About Healthy School Communities
Healthy School Communities (HSC) is a worldwide effort to promote the integration of health and learning and the benefits of school-community collaboration. It is part of a large, multiyear plan to shift public dialogue about education from a narrow curriculum-centric and accountability system focus, to a whole child approach that encompasses all factors required for successful student outcomes.
Healthy School Communities is an outgrowth of work ASCD began in 1998 to link schools and community public health agencies in order to provide meaningful opportunities for students to create and participate in activities designed to improve the health of their communities.
ASCD's Health in Education Initiative, as it was originally known, focused on promoting systemic approaches to improving the health and well-being of students and staff and creating environments in which high-quality learning and teaching could occur.
Healthy school communities
- Demonstrate the belief that successful learners are emotionally and physically healthy, knowledgeable, motivated, and engaged.
- Demonstrate best practice in leadership and instruction across the school.
- Create and sustain strong collaborations between the school and community institutions.
- Use evidence-based systems and policies to support the physical and emotional well-being of students and staff.
- Provide an environment in which students can practice what they learn about making healthy decisions and staff can practice and model healthy behaviors.
- Use data to continuously improve.
- Network with other school communities to share best practices.
What is a healthy school community?
Healthy School Communities seeks to enhance students' health and well-being and connection to their school and community. It increases the resources and services available to a school, its students, and its staff and both the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching and learning.
How can principals implement the HSRC in schools?
Our evaluation of the pilot study of the Healthy School Report Card (HSRC) identified nine levers of change (PDF) that were catalysts in the process. First on the list was "principal as leader." The role of the principal is one of the most critical pieces of the puzzle in implementing meaningful school change. Work to embed the HSRC within your school improvement process to ensure your school is a healthy, safe, engaging, supportive, and challenging place for all students and staff to be.
How does HSC relate to a whole child approach to education?
Every school, community, classroom, educator, student, and family has unique challenges and strengths and has a role to play in ensuring that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged (PDF). As part of the whole child mission, HSC is a school improvement and community-building resource aimed at creating healthy environments that support learning and teaching. To learn more about the HSC model, read The Healthy School Communities Model: Aligning Health and Education in the School Setting (PDF).
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