What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


Health Teachers + Professional Development Make a True Difference for Students
March 13, 2019

Health Teachers + Professional Development Make a True Difference for Students

By Chris Moore, MS and Rachel Erisman | March 13, 2019
Health Educator/Assistant Soccer Coach (CM) and Health & Physical Education Instructor (RE), Fort Worth Independent School District

You could call us lucky health teachers. We are lucky enough to work within the Fort Worth Independent School District. For the last several years, FWISD has put a big emphasis on professional development (PD) for its health teachers.

This has helped us become stronger and better educators. It’s helped all our colleagues—both the seasoned vets and the newbies. Most importantly, it’s creating a more engaged and energetic health education environment for our students. We have some suggestions for educators who’d like to introduce more effective PD in their setting.

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Tags: School health education, School health, Physical education, Teachers, Professional development, HealthSmart, K12, Health education
Supporting Students, Teachers & Health Education through ESSA Funding
February 21, 2019

Supporting Students, Teachers & Health Education through ESSA Funding

By Daniel Hill, NBCT and Debbie Boian | February 21, 2019
Physical Education Instructor (DH) and Health Services Coordinator (DB), Fayette County Public Schools

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is transforming opportunities in health and physical education. We are moving away from federal mandates and into an era where local communities can step forward and create powerful, locally relevant programs in health and PE.

Finally! We have greater local control and an act that identifies health and PE as essential subjects in a well-rounded education. That means new funding is available to support exemplary health and PE programs. 

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Tags: Physical education, HealthSmart, School health, School health education, ESSA
Three Ways to Supercharge Your HealthSmart Lessons
February 13, 2019

Three Ways to Supercharge Your HealthSmart Lessons

By ETR | February 13, 2019

Here at ETR, we’re very proud of HealthSmart. This signature health education curriculum is a dynamic, exciting program for educators and students alike. HealthSmart supports the National Health Education Standards, National Sexuality Education Standards and Common Core State Standards. The lesson objectives and assessments are based on knowledge and skill expectations outlined in the Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT).

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Tags: Teachers, School health education, Health education, HealthSmart
Building Health Skills: Analyzing Influences
February 7, 2019

Building Health Skills: Analyzing Influences

By Suzanne Schrag | February 7, 2019
Editor/Project Manager, ETR

What makes young people do the things they do? And how does this affect their choices about health and risk?

Young people’s health behaviors can be influenced by a number of different factors, including family, friends, entertainment and social media, fads and trends, and their own internal attitudes and beliefs. One particularly powerful area of influence is the family, peer and social norms they see reflected in the actions and values of those around them. The things they see—and, sometimes even more important, the things they think they see (the perceived norms)—can either support or discourage healthy behaviors.

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Tags: Health education, School health education, K12, HealthSmart
Professional Development for Teachers Makes Health Education Soar
January 29, 2019

Professional Development for Teachers Makes Health Education Soar

By Georgi Roberts and Brooke Sharples  | January 29, 2019
Director of Health & Physical Education (GR) and Health Education Coordinator Fort Worth Independent School District (BS)

We are passionate about health education. We believe in educating youth to give them the skills to make good health decisions. If we don’t take these steps, it’s hardly fair for us to expect young people to make the right choices about their health.

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Tags: Training design, HealthSmart, Teachers, Professional development, School health education
Building Health Skills: Goal Setting
January 22, 2019

Building Health Skills: Goal Setting

By Suzanne Schrag | January 22, 2019
Editor/Project Manager, ETR

“In 2019, I’m finally going to…eat better…meditate daily…get fit…stop smoking…”

Ah, the New Year. A time for making plans and setting goals—often ones that are health related. But moving those aspirations from wishful thinking into action steps isn’t always easy, and it definitely takes skill.

In fact, goal setting is one of the essential skills for health literacy defined in the National Health Education Standards (NHES), which means it’s also a skill focus in the HealthSmart program. 

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Tags: K12, School health education, Health education, HealthSmart
A Historic Year in Education and School Health
January 15, 2019

A Historic Year in Education and School Health

By Jamie Sparks | January 15, 2019
School Health Program Manager, ETR

The current school year is historic. Every state has shifted away from the federal education accountability mandates of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and towards state-created measures aligned to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

For those of us who have worked diligently for decades to promote and prioritize school health, this offers a “giant step” opportunity. 

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Tags: HealthSmart, ESSA, School health education, Health education, K12, Comprehensive school health
40 Years of Sexuality Education: What's Changed?
October 16, 2018

40 Years of Sexuality Education: What's Changed?

By Clint Bruess, EdD, CHES, and Elizabeth Schroeder, EdD, MSW | October 16, 2018
Dean Emeritus, University of Alabama at Birmingham (CB) and Sexuality Educator, Trainer and Consultant, Elizabeth Schroeder Consulting (ES)

We’ve just finished writing a new edition of our book on sexuality education, which has been in print for almost 40 years. That’s a long time! A lot of people ask us, “What’s changed in sex ed over so many years?” The easy answer is, a lot has changed—and yet an astonishing amount has stayed the same. 

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Tags: K12, Sexual and reproductive health, Sex education
If It's September, This Must Be Teamwork
September 19, 2018

If It's September, This Must Be Teamwork

By John Henry Ledwith | September 19, 2018
National Sales Manager, ETR

Hello, September! Like many of you, I am part of a team that has been getting local classrooms ready for the new school year. The hum and clatter and movement of all of that effort has left me thinking a lot about teamwork this week.

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Tags: School health education, Health education, Teamwork, K12, HealthSmart
K12T9: Responding to the K12 #MeToo Crisis
September 17, 2018

K12T9: Responding to the K12 #MeToo Crisis

By John Shields, PhD, MSW | September 17, 2018
Senior Research Scientist and Director, K12T9 Initiative, ETR

We need the #MeToo movement. Widespread attention to sexual and gender-based harassment is long overdue. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been affected in some meaningful way by this national conversation.

Here at ETR, we celebrate this opportunity for education, enlightenment and change. 

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Tags: Sexual harassment, Sexual violence prevention, Violence prevention, School health, K12, Title IX, K12T9
ETR's Health Equity Framework in Practice: HealthSmart
August 31, 2018

ETR's Health Equity Framework in Practice: HealthSmart

By Suzanne Schrag | August 31, 2018
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

Jared is 11 years old and on his way to school. He usually stops at the bodega to buy a candy bar for a snack. But today is different. This week he is learning in school about increasing your heart rate through physical activity to stay healthy. Instead of stopping at the bodega, he runs around his block three times. He shows up to school a little sweaty but excited and energized.

By Suzanne Schrag
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Tags: School health education, Health education, Health Equity Framework, Health equity, K12, HealthSmart
Finding Stories for Inspiration: They Are In Our Lives
August 21, 2018

Finding Stories for Inspiration: They Are In Our Lives

By John Henry Ledwith | August 21, 2018
National Sales Manager, ETR

I heard a story last night that’s had me thinking about inspiration. I was at a performance of the John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band. The amazing Herb Pedersen told us about how he came to write one of the finest and most popular bluegrass songs ever, “Wait a Minute.”

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: Physical education, K12, Inspiration, School health education
ETR's Health Equity Framework in Practice: Creating an LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum
May 8, 2018

ETR's Health Equity Framework in Practice: Creating an LGBTQ Inclusive Curriculum

By Marcia Quackenbush, MS, MFT, MCHES | May 8, 2018
Senior Editor, ETR

LGBTQ students have plenty of reasons to feel like they don’t “fit” in a lot of schools. They are likely to experience pervasive harassment and discrimination, which may be delivered by peers, educators or administrators. Most attend classes that make no reference to their relationships, LGBTQ contributions to society, or the history of the gay and transgender rights movements.

ETR's Health Equity Framework gives us a way to examine issues such as these and be more focused and intentional about the steps we take to address them.

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Tags: Adaptation, Sexual and reproductive health, Adolescent health, Inclusive education, LGBTQ youth, Health Equity Framework, Health equity
LGBTQ Youth & Inclusive Curricula: We Must Take Action
March 27, 2018

LGBTQ Youth & Inclusive Curricula: We Must Take Action

By Karen Stradford Boyce, LCSW, & Madeline Travers, MPH | March 27, 2018
Consultant (KSB) & New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MT)

LGBTQ youth face distinct health risks compared with their non-LGBTQ peers. In the last few years, the call to address the sexual health needs of LGBTQ youth has rung loud from both programs and research. At the same time, a rollback of LGBTQ-focused initiatives and programs at the federal level has created an unprecedented need for support for the LGBTQ community and its youth.

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Tags: Adaptation, Sexual and reproductive health, Inclusive education, LGBTQ youth
Building Health Skills: Advocacy
March 22, 2018

Building Health Skills: Advocacy

By Suzanne Schrag | March 22, 2018
Editor/Project Manager, ETR

Here’s a different take on a familiar saying: Those who can, do. Those who really can, teach! And those who teach health know the value of teaching advocacy skills.

Giving students practice in advocacy is a great way to build engagement, review key concepts and personalize what they’ve been learning about healthy behaviors. Advocacy also helps communities hear vital information about health-related issues from critical stakeholders—young people themselves!

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Tags: Advocacy, Health education, K12, HealthSmart
Building Health Skills: Accessing Resources
February 20, 2018

Building Health Skills: Accessing Resources

By Suzanne Schrag | February 20, 2018
Editor/Project Manager, ETR

Where do young people get health information? Health educators hope their students understand how to find accurate answers to their questions from reliable resources. Such children and youth are in the best position to increase their knowledge in ways that will empower them to practice healthy behaviors and reduce their health risks.

By Suzanne Schrag
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Tags: School health education, Health education, National Health Education Standards, K12, HealthSmart
Need to Know
February 13, 2018

Need to Know

By John Henry Ledwith | February 13, 2018
National Sales Manager, ETR

The great state of Texas. Known for its sports teams, exciting weather, roots-based eclectic music and grand landscapes. After my visit to northern Texas a couple of weeks ago, I’m going to add to that list: outstanding health education teachers.

I was working with health education master Susan Telljohann, PhD, as she delivered a training on the 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education.

By John Henry Ledwith
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Tags: Health education, School health education, K-12, HealthSmart, 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education
Building Health Skills: Decision Making
January 9, 2018

Building Health Skills: Decision Making

By Suzanne Schrag | January 9, 2018
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

Skills are a vital part of effective health education. And, in addition to acquiring knowledge, a focus on practicing skills is becoming more and more accepted as the best way to help young people establish healthy behaviors. This, in turn, helps them reduce their health risks. 

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Tags: Decision making, K-12, HealthSmart, School health education, Health education
Teaching Knowledge and Skills the HealthSmart Way – Part 3
November 14, 2017

Teaching Knowledge and Skills the HealthSmart Way – Part 3

By Suzanne Schrag | November 14, 2017
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

How do we give students the concepts and skills they need to choose healthy behaviors for a lifetime? From the 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education Curricula identified by the CDC, we know that an effective program “provides functional health knowledge that directly contributes to health-promoting decisions and behaviors.” It also “builds competence and self-efficacy by addressing skills.” Let’s see some examples of how these two key components of a great health education program play out in Grade 2 of HealthSmart.

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Tags: School health, School health education, K-5, K-12, HealthSmart
HealthSmart: Putting Health Ed Research into Action - Part 2
November 7, 2017

HealthSmart: Putting Health Ed Research into Action - Part 2

By Suzanne Schrag | November 7, 2017
Editor/Product Manager, ETR

It’s not enough to simply teach students information about health. As health educators, we must help them master key concepts and skills that promote health literacy and lifelong health. HealthSmart, ETR’s comprehensive K12 health education program, targets Healthy Behavior Outcomes as its primary goal. This sets HealthSmart apart from a more traditional textbook health program.

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Tags: School health, School health education, 15 Characteristics of Effective Health Education, Health education, K12, HealthSmart

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