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
Section 204 of Public Law 108-265, the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 required each school entity participating in the National School Lunch and/or School Breakfast Program to develop a local wellness policy
Updated: March 2018