There are three elements of a school health program that are necessary in order to ensure success and sustainability:
1. A local school health team
2. A completed School Health Index to identify the strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies
and programs and enable schools to develop an action plan for improving student health.
3. An updated local school wellness policy
A School Health Council (also referred to as a wellness committee, school health team or a school health advisory council) is a group of individuals representing different segments of the school and community, who collectively act to provide advice to a school on aspects of the school health program. These teams can work with schools to help identify health problems and concerns, set priorities, and design solutions.
The CDC's School Health Index (SHI) is an online self-assessment and planning tool (also available in a downloadable, printable version) that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. Action for Healthy Kids and Alliance for a Healthier Generation have adopted modules of CDC's School Health Index as its assessment tool for schools to implement policies and practices that can help students stay healthy and ready to learn.
A local school wellness policy (wellness policy) is a written document that guides a local educational agency or school district's efforts to create supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments. Wellness policies can be integrated into the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model for school health, and can help put into action several provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act, including Title I and Title IV. Local Wellness Policies can address policies and practices for before-, during-, and after-school.
Resources for Building a Sustainable School Health Program: