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Understanding the Coordinated School Health Program

Schools, families, and communities all have resources for reaching young people with messages and learning opportunities that can influence health related behaviors.

A Coordinated School Health Program is an approach that brings together the resources of families, schools, and communities to help students stay healthy and make the most of their educational opportunities. The school health program in most school districts can be organized into 8 separate but related components. When these components work together to compliment and reinforce one another in an effort to enhance student health, it is referred to as a Coordinated School Health Program. A coordinated school health program has components that include: health education; physical education; school health services; counseling, psychological, and social services; school nutrition services; a healthy school environment; staff wellness programs; and family and community involvement.

By strengthening these components in the nearly 15,000 school districts in the United States and helping them deliver a quality coordinated school health program the potential exists to impact the lives of nearly 50 million school aged children and youth.

Below are definitions and information on each of the 8 school health components:

 Health Education
A planned, sequential, K-12 curriculum that addresses the physical, mental, emotional and social dimensions of health.
 Physical Education
A planned, sequential K-12 curriculum that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity areas.
 Health Services
Services provided for students to appraise, protect, and promote health.
 Family/Community Involvement
An integrated school, parent, and community approach for enhancing the health and well-being of students.
 Nutrition Services
Access to a variety of nutritious and appealing meals that accommodate the health and nutrition needs of all students.
 Health Promotion for Staff
Opportunities for school staff to improve their health status through activities such as health assessments, health education and health-related fitness activities.
 Counseling, Psychological & Social Services
Services provided to improve students' mental, emotional, and social health.
 Healthy School Environment
The physical and aesthetic surroundings and the psychosocial climate and culture of the school.