed
to a publication stage. There are four very extensive “toolboxes” of research
and resources on broad topics such as nutrition friendly schools, mental health
and substance abuse. Many of the summaries include one or more of at least ten
recorded webinars that have been embedded as presentations within the text of the documents. Our ongoing
scanning of web networking sites such as SlideShare, GoogleDocs, YouTube and
others is identifying and gathering collections of bookmarks, web sites,
selected policy and guidance documents and more. These collections will be
integrated within the bibliographies. The Alphabetical
List of almost 400 topics provides a glimpse of the eventual coverage of
this program that we hope to achieve over the course of several years. We have developed outlines
for the contents for each type of summary in the program that can be used
as guidelines by writers and contributors. A similar set of outlines
will guide the development of bibliographies and toolboxes. A protocol for controlling and sharing the
right to publish in other venues is being developed. ISHN will review all
content to ensure that we comply with copyright laws and have permission from
other sources if we use or adapt their content. Our
technology tools enable us to host and record webinars, use the wiki-based
tools to edit and store drafts of the summaries, to encourage participants to
post comments and attach their own papers, documents and reports as case
studies. These new technologies permit us to loosen the grip of geography,
telephone charges and time zones. However, the real value of this enterprise is
the content and the people who benefit from their participation.
- School Health Information Service: ISHN is cooperating with several national SH associations to publish the School Health Insider, a daily blog that has been clipping items from the journals, media, email lists, blogs and web sites around the world. This service will be offered free of charge until January 2011, after which, membership in ISHN or the partner national organizations will be required to view the postings. For more information, go to www.schoolhealthinsider.org
- Wiki-Based Discussions of Evidence and Experience in School Health: Similar to Wikipedia, ISHN has started publishing an international wiki that will collect peer-reviewed collaborative summary statements of the evidence and experience on a host of topics in school health promotion. Graduate students, new researchers and practitioners reflecting on their work will be approached to prepare five page summaries with links to research reviews and case studies. Funding for the first two topicshas been secured on School Health Effectiveness and School-based Substance Abuse Prevention. Contact ISHN if you would like to be an author, reviewer or commentator. Authors will present their papers in ISHN webinars.
- Aboriginal School Health: An International Dialogue and Consensus Framework: ISHN worked with several indigenous organizations and SH associations to conduct an international dialogue on SH promotion in aboriginal schools and communities. The goal of the project was to develop a more relevant cultural approach and set of principles for SH promotion in these communities. The project published a consensus statement on Indigenous School Health. Discussions and presentations using the princiles and values defined in this document are continuing
- International School Health Contacts and Country/State Profiles: Using wiki technology similar to Facebook and using a template used in other business and professional networking web sites, ISHN will be building a wiki (International School Health Profiles) to house profiles of countries, international networks and UN agencies. Contacts for each country and organization will be asked to prepare a brief profile of their work and the technology as well as ISHN will facilitate this new form of web-based communication. Add your organization and eliminate some of the email from your in-box using this new shared work space platform. (Note: This activity has been transferred to the ISHN School Health Insider, where pages on each country and state/province are being prepared and maintained.
- Synthesis Statement on School Health, Safety, Equity, Social and Sustainable Development: Working from multiple sources and in consultation with several experts and organization, ISHN created and published a synthesis of successful strategies used by the over 25 different models of school-based and school-linked programs, models and approaches. The statement identifies a ten key strategies that are common to the models such as effective schools, healthy schools, community schools, safe schools and more. These include addressing the needs of the whole child over the life course and through key transitions, recognizing social influences and determinants, applying behaviour theories, promoting assets/strengths as well as addressing specific problems, vulnerable populations and disadvantaged communities, understanding the local community context and selecting programs to address issues relevant to those contexts, striving to develop comprehensive multi-issue, multi-system, multi-level approaches, organize and deliver coordinated agency and school programs and encouraging educators to develop whole school strategies, using evidence-based and experience-tested implementation models and plans, building baseline and operational capacity and planning for sustainability from the outset and many more.
- Book Chapters: Members of the ISHN worked with IUHPE to prepare two book chapters on challenges in school health promotion and on settings-based health promotion that will be published by Springer of New York.
- Symposium on Settings-based Health Promotion: Members of ISHN also cooperating with IUHPE and the Health & Learning Knowledge Centre of the Canadian Council on Learning to organize an international symposium, web-scan inventory and collection of research evidence and reports on settings-based approaches to health and learning. Also see the list of selected research studies and reviews that are organized by themes and topics of school health promotion.
- WHO Technical Meeting on School Health: ISHN was invited to join and chair a section of a Technical Meeting on the role of the school in promoting health, social development and learning that is being jointly operated by the World Health Organization, UNESCO, UNICEF and the World Bank. ISHN members are taking the lead on several tracks of inquiry that will present papers to the meeting to be held in June 2007 in Vancouver.
- Second International School Health Symposium: ISHN also collaborated with IUHPE and the Canadian Association for School Health to organize the second international symposium on school health (June 8-10, 2007) as well as several sessions and meetings at the IUHPE 2007 Conference in Vancouver (June 10-15).
- Consultations on School Health Guidelines: IUHPE and ISHN held a series of workshops on the use of the protocols and guidelines for health promoting schools (hosted at the 79th Annual Conference of the American School Health Association).
- Special Journal Issue on School Health: ISHN contributed to the publication and dissemination of the special issue of the IUHPE Promotion & Education on school health (Edited by Ian Young, European Network of Health Promoting Schools).
- Workshop to Develop a School Health Research Agenda: ISHN organized a workshop/teleconference on School Health Research (Hosted by the Health & Learning Knowledge Centre of the Canadian Council on Learning and the Canadian School Health Research Network) where delegates validated a School Health Research Agenda.
- Dialogue on School Health: ISHN participated in a series of discussions on school health promotion organized to coincide with the WHO meeting on Health Promotion.
Prior to 2005
- Interest in ISHN Confirmed at Canadian Conference: The informal discussions about the formation of an international school health network continued in Ottawa at a Canadian School Health conference held in November 2005. Representatives from several countries gathered at the invitation of the Canadian School Health Association and agreed to develop a network of networks approach.
- Australian Conference Starts Discussion about a Network: Participants in the first international School Health symposium held in conjunction with the IUHPE 2004 Conference in Melbourne enthusiastically endorsed the idea of forming an international network.