The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is one of only 18 state education agencies awarded a competitive grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Adolescent and School Health (CDC/DASH) to increase the capacity of states and local school districts to implement policies and practices in the area of sexual health that improve students’ health and academic outcomes. The grant supports two strategy areas including:
- surveillance of school health policies and programs and youth health behavioral data; and
- the implementation of School-based Sexual Health, HIV/STD, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Policies, Programs, and Services.
Collection of School-based Health Data to Inform Priorities and Practices
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, known in Connecticut as the Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS), and School Health Profiles (Profiles) administration are supported through this grant. The CSHS includes data collection on student health risk behaviors and protective factors. The Profiles include data on school health policies and programs in middle and high schools. Both CSHS and Profiles data determine status and inform priorities in health policies and practices at the national, state and local levels.
Implementation of School-based Sexual Health, HIV/STD, and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Policies, Programs, and Services
The three areas of focus include:
- establishing safe and supportive environments for students and staff;
- delivering exemplary sexual health education emphasizing HIV/STD and teen pregnancy prevention; and
- increasing adolescents’ access to key comprehensive health and sexual health services available in school-based and community health centers.
Partner School Districts
The following 10 school districts have committed to a five-year partnership with the CSDE to implement and evaluate best practice school health policies, programs and services. These efforts focus on students in middle and high schools including those in alternative school settings.
- Connecticut Technical High Schools
- East Hartford Public Schools
- Hamden Public Schools
- Middletown Public Schools
- New Britain Consolidated School District
- Norwich Public Schools
- Stratford Public Schools
- Waterbury Public Schools
- West Hartford Public Schools
- Woodstock Academy
State-level Planning Team
Leaders from the CSDE and the Department of Public Health co-chair a state-level advisory team focused on the administration of the CDC/DASH grant priorities and related programmatic efforts. The Sexual Health, HIV/STD and Pregnancy Prevention Stakeholders Team is responsible for identifying priorities and coordinating the program planning and service delivery of this Partnership.