The New York City (NYC) Department of Education (DOE) Office of School Wellness Programs is applying for CDC notice of funding opportunity, Promoting Adolescent Health through School-Based HIV Prevention (PS18-1807), Component 1: School-Based Surveillance, and Component 2: School-Based HIV/STD Prevention. PS18-1807 funding will support the expansion of PS13-1308 grant activities to further develop effective programs, practices, and structures that address key adolescent public health issues in NYC. As the largest public school district in the nation serving over one million students annually, including more than 550,000 secondary students, our office will bolster secondary schools’ capacity to provide quality health and sexual health education that strengthens protective factors for at-risk secondary students, reducing HIV and STI infection, teen pregnancies, and other adverse health risk factors in the long-term.
PS18-1807 Component 1 will support our office’s collaboration with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to collect quality surveillance data on adolescent health risk behaviors through the 2019 and 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). Additionally, our office will collect data on secondary school health policies and practices through the 2020 and 2022 School Health Profiles Survey (Profiles). We will use the results to: target, evaluate and improve interventions; establish funding priorities; and plan professional learning and technical assistance for school communities to reduce health-risk behaviors among youth. By the end of the project period, we will increase our understanding of youth risk behaviors and school health policies and practices.
Component 2 will focus on initiatives to address adolescent health, aligned with tested CDC strategies and reflected in the DOE 2017 Wellness Policy. We will expand, deepen, refine, and diffuse PS13-1308 funded activities to strengthen sexual health education (SHE), provide access to sexual health services (SHS); and ensure inclusive, safe and supportive environments (SSE). Our office will identify 25-30 priority middle and high schools and use a collaborative Action Plan Process in order to engage educators, students, parents/caregivers, and the community in building schools’ capacity to provide quality comprehensive health and sexual education that improves health outcomes for at-risk students. This process will guide schools through awareness, assessment, action planning, and technical assistance to improve the delivery of quality SHE, expand access and use of SHS in and out of school, and increase student and school community engagement in SSE best practices. We will diffuse effective practices to schools Citywide.
Activities across Components 1 and 2, with technical support from Component 3 partners, will create the conditions for comprehensive health and sexual education that contribute to the short-, intermediate, and long-term intended outcomes at the end of five-year grant period. With greater understanding of youth risk behaviors and school health practices, and strengthened capacity for quality SHE, SHS, and SSE, grant activities will ensure that New York City school communities have the tools for youth to exercise good health and safe practices throughout their lives, especially those at risk for adverse health outcomes.