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Policy Statement on School Health

Publication dateOctober 2004
publication pdf2004 Policy Statement on School Health

Our vision for our nation's schools is to ensure high standards of performance for every one each child member of a democratic society. Educators throughout the country are striving to achieve this national priority. Yet, how can every child succeed when so many reach the schoolhouse door with physical and mental health challenges that impede their ability to learn and compromise their likelihood of becoming healthy, capable adults? This policy statement calls on our membership and our colleagues to recognize the enormous impact that health has on the academic achievement of our nation's youth. The education community must look beyond standards setting and systems of accountability and join with public- and private sector mental health, health, and social services providers to address the widespread conditions that interfere with student learning and students' prospects for healthy adulthood.

We believe that healthy kids make better students and that better students make healthy communities. We recognize that children who come to school hungry, are absent due to asthma, suffer from other chronic diseases such as Type 2 (formerly known as adultonset) diabetes, are depressed or distracted by family problems, or stay away from school because of fear of violence cannot benefit fully from the sound educational programs we are putting into place to ensure that no child in our schools is left behind. Policies and practices that address the health and developmental needs of young people must be included in any comprehensive strategy for improving academic performance.