Descriptive text
CSHP AT-A-GlanceConcept to ActionResourcesLinksNewsletter
Concept to Action Making Health Academic Home Concept to Action

Action Steps

Comprehensive School Health Education

School Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

Healthy School Environment

Family and Community Involvement

School Health Services

School Nutrition

Physical Education

Health Promotion for Staff

Action Steps for Implementing Comprehensive School Health Education

Actions for Schools and Districts

To Strengthen Curriculum Planning and Development

  • Increase community awareness of and support for comprehensive school health education
  • Assess student health needs, interests, strengths, and cultures during curriculum planning
  • Develop a plan for funding, selecting or developing, implementing, and assessing a comprehensive health education curriculum through a collaborative
  • Review and revise school policies and enforcement strategies on a regular basis

To Facilitate Curriculum Implementation

  • Provide adequate support for implementation
  • Establish a system to ensure materials distribution, professional development, and student assessment
  • Provide at least 50 hours of health education at every grade level
  • Use information technologies in the health education curriculum
  • Encourage team building and collaborative curriculum planning between health education teachers and their colleagues
  • Implement a variety of strategies that foster family involvement

To Ensure that Teachers Are Adequately Prepared

  • Select teachers who are academically prepared and qualified and can use active teaching and authentic assessment strategies
  • Provide ongoing professional development opportunities and incentives for teachers, administrators, board members, and other staff responsible for implementation
  • Provide follow-up booster sessions and ongoing technical assistance

To Assess and Evaluate Health Education

  • Include process evaluation procedures in the curriculum implementation plan
  • Measure student knowledge and skills at grades 4, 8, and 11

Actions for State and National Organizations and Colleges and Universities

  • Support and implement policies and plans that include health education as a core academic subject, mandate adequate instructional time, and are consistent with the National Health Education Standards
  • Provide or advocate for adequate financial support for implementation
  • Require certification in health education for those teaching health education at the secondary level and some coursework in health for those teaching at the elementary school level
  • Provide preservice and in-service professional preparation, booster sessions, and technical assistance to prepare school administrators, teachers, and other staff to support and teach health education
  • Develop guidelines and materials to assist schools with implementation and assessment
  • Support the use of information technologies to deliver health instruction
  • Conduct or support continued research in health education
  • Devote adequate resources, including personnel, to provide technical assistance and material support to schools implementing comprehensive school health education
  • Establish, maintain, and utilize communication systems for ensuring that schools have access to current information, technical support, and training opportunities

Adapted by permission of the publisher from Marx, E. & Wooley, S. F. (Eds.) (1998). Health is academic: A guide to coordinated school health programs. New York: Teachers College Press. 1998 by Education Development Center, Inc. All rights reserved.

For a more detailed discussion of Comprehensive School Health Education, see Chapter 3 in the book Health Is Academic.

Related Links

Comprehensive School Health Education, CDC

National Health Education Standards, American Cancer Society

Publications: Educating for Health and Choosing the Tools; EDC

President's & Secretary's Priorities, U.S. Department of Education

School Health Program Guidelines, CDC

Here is a sample of national organizations that can provide resources and support for comprehensive school health education and CSHPs:

American Association for Health Education

American Association of School Administrators

American Cancer Society

American School Health Association

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Comprehensive Health Education Foundation

Council of Chief State School Officers

National Association of State Boards of Education

National Education Association

National School Boards Association

For other organizations that support school health, click on Links.


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