Healthy kids make better students and better students make healthy communities! This belief is the cornerstone to coordinated school health and the reason why organizations and agencies representing public health, higher education, school districts, parents, and other groups have joined the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in supporting CSH initiatives. These initiatives address the critical health types of adolescent health behavior that research shows contribute to the leading causes of death and disability among adults and youth, such as alcohol and drug use, tobacco use, lack of physical activity, violence, and risky sexual behavior. DPI incorporates a variety of strategies to address these critical health behaviors and they include funding opportunities; technical assistance; free resources through printed publications, internet, and media resources; and professional development events.
Effective Coordinated School Health
Teachers, administrators, and parents want to see all students succeed and become knowledgeable, responsible, caring and healthy adults. The challenge is organizing our educational system to provide the opportunities linked with these outcomes. While there is still much debate about the value and effectiveness of various programs, more and more information that provides answers on how the learning environment in schools needs to be structured is becoming available.
Below you will learn about effective models that provide a clear, practical, systemic approach to developing policies, procedures, and activities to improve student health and academic outcomes. The goal of these models is to promote the health and well-being of students so that physical, emotional, and social problems do not interfere with their ability to become healthy, caring, responsible, and productive citizens.
Wisconsin Coordinated School Health
DPI has proposed a framework composed of six components that can be used to organize and implement an effective school health program. These components are composed of 1) healthy school environment; 2) curriculum, instruction, and assessment; 3) student programs; 4) adult programs; 5) pupil services; and 6) family and community connections. These six components form a multi-strategy approach which seeks to address the entire range of youth risk behaviors and promote the health, well-being and positive development of students and other members of the school-community as an integral part of the school's overall mission. CSH efforts shouldn't be seen as the responsibility of one person or one committee in a school or district, but represents a collection of school efforts to address various youth risk behaviors and to promote health.
However, schools by themselves cannot, and should not be expected to, address the nation's most serious health and social problems. Families, public health, health care workers, the media, religious organizations, community organizations that serve youth, and young people themselves also must be systematically involved. Schools can provide a critical facility in which many agencies might work together to maintain the well-being of young people.
CDC's Coordinated School Health framework model was the basis for Wisconsin's CSH framework but it is composed of slightly different components. CDC's CSH model consists of eight interactive components. These components consists of health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, pupil services, healthy school environment, staff wellness, and family/community involvement. CDC and partners have developed multiple technical assistance resources to assess, development, and implement a school health program. To learn more about this model and technical assistance tools go to http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/CSHP.
Don’t miss this opportunity to assess your school health efforts based on best practice and evidence-based strategies. Completing the Wisconsin School Health Award application process will help your school better understand its strengths and areas in need of improvement. In addition, by completing the award application your school could be eligible for an award and be recognized as one of Wisconsin’s healthiest schools!
Does your school…
- promote healthy nutritional choices?
- get students active?
- have policies in place that address student and staff wellness?
- have a committee that oversees wellness efforts in your school?
- actively involve parents and community partners?
- promote student and staff wellness?
If you answered YES to these questions your school may be in line for a Wisconsin School Health Award. A school can achieve one of four award levels: bronze, silver, gold, and platinum.
Dates to Remember
Award Application Due: May 15, 2014
Award Presentations: WHPE Convention
For more information, visit the Wisconsin School Health Award webpage.