Good health is essential to effective living and learning. The school health program endeavors to promote health, which is defined by the World Health Organization as "...a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."
Physical, emotional, mental and social health problems affect a student’s ability to learn. A comprehensive school health program has a positive impact on the learning process by reducing health-related barriers to learning. Furthermore, a comprehensive school health program enables students to be knowledgeable about healthy lifestyles, and encourages them to utilize the health care system to promote health and well-being.
Parents or guardians have the primary responsibility for the health of students. The school health program supplements and reinforces parents' or guardians’ efforts by encouraging students to use existing private and/or public health resources within the community to enhance their health status. Cooperation and collaboration among school, community, and home are essential for successful school health programs.
School Health Overview (3:24)
The majority of decisions related to health services in the school require a combination of both administrative judgment and clinical judgment. An interdisciplinary school health team promotes joint planning, problem solving, and sound decision-making. The team membership may vary according to the issues of the school and/or a specific student on the team agenda, but should include the principal or designee, the public health nurse, guidance staff, and others as appropriate.
A coordinated school health program has eight elements, touching all aspects of the school experience and having potential to have a significant impact on students' health knowledge, attitudes, and values. Leadership for each of these elements is provided by several departments within the school system and by the health department. The health department acts in a consultant role to support the services provided by the divisions within the schools.
1. Health Education provides a sequential Pre K-12th grade instructional program addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health.
2. Physical Education serves as a means for students to develop strength, coordination, and cardiovascular and respiratory efficiency, as well as for social development, stress reduction, and movement appreciation.
3. Health Services promotes the health of students and school staff members through prevention, early intervention, and remediation of specific health problems.
4. Counseling provides broad-based prevention and intervention programs to promote the physical and psychological health of students and faculty.
5. School Environment creates and maintains facilities that enhance the physical and psychological well being of students. It also provides school clinics to manage injuries and illnesses of students and staff members.
6. School Nutrition promotes good nutritional practices both within and outside the school settings (breakfast and lunch programs and nutrition education in the classroom).
7. Employee Assistance Program- (Staff Wellness) provides school staff members with the opportunity to take active roles in maintaining and achieving optimal physical and psychological health.
8. School and Community Agencies integrates health and education professionals in the school and community to provide and support improved school health programs.
Lorraine Trouton, Manager
School Health Services
July 15, 2016