One issue facing Missouri school leaders that underscores the daily — sometimes hourly — need for superintendents to rally cooperation across audiences is the pursuit of improved school health.
Writing in the Journal of School Health in 1987, Diane Allensworth and Lloyd Kolbe named eight features to a healthy school:
- Health Education
- Physical Education
- Health Services
- Nutrition Services
- Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
- Healthy School Environment
- Health Promotion for Staff
- Parent and Community Involvement
Education Specialist in Administration degree students at William Woods University — one of Missouri’s leading producers of future district leaders — gain insight into school health issues both in the classroom as well as in their mandatory field experience.
Current or prospective Education Specialist degree students in Missouri interested in this issue can find a number of resources:
- A good overview of Coordinated School Health is available from the American School Board Journal.
- Researcher David K. Lohrmann, PhD, offers an expanded take on Coordinated School Health Programs in this article published in the Public Health Report in 2008.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention maintains a separate division on Adolescent and School Health that provides grants for creating coordinated school health programs and data on everything from nutrition to adolescent drug use.
- Since most Education Specialist students live and work in Missouri, they will find district-specific school health data from the State Department of Education.
Toyota and the Evergreen Foundation of Canada focus on the larger school environment as a way to improve both health and academic outcomes — look here to learn more about how Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds helps schools create dynamic outdoor classrooms that provide students with a healthy place to play and learn.