Coordinated School Health
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FACTS: EVERY DAY IN AMERICA

  • One-third of children entering kindergarden are unprepared to learn. They lack physical health, confidence, maturity, and general knowledge.
  • One in four children (approx. 10 million) is at risk of failure in school due to social, emotional, and health handicaps.
  • Between 12 and 22 percent of children experience emotional, mental, or behavioral disorders. However, few of these children receive mental health services.
  • Two-thirds of eighth graders have tried alcohol, and 28 percent have been drunk at least once.
  • More than 3,000 young people start smoking each day in the U.S.
  • Twenty-two percent of ninth graders report carrying a weapon in the previous month.
  • Over 40 percent of children living below the poverty level have inadequate intakes of iron.
  • More than 100,000 children are homeless on any given night.
  • More than 3,000 high school students drop out every school day.

When children bring emotional, physical, behavioral, mental, and/or family problems to school, or when their school environment threatens their well-being, these children are unable to take advantage of all that the school has to offer.

Health risks that children faced in the past, such as rubella, measles, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough, and tuberculosis have been replaced by health risks that have a social, behavioral, or environmental basis, such as tobacco use, decreased physical activity, abuse of alcohol and drugs, poor eating habits, behaviors that result in injury, and increase in sexual behaviors that result in unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.

 

 

IMPORTANCE OF A COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAM

Most schools have programs set up to prevent and/or address these health isues. However, only a few of these programs have been integrated or coordinated to take advantage of all the shared available resources and information. The result is either overlap of effort by uncoordinated programs to prevent and/or address only a few of these health issues, or minimal focus on other important issues.

Once a coordinated and systematic approach to school health is recognized to be the best method to address children's health issues, all the resources available to the school and its community can be used to improve the quality of children's health and education. Individuals involved in the implementation of a coordinated school health program cooperatively work together to ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently to address issues in an organized and timely manner.

 

MAIN GOAL OF A COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAM

The ultimated goal is to provide every student the opportunity to have a quality health education, which would potentially influence their choice to live a healthy lifestyle, thereby empowering families, communities, and schools to better their children's health.

 

EIGHT COMPONENTS OF A COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAM

  1. Comprehensive School Health Education
  2. Physical Education
  3. Health Services
  4. Nutrition Services
  5. Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services
  6. Healthy School Environment
  7. Health Promotion for Staff
  8. Family and Community Involvement

 

COMMON GOALS AMONG THE COMPONENTS OF A COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH PROGRAM

  • To improve students' school performance
  • To consolidate resources
  • To increase the number of productive and capable students
  • To set up programs that respond to the causes of underachievement
  • To increase community and family involvement
  • To increase empowerment and enhanced preparation of teachers
  • To increase the number of locally determined programs and policies

 

EFFECTIVENESS OF COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH

Many of the health challenges facing young people today are different from those that we had faced as children. Medical advances and routine childhood vaccination programs have positively addressed the illness, disability, and death that common infectious diseases once caused among children.

Today, the health of young people is linked to the health-related behaviors they choose to adopt. According to the CDC, there are approximately 53 million young people who attend nearly 117,000 schools in the U.S. Because of the size and accessibility of this population, coordinated school health programs have been shown to have a very important impact on the ability to reduce health risk behaviors in young people.

  • Rigorous studies show that health education in schools can effectively reduce the prevalence of health risk behaviors among young people.
  • Planned, sequential health education resulted in a 37% reduction in the onset of smoking among seventh-grade students.
  • The prevalence of obesity decreased among girls in grades 68 who participated in a school-based intervention program.
  • Students who participated in a school-based life skills training program were less likely to use tobacco, alcohol, or marijuana than were students not enrolled in the program.

By advocating, consulting, educating and working with individuals and organizations that are directly involved within the eight components of school health programs, young people are given the information and skills they need to make intelligent decisions to avoid risk behaviors such as tobacco use, poor eating habits, and physical inactivity. The eight components of a coordinated school health program that we advocate systematically address these risk behaviors.

 

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Coordinated School Health Institute

Maintained By M Jones Consulting. Last revised: 12/01.
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