|CSHPs At a Glance
What Is a
Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP)?
Why Do Schools and
Communities Need CSHPs?
What Key Stategies Should Guide
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
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
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
CDCs 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
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.