ERIC Number: ED484419
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Reference Count: 348
School Health Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide. Middle School/High School.
Barrios, Lisa C.; Burgeson, Charlene R.; Crossett, Linda; Harrykissoon, Samantha D.; Pritzl, Jane; Wechsler, Howell; Kuester, Sarah A.; Pederson, Linda; Graffunder, Corinne; Rainford, Neil; Sleet, David
US Department of Health and Human Services
The "School Health Index" is a self-assessment and planning guide that will enable schools to: (1) identify the strengths and weaknesses of school policies and programs for promoting health and safety; (2) develop an action plan for improving student health and safety, and (3) involve teachers, parents, students, and the community in improving school policies, programs, and services. Results from using the "School Health Index" can help include health promotion activities in overall School Improvement Plans. There is growing recognition of the relationship between health and academic performance, and completing the "School Health Index" can become one of any school's important Leave No Child Behind educational reform activities. The self-assessment process allows members of the school community to come together and discuss what each school is doing to promote good health. More specifically, assessing the extent to which schools implement the kinds of policies and practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its research based guidelines for school health and safety programs (see the Resources section for information on how to obtain these guidelines). After completing the self-assessment process, schools will be asked to identify recommended actions to improve performance in areas that received low scores. Then guidance will be provided for prioritizing the various recommendations. This step will help administrators to decide on a handful of actions to be implemented this year. Finally, completion of the School Health Improvement Plan will guide steps in planning the implementation of recommended actions. Completing the "School Health Index" is an important first step toward improving schools' health promotion policies and practices. Each school can then act to implement their own School Health Improvement Plan and develop an ongoing process for monitoring progress and reviewing recommendations for change. the "School Health Index" focuses on how schools can promote: (1) physical activity; (2) healthy eating; (3) a tobacco free lifestyle; and (4) a wide range of safety-related behaviors. These topics were chosen because CDC has developed guidelines for schools on addressing each of them and because these health behaviors can play a critical role in preventing the leading causes of death, disability, and illness. Fact Sheets are appended. [Document also prepared by the Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity, Office on Smoking and Health, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, and Division of Violence Prevention. Prepared in collaboration with Steven H. Kelder.]
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: Community; Parents; Teachers; Administrators
Authoring Institution: Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (DHHS/CDC), Atlanta, GA. Adolescent and School Health Div.Center for Health Promotion and Education (CDC), Rockville, MD. Office on Smoking and Health.