Aligning Health and Education in the School Setting
How do we go about aligning health and education? How do we set out to overlap and link these entities that have traditionally been divided and siloed? The first step is belief. The second is action.
To better align, coordinate, and link health and education in the school setting, we must expand the conversation to include educators (teachers, school staff, and administrators) and community members (families, businesses, and agencies). A new publication, The Healthy School Communities Model: Aligning Health & Education in the School Setting (PDF), describes the actions that schools and communities need to take to realize systemic change that improves the health, well-being, growth, and development of their students, staff, and schools. The actions are divided into nine levers of change:
- The Principal as Leader
- Active and Engaged Leadership
- Distributive Leadership
- Integration with the School Improvement Plan
- Effective Use of Data for Continuous School Improvement
- Ongoing and Embedded Professional Development
- Authentic and Mutually Beneficial Community Collaborations
- Stakeholder Support of Local Efforts
- The Creation or Modification of School Policy Related to the Process
The Healthy School Communities model proposes a change in the way we have typically viewed health and education and schools' role in the development of the whole child. Great strides have been taken and implemented through the coordinated school health model; however its effect up to now has too often been sporadic, temporary, or marginal.
Comments and discussions concerning this publication can be directed to the ASCD EDge HSC discussion board. Join Healthy School Communities staff, mentor and mentee sites, ASCD authors, invited speakers, and guests this week at the first-ever (and free) Healthy School Communities Virtual Conference, May 10–13, 2011, to learn more about health and learning. Register today!