Bardstown's Coordinated School Health focuses on improving the health of students and staff by providing coordination and resources in eight component areas of school health: Health Education, Physical Education, Health Services, Nutritional Services, Counseling/Psychological and Social Services, Healthy School Environment, Health Promotions for Staff, and Family/Community Involvement.
A coordinated approach to school health makes order from energy-draining
disorder. It provides the “glue” necessary to organize diverse components in the areas of curriculum, services, and the environment so that they work together in a systematic way to improve health and academic outcomes for students.
Health is not just the absence of disease – it is complete physical, mental, and social well-being. A school health program that effectively addresses students’ health, and thus improves their ability to learn, consists of many different components. Each component makes a unique contribution while also complementing the others, ultimately creating a whole that is more than just the sum of its parts. CSHPs traditionally include eight components:
- Family and community involvement in school health: Partnerships among schools, families, community groups, and individuals. Designed to maximize resources and expertise in addressing the healthy development of children, youth, and their families.
- Comprehensive school health education: Classroom instruction that addresses the physical, mental, emotional, and social dimensions of health; promotes knowledge, attitudes, and skills; and is tailored to each age/developmental level. Designed to motivate and assist students in maintaining and improving their health and to reduce their risk behaviors.
- Physical education: Planned, sequential instruction that promotes lifelong physical activity. Designed to develop basic movement skills, sports skills, and physical fitness as well as to enhance mental, social, and emotional abilities.
- School health services: Preventive services, education, emergency care, referral, and management of acute and chronic health conditions. Designed to promote the health of students, identify and prevent health problems and injuries, and ensure appropriate care for students.
- School nutrition services: Integration of nutritious, affordable, and appealing meals; nutrition education; and an environment that promotes healthy eating habits for all children. Designed to maximize each child’s education and health potential for a lifetime.
- Counseling, psychological, and social services: Activities that focus on cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social needs of individuals, groups, and families. Designed to prevent and address problems, facilitate positive learning and healthy behavior, and enhance healthy development.
- Healthy school environment: The physical, emotional, and social climate of the school. Designed to provide both a safe physical plant and a healthy and supportive environment that fosters learning.
- Health promotion for school personnel: Assessment, education, and fitness activities for school faculty and staff. Designed to maintain and improve the health and well-being of school staff who serve as role models for the students.
These components encompass a school’s instruction, services, and physical and social environments. Leadership, partnerships, and coordination serve as the “glue” that holds the different pieces together to form a coherent whole. Because individuals, institutions, needs, and resources differ from community to community, no two CSHPs are expected to look exactly alike. Each new setting will bring together a unique group of people and agencies to determine the specific needs facing young people in their schools and build on the many resources that are already in place to support positive youth development.