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Whole Schools, Communities, Child

The Whole Schools, Whole Communities, Whole Child (WSCC) model combines and builds on elements of the traditional coordinated school health approach and the whole child framework.  This new model calls for greater collaboration between health and education to improve each child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.  It incorporates the components of a whole child approach to education and provides a framework to address the interdependent relationship between learning and health.  Each child deserves to be healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in their school and community.  Community strengths can boost the role and potential of the school, but areas of need in the community also become reflected in the school, and as such must be addressed.   

Health Education: teaching children about the factors that can influence their health, and how to make lifelong healthy choices.

Physical Education: building strong and capable adults who understand the importance of continued physical activity throughout life.  

Health Services: providing a clean and safe school, emergency care for students, illness prevention, and education on primary health care throughout life.                                

Nutrition Services: ensuring healthy meals for all students and all needs, and education on nutrition at home and in the community, from farm to market.

Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services: maintaining mental, emotional, and social health.

Healthy and Safe Physical Environment: creating comfortable surroundings that support learning and good health

Healthy and Safe Social Environment: for the emotional well-being of every student.

Health Promotion for Staff: fostering positive attitudes toward health in teachers and school workers so that they become role models for students.

Community Involvement: so that schools can accomplish more in education and health, and communities can learn more about leading a healthy life.

Family Engagement: because learning does not end at school, and because the most important influences on a student can be parents. 

Where to Start and How to Begin


Assessment and Planning Tool

Developing a healthy school environment using the WSCC model starts with a process of building trust, and collaborative relationships among administrators, teachers, parents, students, and community members.  Planning processes vary across districts and schools based upon school leadership, policies, culture, school and community needs and assets, staff availability, time, resources, family engagement, and community involvement.  If planned, implemented, and evaluated appropriately, WSCC has the potential to focus community education and health resources; engage parents and community members in school decision-making and activities; increase the connectedness of students to schools, communities, and their families; promote a healthier school environment; and improve the professional practices of teachers, administrators, and school staff.  These outcomes should not only increase the likelihood of better health and academic success for students, but lead to an improved school and community life in the here, now, and future.   


Planning for implementation of the WSCC model will require careful consideration of student needs, resources, policies, school climate and culture, accountability measures, administrative support and community assets and resources.  The planning process includes gathering information on the interest, readiness, and capacity of the districts to engage in comprehensive system analysis

How Schools Work and How to Work with Schools: Explains public school governance and structure for those wanting to partner with schools to improve the health, safety, and well-being of all students and ensure they are successful in their academic pursuits.

School Health Index:  A planning guide designed to help schools provide their students with the knowledge and skills to lead healthy lives through the identification of strengths and weaknesses of the school’s policies and programs for promoting health and safety. 

Wellness School Assessment Tool (WellSAT): Allows school districts and schools to assess the quality of their wellness policy and provides guidance and resources for making improvements, based on the assessment. 

Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT):  Can help school districts and schools to conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the national health education standards. 

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT): A planning guide to help school districts and schools conduct clear, complete, and consistent analyses of physical education curricula based on the national physical education standards.

For more information, please visit the CDC website


Ohio School Health Profiles

What is the School Health Profiles Survey? The School Health Profiles Survey (Profiles) is a system of surveys created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that are used to assess school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, territories, and tribal governments. Profiles surveys are conducted every two years by education and health agencies among middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers.

Profiles monitor the status of:

  • School health education requirements and content
  • Physical education and physical activity
  • School health policies related to HIV infection/AIDS, tobacco-use prevention, and nutrition
  • Asthma management activities
  • Family and community involvement in school health programs
  • School health coordination

Ohio Participation in the Profiles

The 2014 Ohio School Health Profiles Survey was administered in public middle and high schools during the 2013-2014 academic year. Two questionnaires were used to collect data — one for school principals and one for lead health education teachers. 

Results of the Profiles are disseminated in a variety of means, including the following reports:

For national and state Profiles results, please visit the CDC website

For more information, contact the Ohio Department of Health Profiles Coordinator at 614-728-2957.

Health Education, Physical Education, and Physical Activity

What is Health Education?

The goal of health education is to help students adopt and maintain healthy behaviors.  Health education should contribute directly to a student’s ability to successfully practice behaviors that protect and promote health and avoid or reduce risks. 

The educator’s role in contributing to this goal includes:

  • Teaching functional health information
  • Helping students determine personal values that support healthy behaviors
  • Helping students develop group norms that value a healthy lifestyle
  • Helping students develop the essential skills necessary to adopt, practice, and maintain health-enhancing behaviors 


National Health Standards: Provides a framework within which educators can assess and chose curriculum that focuses on healthy behavior outcomes that are particular to the needs of their students.

Ohio Revised Code: Ohio laws relating to health education including graduation and required topics. 

CDC School Health Guidelines: Guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote healthy eating and physical activity in schools.

What is Physical Education?

As a result of physical education in Ohio, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities
  • Demonstrate understanding of movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance of physical activity
  • Participate regularly in physical activity
  • Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness
  • Exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others in physical activity settings 
  • Value physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction


Ohio Department of Education Physical Education: Provides resources and information on physical education in Ohio.

What is Physical Activity?

Regular physical activity can play a powerful role in preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and stroke.  It can also build strong bones and muscles, reduce anxiety and depression, and promote positive mental health.  Providing regular opportunities for youth to participate in physical activity will help them establish healthy lifestyles that can prevent these diseases in the future. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has the following guidelines for Americans ages 6 and older:

Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity daily.

  • Aerobic Activities: Most of the 60 or more minutes per day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.  Vigorous-intensity should be included at least three days per week.
  • Muscle-strengthening Activities: Include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least three days of the week as part of the 60 or more minutes.
  • Bone-strengthening Activities: Include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least three days of the week as part of the 60 or more minutes. 

Activities should be age-appropriate, enjoyable, and offer variety.   


Ohio Association for Health, Physical Activity, Recreation, and Dance (OAHPERD):  Provides lifelong learning and professional development, leadership, service, and advocacy in order to keep Ohioans healthy and active.

Comprehensive School Physical Activity: Provides coordination to maximize understanding, application, and practice of the knowledge and skills learned in physical education so that all students will be fully physically educated and well-equipped for a lifetime of physical activity.