About

The Whole Child Approach to Education

Healthy

Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.

Learn More »

Safe

Each student learns in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults.

Learn More »

Engaged

Each student is actively engaged in learning and is connected to the school and broader community.

Learn More »

Supported

Each student has access to personalized learning and is supported by qualified, caring adults.

Learn More »

Challenged

Each student is challenged academically and prepared for success in college or further study and for employment and participation in a global environment.

Learn More »

Sustainability

Schools implementing a whole child approach use collaboration, coordination, and integration to ensure the approach's long term success.

Learn More »

Ensuring each child, in each school, in each community is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.

The demands of the 21st century require a new approach to education to fully prepare students for college, career, and citizenship. Research, practice, and common sense confirm that a whole child approach to education will develop and prepare students for the challenges and opportunities of today and tomorrow by addressing students' comprehensive needs through the shared responsibility of students, families, schools, and communities.

All educators want to improve the work they do for students, their families, and the community. Whether it's instruction, school climate, leadership, family engagement, or any of the other issues schools face on a daily basis, all educators need tools to help them improve their actions and methods. A whole child approach, which ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success.

Launched in 2007, ASCD's Whole Child Initiative is an effort to change the conversation about education from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes the long term development and success of children. Through the initiative, ASCD helps educators, families, community members, and policymakers move from a vision about educating the whole child to sustainable, collaborative action. ASCD is joined in this effort by Whole Child Partner organizations representing the education, arts, health, policy, and community sectors.

Explore resources and opportunities for action here and on ASCD.org. Download indicators (PDF) of a whole child approach to education and community engagement and use the ASCD School Improvement Tool to assess your performance on those indicators. Join ASCD and our partners, and together we'll change the face of education policy and practice.

Whole Child Tenets

Share |

Get Your Results Now

Designed for use in schools and districts around the world, the free ASCD School Improvement Tool offers educators a comprehensive and completely online needs assessment. Based on your unique results, the tool points you to professional development resources that can help immediately address school-wide challenges.

GET STARTED »

About ASCD

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 140,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD's innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.