Round Rock ISD extends application deadline for health council to Jan. 8

Round Rock ISD is accepting online applications through Jan. 8 for those seeking to become members of the School Health Advisory Council.

The online application deadline was originally Jan. 1, but because of technical glitches, the district extended the deadline to Jan. 8, Community Relations Coordinator Deb Strahler said. The SHAC is responsible for making recommendations to the board of trustees regarding student health, including sex education and nutrition.

"They [applicants] just need to provide their name and address, and whether they are a parent or employee or general community member, and a short explanation of why they want to be on the committee," Strahler said.

Other questions on the application include whether the applicant has served on the council before and if the applicant is willing to serve for one or two years. No supplemental information is required to apply. The application became available Dec. 21 through the district's website, Strahler said.

There was no formal application process prior to the online method, said JoyLynn Occhiuzzi, executive director of community relations for the district. Applications are now being reviewed by the board and will continue to be until the board's meeting Jan. 17, she said. The board also has the option to nominate those who did not fill out an application, and the goal is to have all members appointed at the Jan. 17 meeting, she said. Although the board made no decisions at its Dec. 13 meeting about the size, term limits or who appoints officers within the council, Occhiuzzi said there will be 21 members of the SHAC. Each school board member will select three people to be a part of the council, she said.

At the Dec. 13 meeting, the board discussed the future structure of the SHAC. The administration and Superintendent Jess Chvez recommended the SHAC should have 15 members with at least 10 parents and five representatives from various groups, including public school teachers, district students, health care professionals and law enforcement agents. The board agreed the council should have more than 10 members to represent a diverse group.

The board is required to consider the SHAC recommendations before making changes to the district's health education curriculum or instruction, according to state code. Sex education curriculum changes were pulled from the Nov. 15 agenda when it was discovered SHAC members were not appointed by the school board, which is a requirement, according to state code.

Interested individuals may apply for the SHAC by visiting the district's website.