Supported

In addition to improving students' academic performance, research shows that supportive schools also help prevent a host of negative consequences, including isolation, violent behavior, dropping out of school, and suicide. Central to a supportive school are teachers, administrators, and other caring adults who take a personal interest in each student and in the success of each student.

School and communities committed to educating the whole child connect students with caring adults throughout a student's school career through a variety of positive relationships. These relationships reinforce academic achievement and social, civic, ethical, and emotional development.

Ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged requires us to continually ask questions and examine evidence related to implementation. ASCD's indicators of a whole child approach provide a guide for continual school and community improvement and serve as a definition of what a whole child approach to education truly requires. Download the set of supported indicators (PDF).

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From the Whole Child Blog

Working Together to Improve Learning and Health

Health and education affect individuals, society, and the economy and, therefore, must work together whenever possible. Schools are a perfect setting for this collaboration. Schools are one of the most efficient systems for reaching children and youth to provide health services and programs, as approximately 95 percent of all U.S. children and youth attend school. To date, however, integrating health services and programs more deeply into the day-to-day life of schools and students remains a largely untapped tool for raising academic achievement and improving learning. This month, the Whole Child Podcast shares a two-part discussion on the importance of a healthy—safe, secure, and connected—learning environment and how unifying the fields of education and health in the school and community settings can aid the growth, development, and learning of all children.

In the first episode, the panelists look at the benefits of a healthy learning environment from the education perspective. We ask, "Why should education (principals, teachers, and students) be concerned about health?" Listen to the episode below or download it here.

Panelists

The second episode features panelists from the public health sector who take an in-depth look at the new Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model, from its rationale, to its objectives, to its potential to develop a collaborative approach to learning and health. We ask, "How can school health teams use this model to start a conversation with educators?" Listen to the episode below or download it here.

Panelists

  • Wayne H. Giles, MD, MS, is the director of the Division of Population Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). He directs research and programmatic activities in arthritis, aging, alcohol, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, disease prevention, school health, and epilepsy.
  • Holly Hunt, MA, is the chief of the School Health Branch in the Division of Population Health within the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC. The School Health Branch leads chronic disease prevention activities specifically for children and adolescents in schools and focuses on obesity prevention, nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco prevention and control. Hunt leads innovative projects in research application, evaluation, and program and professional development.
  • Lloyd J. Kolbe, PhD, is an emeritus professor of applied health science at the School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington. He consults for the government, businesses, and industries on public policy research and development to improve the health and education of children and young people. Kolbe served as founding director of the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health from 1988 to 2003 and then as a professor and associate dean for the Office of Global & Community Health Partnerships at the School of Public Health at Indiana University Bloomington from 2004 to 2010.
  • Laura Rooney, MPH, is the manager of the Adolescent Health Program at the Ohio Department of Health and a school health liaison to the Ohio Department of Education regarding policies and programs in schools. She also convenes a state-level school health advisory collaborative to improve health outcomes of school-age children and is a member of Ohio ASCD's Whole Child Planning Committee.

The new WSCC model is the next evolution of the traditional coordinated school health approach. Developed by ASCD and the CDC and launched in spring 2014, the model aims to better align the policies, processes, and practices of education, public health, and school health, and, in doing so, improve learning and health. ASCD and CDC encourage use of the model as a framework for improving students' learning and health in our nation's schools. The model is in the public domain and schools, districts, states, and school health organizations are welcome to use the model in the planning and implementation of coordinated school health initiatives and programs. Go to www.ascd.org/learningandhealth to learn more, request materials, and get started.

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Whole Child Examples

Community Example

School Provides a Foundation to a Lifetime of Knowledge

Anansi Charter School’s mission is to provide a nurturing and supportive environment where children of all races, creeds, religions, and special needs develop a love of learning and acquire a strong foundation on which to build a lifetime of knowledge.

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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.

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About ASCD

ASCD is the global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that empower educators to support the success of each learner. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit www.ascd.org.