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CSHP At-A-Glance Making Health Academic Home CSHP At-A-Glance

CSHPs At a Glance

What Is a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP)?

Why Do Schools and Communities Need CSHPs?

What Key Stategies Should Guide Your Approach?

Frequently Asked Questions About

Frequently Asked Questions About CSHPs

What is the difference between a comprehensive school health program and a coordinated school health program?

The eight-component model has traditionally been referred to as a comprehensive school health program.  However, of the 300 professionals who reviewed the book Health Is Academic, developed by EDC with the school health field and CDC/DASH, a majority supported substituting "coordinated" for "comprehensive" because some people might confuse "comprehensive school health education" which relates to instruction, with "comprehensive school health programs."  Further, some people felt the term might discourage an overburdened educational system from considering implementing a CSHP.   The terminology of "coordinated school health programs" emphasizes interrelationships among components and the collaboration among staff, school administrators and concerned community members while still connoting the inclusion and improvement of all components of the school health program.

Will a CSHP require additional money for our school?

Not necessarily. By integrating services that have traditionally been disjointed, CSHPs often consolidate and reallocate resources rather than incur new costs. By forging partnerships with other programs in and outside the school and by planning together, the cost of coordinated programs can be modest.

The Healthy Youth Funding Database (HY-FUND), formerly the School Health Finance Project, maintains a database on federal funding sources, some state-specific funding sources, and some foundation funding sources. The database is located on CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health's website.

My community doesn't have high-risk students; do we need a CSHP?

Every school and community has students with health problems that interfere with learning. In some areas, the problems are drug- or violence-related; in others, asthma and hyperactivity might surface as major concerns. Obesity and physical inactivity are increasingly common problems across all income and ethnic groups.

You can find out about youth risk behaviors in your community from multiple sources, including local schools, social service agencies, police departments, state education and health agencies, and national data collection systems such as CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). You can obtain YOUTH99, a free CD-ROM, to access six years of data from the YRBSS. Visit our links section to learn about additional sources of youth data.

Do CSHPs duplicate what's already going on in the community?

The best CSHPs build links to and partner with community programs, rather than compete with them. In the best Programs, schools work with community agencies and organizations to develop joint operations, funding strategies, transportation programs, and/or other services.

Do teachers and other school staff have enough time for CSHPs?

Today, it is difficult for school staff to function without a CSHP. "In most communities, teachers' energies are sapped by having to attend to students who are upset, angry, depressed, or ill. When medical or psychological services are not forthcoming, teachers by default become crisis managers, fight mediators, grief counselors, and frustrated liaisons with other bureaucracies," says Harriet Tyson, author of A Load Off the Teachers' Backs: Coordinated School Health Programs.

When barriers to learning are removed, teachers' time is freed up and their sense of frustration and overload is reduced.

Where does sex education fit in?

For some people, the words "health program" or "health education" immediately raise the prospect of "sex education" and its accompanying political and religious issues. While sex education might be part of a CSHP, it is only one facet of a varied and broad program that seeks to build students' knowledge and skills in a number of areas. Most important, communities make their own decisions about what should be included in their programs. Community involvement and acceptance are cornerstones of any successful CSHP.

Does the American public support these kinds of programs?

Yes. Public support is strong: A Gallup Organization poll found that most parents, students, and school administrators believe that health education is at least as important as other subjects taught in school. A Harris survey found that more than 80 percent of respondents favored providing health services in schools. A PTA survey demonstrated that parents and principals alike agreed that CSHPs could improve discipline problems, absenteeism, teen pregnancy, low test scores, problems paying attention, and alcohol and drug use. Business leaders are often concerned about the employability and productivity— thus the health— graduates. Among health care practitioners, support is also strong for schools to offer programs and instruction that promote smoking cessation, healthy diets, and exercise.

References and Resources

Healthy Youth Funding Database, a database on federal funding sources for school health

Tyson, Harriet, A Load Off the Teachers’ Backs: Coordinated School Health Programs, a Kappan Special Report

YOUTH99, a free CD-ROM, providing six years of data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System



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