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Skip Navigation LinksPennsylvania Department of Health > My Health > School Health > Coordinated School Health

Whole school, whole community, whole child

(formerly Coordinated School Health)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes the strong link between a student's health and their academic success. Since the 1980s, the CDC has recommended coordinated school health as a strategy for improving students' health and learning in school. Schools cannot achieve their primary mission of education if students are not healthy.  There are eight components to coordinated school health: health education; physical education; health services; nutrition services; counseling, psychological, and social services; healthy and safe school environment; health promotion for staff; and family/community involvement.  
In 2014, the coordinated school health model was expanded and combined with the whole child framework to form the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Initiative. The original eight components have been expanded to ten (health education; physical education and physical activity; nutrition environment and services; health services; counseling, psychological, and social services; social and emotional climate; physical environment; employee wellness; family engagement and community involvement.
In order for schools to implement a coordinated school health program, they should start with an assessment. The CDC recommends use of the School Health Index.
The Links to the right address components of coordinated school health not available on other pages of this website.
Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms Initiative
The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) is a voluntary initiative established for schools to toot their horn about efforts in improving food and beverages, teaching kids nutrition, and encouraging more physical activity.  
Show off your school pride, earn money for your school, and be a leader in the movement to end childhood obesity- all by simply filling out an application! Action for Healthy Kids is here to help you every step of the way, from checking your eligibility to submitting your application. Contact your AFHK State Coordinator, Deanna Philpott (, to get started!
Additional Resources  
Adolescent Health: Think, Act, Grow  (TAG) is a national call to action to improve adolescent health in the U.S. TAG specifically aims to reach and engage a wide array of professionals who touch adolescents’ lives, as well as parents and adolescents themselves. TAG calls upon organizations and individuals working with teens to prioritize activities that improve adolescents’ physical, social, emotional and behavioral health. Led by the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), TAG is focused on supporting achievement of the Healthy People 2020 adolescent health objectives.
Parents for Healthy Schools   Parents have a powerful role in supporting children's health and learning. A set of resources have been developed by CDC Healthy Schools to motivate and educate parents to create a healthy school environment for their children. 
PartnerBuildGrow An action guide from the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools that provides school administrators, program directors, civic leaders, and other stakeholders with tools to improve the sustainability of school-based approaches that promote students' cognitive, social, and emotional health and educational success.
Voices for Healthy Kids Joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Heart Association offers toolkits designed to help educate communities about ways to make the healthy choice the easy choice in places where children live, learn, and play.
 CDC Prevention Status Reports (PSR)The Prevention Status Reports highlight- for all 50 states and the District of Columbia- the status of public health policies and practices designed to prevent or reduce important public health problems. These reports include the following which pertain to children and teens: Motor Vehicle Injuries; Food Safety; Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity; Heart Disease and Stroke; Teen Pregnancy; HIV and Tobacco Use.
Center for Healthy Schools The Center for Healthy Schools is a core connector that improves the health and academic achievement of children and adolescents through the alignment of a health-promoting school, community, and family environment.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation  Childhood obesity is a national epidemic. Nearly one in three children (ages two -nineteen) in the United States is overweight or obese, putting them at risk for serious health problems. As parents, caregivers, brothers and sisters, leaders in schools, communities and healthcare, we can work together to create a nation where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Learn the facts, our approach to solving this epidemic and how you can help be a part of the change.
SHAPE America  Largest organization of professionals involved in school-based health, physical education and physical activity, who are dedicated to teaching and promoting active, healthy lifestyles. Founded in 1885, SHAPE America provides a comprehensive array of resources, leadership in the development of standards and guidelines, professional development and advocacy for its members as well as the general public.
Updated: Nov. 29, 2016