The physical, social and emotional health of students can support or hinder their academic success and their prospects for a productive and healthy life. State and national data reveal that many Tennessee students engage in unhealthy behaviors that are detrimental to both their health and academic success. Additionally, data indicate that school environments may not be as supportive as they could be of students' health. Yet, in spite of these and other challenges, Tennessee schools can have a powerful influence on improving students' well-being and readiness to learn.
"The mission of Coordinated School Health is to improve students' health and their capacity to learn through the support of families, communities and schools."
The CDC's Coordinated School Health (CSH) model is a systematic approach that ensures that a school community effectively links health with educational success. Although these components are listed separately, it is their composite that allows CSH to have significant impact. CSH is implemented in a way that fits the unique needs and resources of each school community. The eight components of CSH are:
- Health Education
- Health Services
- Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
- Physical Education
- Nutrition Services
- Student, Family/Community Involvement
- Healthy School Environment
- Health Promotion for Staff
- Establish and maintain state and local partnerships necessary to implement the CSH model statewide.
- Create awareness about the importance of students' health and wellness to their academic success and prospects for future work.
- Maximize the ability of each school community to adopt and implement the CSH model by providing resources, materials and technical assistance to meet the needs of that school community.
- Promote a healthy school environment in all Tennessee school communities.
- Provide annual evaluation and needs assessment for monitoring CSH in each school community.
- Increased the number of students who received screening to include Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood pressure
- Reduced Absenteeism
- Improved nurse-to-student ratios resulting in increased class time
- Increased access to health care services t Increased health education
- Adults and students in a school community can take action to protect and enhance students' health by providing a healthy school environment and using effective health education strategies.
- It is vital to take a dual approach to students' health by reducing students' risky behaviors and increasing students' capacity to effectively deal with current and future health challenges.
- It is important to help students acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes to make informed decisions about their health and reduce risky behaviors.
- Create awareness of how health impacts academic outcomes.
- Understand that health has three interconnected components – physical, social and emotional.
- Keep in mind that students' health is influenced on three different fronts – school, family and community.
- Take a comprehensive approach to the health education of students.
- Work with school communities to take a systems change approach that emphasizes parent involvement, healthy school environments, community partnerships, and students' connectedness to school.
Activities to Date:
- T.C.A. § 49-1-1002: The Coordinated School Health Improvement Act of 2000 provided funding for 10 school districts to become CSH pilot sites.
- State CSH legislation, guidelines/standards and policies have been established.
- The Office of Coordinated School Health has been created within the Tennessee Department of Education. Additional positions have been filled to assist with the CSH statewide expansion.
- Annual outcome-based evaluation of CSH has been implemented since 2002.
- Legislation to provide CSH funding for all school systems was passed in 2006.
- Several state and regional conferences have been held to promote CSH in partnership with Action for Healthy Kids, Tennessee School Health Coalition, TAHPERD and state universities.
- The CSH partnership has led to greater collaboration among the Tennessee Department of Education, the Tennessee Department of Health and community-based organizations.
- The State Board of Education has approved state school health policies to help the mission of CSH.
- Many CSH presentations have been made to national, state and local organizations.
Initial Local Empowerment:
Beginning in 2001, the Office of Coordinated School Health implemented the CDC Allensworth/Kolbe model in ten state-funded Coordinated School Health Improvement pilot sites: Henry County, Loudon County, Macon County, Monroe County, Putnam County, Tipton County, Trenton SSD & Gibson County, Stewart County, Warren County, and Washington County.
The remaining Tennessee school systems began CSH on July 1, 2007.