Child Trends’ school health work cuts across our education
, youth development
, and reproductive health
program areas and identifies and supports policies, programs, and practices that bolster students’ physical, mental, and social well-being. We ground our work within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC
) framework, which highlights the interconnected nature of 10 key elements of school health: health education; physical education and physical activity; nutrition environment and services; health services; counseling, psychological, and social services; social and emotional climate; physical environment; parent and family engagement; community involvement; and employee wellness.
Our projects include conducting a rigorous evaluation of Title X services in school-based health centers; compiling and analyzing state-level school health policies for the National Association of State Boards of Education’s State Policy Database on School Health
; exploring implementation of Medicaid’s “free-care rule”
in states and districts; examining implementation of school meal programs; understanding the sustainability of rural school-based health centers and how they have been impacted by COVID-19; and providing technical assistance to state health and education policymakers on policies that better support sexual health services and education, and safe and supportive school environments.