New school health model incorporates 'Whole Child' principles

Some of the elements include school climate issues, students engagement and community involvement.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Federal officials and health experts unveiled a new school health model this week that incorporates "whole-child" elements—like school climate issues, student engagement, and community involvement—alongside components of the more traditional coordinated school health model that has been widely used since it was introduced in 1987.

That coordinated school health model helps leaders organize and coordinate various efforts to improve student health and well-being at school, and it is used by many national organizations as part of criteria for grant applications. "However, it has been viewed by educators as primarily a health initiative focused only on health outcomes and has consequently gained limited traction across the education sector at the school level," said an announcement of the new model by the two organizations that helped create it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ASCD. The new model places greater emphasis on "the symbiotic relationship between learning and health," and it places a greater emphasis on collaboration between schools and their surrounding communities.