VFBA

Overview


The Addison Central Supervisory Union (ACSU) is launching a Family Based Approach to Wellness (FBAW) initiative in its Early Education (EE) Program beginning with the 2011-2012 school year. Utilizing a collaborative model to include school administration, teachers and staff, as well as local health professionals and community-based service providers, the initiative aims to identify strengths and provide supports for all EE children and families in the areas of physical, emotional, social and cognitive health and development. The FBAW will work to complement and enhance this existing preschool program, inviting families to participate in child development enrichment activities and to access community resources that provide support in the effort to raise healthy, well-adjusted children. By prioritizing prevention, self-initiative, self-advocacy and peer-to-peer support, the FBAW will strive to keep the well, well, and to provide the level and type of support to those individuals who experience less than optimal health, beginning in the preschool years and continuing throughout each family’s ACSU educational career.


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
ADDISON CENTRAL SUPERVISORY UNION
FAMILY BASED APPROACH TO WELLNESS


The Addison Central Supervisory Union is launching a Family Based Approach to Wellness (FBAW) initiative in its Early Education Program beginning with the 2011-2012 school year. While fashioned after the Vermont Family Based Approach championed by James Hudziak, M.D. of the Vermont Center for Children, Youth and Families, our district has tailored this project to meet the unique needs of our own community. With an emphasis placed on early
intervention, prevention, and ongoing support, the FBAW will assist participating families in their efforts to raise healthy and socially competent children, beginning in the preschool years and continuing throughout each family’s ACSU educational career.


Utilizing a collaborative, coach-based model to include school administration, teachers and staff, as well as local health professionals and community-based service providers, the initiative aims to identify strengths and provide supports for all EE children and families in the areas of physical, emotional, social and cognitive health and development. The FBAW will work to complement and enhance this existing preschool program, inviting families to participate in child
development enrichment activities and to access community resources that ensure that the proper type and level of support is available to meet the unique health needs of each family.


Through the establishment of strong family-school-community ties, we will achieve our ultimate mission “to educate all students to the highest standards of academic excellence and to provide each individual with the knowledge and skills necessary to become an independent learner, a contributing member of the community, and a responsible citizen.” (Excerpt ACSU Mission Statement)


Two separate yet intricately tied situations, student achievement and student health, have prompted us to generate the FBAW in our district. During the last ten years, our district has been a progressive leader in addressing school reform efforts, implementing programs designed to improve school climate and academic achievement. While we have seen substantial improvements in reading and math for many students, the data indicate a significant number
of underachieving students, many of whom live in families affected by low income. Poverty, however, is not the only factor related to poor performance. The disparity extends to an increasing number of students with physical, emotional and behavioral problems across all economic groups, challenges that significantly interfere with the learning process and negatively impact the future educational and career paths of those affected by such challenges.


In conclusion, our district proposes its Family Based Approach to Wellness in response to the growing tide of students who struggle, both academically and health-wise, in our district. By adopting a coaching model, expanding our support to include the families and environments in which our students live, and by enlisting the support of area health professionals and service agencies, we aim to keep the well, well, and to provide the type and level of support to those
individuals who experience less than optimal health, beginning in the preschool years and continuing throughout each family’s ACSU educational career.