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ERIC Number: EJ1203386
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019-Jan
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1540-8000
Creating Healthy Schools: Students, Educators, and Policymakers Name Priorities
Temkin, Deborah A.; Solomon, Bonnie J.; Katz, Emily; Steed, Heather
State Education Standard, v19 n1 p11-17 Jan 2019
In a healthy school environment, school staff are addressing a student's physical, emotional, and social needs in order to create the conditions for that student to learn. Creating this healthy school environment requires more than the traditional "grammar of schooling" -- a primary focus on curriculum and pedagogy--and encompasses a broad range of issues such as student nutrition, employee wellness, and overall school climate. These domains are reflected in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) framework. With limited time in a school day and similarly limited time for state board of education members and other policymakers to consider these issues, schools and policymakers alike struggle to prioritize among the myriad strategies for creating supportive conditions for learning. At a school level, one U.S. Department of Education report found that schools use, on average, nine prevention programs to address a number of different behaviors. As the report notes, there is simply not time in a school day for each of these programs to be implemented with fidelity. By taking a piecemeal approach, schools are not addressing any of these issues effectively. The reactive nature of much of the policymaking around the conditions for learning makes it difficult to address them comprehensively. There is thus a paradox in the current approach to creating healthy school environments: a comprehensive, coordinated approach to creating the conditions for learning may lead to better outcomes overall, and yet policymakers still need to respond to pressing priorities, which leads to policy silos. As a first step toward resolving this paradox, and with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of the Together for Healthy and Successful Schools Initiative, Child Trends conducted focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders. The authors sought to determine the key priority issues around healthy schools and how those issues can be leveraged to promote a more comprehensive vision. The ultimate goal was to identify a starting point for policymakers to begin building the comprehensive model envisioned in the WSCC model. Their research makes clear that students, policymakers, and educators alike value the coordinated school health approach that WSCC offers.
National Association of State Boards of Education. 2121 Crystal Drive Suite 350, Arlington, VA 22202. Tel: 800-368-5023; Tel: 703-684-4000; Fax: 703-836-2313; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A