Benefits of CSH

OVERALL BENEFITS ASSOCIATED WITH COORDINATED SCHOOL HEALTH 

The purpose of this fact sheet is to summarize the available evidence linking
Coordinated School Health and academic achievement/outcomes.
 

Benefits to Students

  • Improved student academic performance and test scores
  • Decreased risky behaviors
  • Reduced drop out rates
  • Less absenteeism
  • Less fighting
  • Less smoking
  • Improved rates of physical activity
  • Lower rates of teenage pregnancy
  • Prepare students to be productive members of their communities
  • Increase interest in healthy diets

Benefits to Schools

  • Reduced expenditures
  • Reduced duplication
  • Reduced absenteeism and classroom behavior/disciplinary problems
  • Improved staff morale
  • Less smoking
  • Support of teacher teamwork
  • Increased awareness and involvement of families and community

Coordinated School Health Modules are Associated with the Following Benefits for Students and Schools: 

HEALTHY SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT (Module 1)

  • The physical condition of a school is statistically related to student academic achievement
  • An improvement in the school’s condition by one category, say from poor to fair, is associated with a 5.5 point improvement in average achievement scores
  • Students who develop a positive affiliation or social bonding with school are:
    • More likely to remain academically engaged
    • Less likely to be involved with misconduct at school

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL HEALTH EDUCATION (Module 2)

  • Students who participate in health education classes that use effective curricula demonstrate increased health knowledge and improved health skills and behaviors
  • Students who participate in health education classes that use effective curricula report decreased risky behaviors relative to the program
  • Reading and math scores of third and fourth grade students who received comprehensive health education were significantly higher than those who did not receive comprehensive health education
  • Comprehensive health education and social skills programs for high-risk students are associated with improved school and test performance, attendance and school connectedness. And this success was still apparent six years later.

SCHOOL NUTRITION SERVICES (Module 3)

  • Poor nutrition is associated with lower cognitive functioning and performance in the areas of language, concentration & attention
  • Eating breakfast is associated with better student performance on standardized tests
  • There is a 20% increase in type II diabetes among school-aged youth
  • Regularly attendance of school breakfast programs by students is related to better school performance, fewer psychosocial symptoms, less hyperactivity and better daily attendance
  • School breakfast programs are associated with:
    • Increased learning and academic achievement
    • Improved student attention to academic tasks
    • Reduced visits to the school nurse
    • Decreased behavioral problems
    • Positive influences on academic performance, absenteeism, and tardiness among low-income elementary school students

PHYSICAL EDUCATION (Module 4)

  • Students with poor nutrition & low levels of physical activity are more likely to be absent and tardy
  • Higher achievement was associated with higher levels of fitness among 5th, 7th & 9th graders
  • Schools that offer intensive physical activity programs see positive influences on academic achievement even when time for PE is taken from the academic day, including:
    • Increased concentration
    • Improved mathematics, reading and writing scores
    • Reduced disruptive behaviors
  • Physical activity among adolescents is consistently related to higher levels of self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety and stress
  • Physical activity is positively associated with academic performance
  • Students who participated in school physical education programs did not experience a harmful effect on their standardized test scores, though less time was available for other academic subjects

SCHOOL HEALTH SERVICES (Module 5)

  • Preventive health services provided through schools, coupled with health education and counseling that promote healthy lifestyles and self-sufficiency, can help contain health care costs
  • Schools with school-based health centers report:
    • Increased school attendance
    • Decreased drop-outs and suspensions
    • Higher graduation rates

SCHOOL COUNSELING, PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL SERVICES (Module 6)

  • Most school administrators, board members, teachers, parents and students realize that for students to benefit from their school, society must address social, emotional, and physical health problems and other major barriers to learning
  • School-based mental health services, with the involvement and support of families and educators, improve educational outcomes by addressing behavioral and emotional issues and other barriers to learning
  • Youth receiving mental health services have experienced decreases in course failures, absences, and disciplinary referrals, and improved grade point averages
  • Children’s participation in a social service intervention aimed at promoting student success by improving parent-child and parent-teacher communication was associated with improved academic performance

SCHOOL SITE HEALTH PROMOTION FOR STAFF (Module 7)

  • Teachers who participated in a health promotion program focusing on exercise, stress management, and nutrition reported:
    • Increased participation in exercise and lower weight
    • Better ability to handle job stress
    • A higher level of general well-being
  • Students benefit from having healthy teachers because:
    • Teachers are more energetic
    • Teachers are absent less often
    • The school climate is more optimistic
  • A healthy staff does a better job of teaching and creates a better working and learning environment
  • Health promotion for staff influences productivity and absenteeism, and might even reduce health insurance costs (based on findings from other worksite initiatives)
  • It also influences morale and a greater personal commitment to the school’s coordinated health system, which is transferred into student enthusiasm
  • School worksite programs have brought about changes in employee health including helping faculty and staff stop smoking, adopt healthful eating behaviors, increase physical activity and better manage emotional stress

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT IN SCHOOL HEALTH EDUCATION (Module 8)

  • Schools that collaborate with students’ families, local businesses, community organizations, and health services see:
    • Improved classroom behavior
    • Increased PTA membership
    • Improved family functioning
  • Students whose parents are involved in their education show:
    • Significantly greater achievement gains in reading and math than students with uninvolved parents
    • Better attendance
    • More consistently completed homework.
  • Community activities that link to the classroom have positive influences on:
    • Academic achievement
    • School suspension rates
    • School-related behaviors

(Source - http://www.cde.state.co.us/cdeprevention/results.htm

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