School Health

Schools play a critical role in promoting the health of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research shows that healthy schools can help improve students' academic performance and overall health.

Well-Ahead Louisiana works to support healthier schools through partnership development and technical assistance to schools and school districts. Our goal is to ensure all youth have a healthy start to a healthy future.




School Health 411

Well-Ahead works with state agencies, school systems, schools, and community partners to prevent chronic disease and promote the health and well-being of children and adolescents in schools. The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model is our framework for addressing health in schools. The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school and the importance of evidence-based policies and practices.

Take Action

Well-Ahead Louisiana is here to help schools and school districts take action to positively impact the health of students and school staff. Well-Ahead supports healthy schools by providing direct WellSpot technical assistance, providing professional development, and cultivating statewide partnerships. 


School WellSpot Designation

Through its WellSpot Designation Program, Well-Ahead Louisiana works with schools to help them meet wellness benchmarks.  These benchmarks include best practices like creating a School Wellness Committee, incorporating physical activity energizers in the classroom, and promoting healthy food and beverage choices. 

Becoming a School WellSpot is a great first step to implement a "whole child" approach to health and education at your school. There are many resources that can help your school implement components of the WSCC model and WellSpot Benchmarks. Visit our school resources page to learn more.

Supporting Healthy Eating

Most US children attend school for 6 hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories at school. The school nutrition environment and services is a fundamental component of the WSCC model and can help shape lifelong healthy eating behaviors.

CDC recommends that schools implement policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices. A healthy school nutrition environment provides students with nutritious and appealing foods and beverages, consistent and accurate messages about good nutrition, and ways to learn about and practice healthy eating throughout the time children spend on school grounds—including before and after school.

Promoting Physical Activity

Schools are in a unique position to help students attain the nationally recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Physical education and physical activity represent one component of the WSCC model and can help students establish and maintain physically active lifestyles throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood.

CDC recommends a multi-pronged approach by which school districts and schools plan and organize opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. This approach is referred to as a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP). The goal of a CSPAP is to increase physical activity opportunities before, during, and after school and increase students’ overall physical activity and health.

Geaux Tobacco-Free

Lawmakers cleared the air for every student in the state in 2017 by passing Act 351. The legislation prohibits smoking across more than 1,400 schools statewide. Talk about breathing room! Click here to learn more about implementing a tobacco-free policy at your school. 

While cigarette use has steadily declined among youth, new vapor (or e-cigarette) products targeted to youth have changed the tobacco landscape. In Louisiana, vaping increased by 48% among high school students (from 8.3% to 12.3%) and 65% among middle school students (from 5.2% to 8.6%) between 2015 and 2017!

Check out Well-Ahead Louisiana’s Memorandum for School Administrators, School Nurses, Health Educators, and Coaches to learn how you can be a leader in stopping the vaping epidemic and ensuring a healthy and bright future for Louisiana’s youth! Vaping and tobacco resources can also be found here.

Creating Healthy Smiles

Healthy children learn more easily, and it is estimated that 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness. In addition, an estimated 17 million children in the U.S go without dental care each year. Dentists, physicians, community leaders, and schools can help create healthy smiles in Louisiana.  Click the links below to learn more about Well-Ahead Louisiana’s oral health efforts.

Healthy Schools Training Krewe

Well-Ahead Louisiana works to coordinate professional development and identify resources that can assist schools and school districts in making healthy changes. The Healthy Schools Training Krewe collaborates with the Louisiana Department of Education, content leaders, and state organizations to deliver professional development. The mission of the group is to enhance the knowledge and skills of those working to create healthier schools by providing professional development to schools and school districts. 

Click here to request a workshop! 

Upcoming Workshops

To learn more about any workshop listed below, visit Louisiana Healthy Schools on Eventbrite

  • Louisiana Healthy Schools Academy at Teacher Leader Summit - Spring/Summer 2020
    • In light of ongoing COVID-19 health concerns, the 2020 Teacher Leader Summit will shift to a virtual session presentation platform. More information, including how to register for sessions, will be provided as it becomes available.

Self-Paced Virtual Learning

Offered Workshops

School Nutrition

The Krewe provides professional development and training to schools and school districts on the implementation of policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices. 

  • Healthy Classroom Celebrations
  • Healthy Rewards for Positive Behavior 
  • Food and Beverage Marketing 
  • Healthy Eating Before and After School

Louisiana Team Nutrition, in partnership with the Louisiana Culinary Institute, has launched a regional culinary skills training series in that is focused on enhancing food preparation skills and knowledge of school food service professionals. The training has traveled the state, reaching Baton Rouge, Monroe, Bossier Parish, Lake Charles, Marksville, and the surrounding areas. To learn more, visit Louisiana Fit Kids or contact Stephanie Jodeir at 

Physical Activity

The Krewe provides professional development on implementing a multi-pronged approach by which school districts and schools plan and organize opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. 

  • Supporting Play and Physical Activity During Recess
  • Integrating Physical Activity into the Classroom
  • Increasing Physical Activity Before and After School  

Management of Chronic Conditions 

The healthcare needs of children with chronic illness can be complex and continuous and include both daily management and addressing potential emergencies. School nurses and other health care providers play a large role in the daily management of students' chronic health conditions, like asthma and diabetes. School health services represent a key component of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model and help students stay healthy and ready to learn. 

  • Determining Classroom Implications with Chronic Health Conditions
  • Educating Students and Families to Improve Self-Management of Chronic Conditions
  • Understanding the Role of School Nurses in Managing Chronic Conditions and Supporting Academic Success


Health Education

Health education is integral in helping students become successful learners and healthy adults. Health education provides students with the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to make healthy decisions and adopt healthy behaviors. 


Below is a current listing of content leads for the Healthy Schools Training Krewe. 

Physical Activity & Physical Education

  • Christina Courtney, MS, NBCT
  • Joanna Faerber, M.Ed., NBCT
  • Andre Dicharry, M.Ed.
  • Carolyn “Petsy” Mills, M.Ed.
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette - School of Kinesiology - The mission of the School of Kinesiology is to develop highly skilled graduate and undergraduate students who will be competitive in the job market based around core experiences that consists of innovative instruction, exposure to innovative scholarship, and community engagement. Dr. Ben Kern, Dr. Charles Duncan, and K-Lynn McKey serve as trainers for the Healthy Schools Training Krewe.

Child Nutrition & Wellness

  • Jen Duhon, MS, RDN, LDN
  • Joannie Miller, MS
  • Tina Griffith
  • Pat Farris, MS, RDN, LDN

Social & Emotional Climate

  • Dr. Barzanna White, PhD, SSP

Louisiana Healthy Schools Team

  • Stephen Guccione (LDOE)
  • Erica Gilliam (LDOE)
  • Stephanie Jodeir (Well-Ahead)
  • Emily Pineda (Well-Ahead)

State Associations