School Health

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.

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