What is School Health?

School Health is:

  • a healthful environment,
  • nursing and other health services that students need to stay in school,
  • nutritious and appealing school meals,
  • opportunities for physical activity that include physical education,
  • health education that covers a range of developmentally appropriate topics taught by knowledgeable teachers,
  • programs that promote the health of school faculty and staff, and
  • counseling, psychological and social services that promote healthy social and emotional development and remove barriers to students' learning.

For more information on school health programs, visit the website of the Division of Adolescent and School Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What are best practices in school health?

The American Cancer Society identified the basics of a high-quality school health program in a brochure Elements of Excellence. Those basic elements are:

  1. Active leadership from school administrators, a school and community health council, and a school employee with responsibility for coordination.
  2. A coordinated and collaborative approach overseen by a school health council, that sets priorities based on community needs and values, and that links with community resources.
  3. A safe and nurturing learning environment with supportive policies and practices, facilities that are hazard free, and consistent health-enhancing messages.
  4. A commitment of time, personnel, and resources.