The number of students with chronic diseases, developmental disabilities, and behavioral health issues is on the rise.
At the same time, the school health services necessary to manage these conditions has been reduced drastically. This has implications not only for children’s long-term health but also for their opportunities to learn and succeed at school.
[See supporting data at Learn: Managing Chronic Conditions in Schools]
Schools are ideally positioned to provide care coordination
Since children spend the majority of their day in school, appropriate school health services can ensure seamless links between providers, families and school.
[See supporting data at Learn: School Health Services]
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, coordinated care through a child’s school can improve short and long term health outcomes and decreases health and academic disparities.
Health promotion and illness prevention works
When delivered by schools, it establishes a foundation of health that can provide life-long individual and community benefits, such as:
- Reducing obesity rates
- Promoting physical activity and sound nutrition
- Encouraing good oral hygiene
- Improving immunization rates
- Ensuring appropriate behavioral health care
- Decreasing substance abuse
- Lessening rates of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases
[See supporting data at Learn: Data, Research and Reports]
Community support is key to success
We must engage parents and community members in understanding the connection between student health and achievement.
[See supporting data at Learn: Health Services Frameworks]
Studies document what teachers, parents and education leaders know: healthy students are more likely to attend school, are better able to focus in class and are more ready to learn, ultimately earning better grades and achieving more in school.
– Health in Mind: Improving Education Wellnes