By Olga Acosta Price, Director at the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and Linda B. Sheriff, Deputy Director at the Center for Health and Health Care in Schools
We are excited to welcome you to our monthly blog. In our work at the intersection of health and education we recognize the necessity for cross-sector collaboration and aim to advance a holistic view of children’s health, well-being and learning. As you well know, there is a tremendous amount happening in the fields of education and health: states will soon be implementing their new education plans under the Every Student Suceeds Act (ESSA); Federal regulations on education, health, nutrition, and more are being revised; districts are looking for ways to prepare students with the skills they need to navigate the 21st Century; and schools, students, and communities are trying to handle an increasing array of challenges, from bullying to suicides to addiction to violence of all kinds.
This is a crucial time to be working in public health, health care, and education and we want to provide a space to bridge the gap between these sectors. In this blog, we will explore current and emerging issues in school health – including school climate, physical health, youth development, mental health, academic attainment, and healthy environments – and identify promising or tested strategies for advancing student well being. We will be featuring successes in the field, discussing challenges and possible ways to overcome them, sharing news and current events, exploring trends, and highlighting national and local perspectives that can inform our multi-disciplinary conversations.
Health professionals, educators, advocates, researchers, community leaders, families and many others are witnesses to the impact that non-academic factors have on academic success. Few would disagree that we need to address these determinants to ensure success for all children across the United States. In addition to imparting our own thoughts on relevant topics, we plan to feature colleagues and thought leaders across a variety of fields who will share experiences and insights on ideas that can influence our collective understanding and move our joint actions forward. We welcome your ideas on topics worth discussing together or people you would like to hear from.
As we close out this blog entry we enthusiastically reveal our revised mission statement for the Center that states, “We envision a society where school and community environments foster health and opportunities for all students to thrive”. We hope you are as inspired by that lofty mission as we are and that you join us on this important journey.
The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools (CHHCS) supports child wellness, positive development, and school success. We do this by promoting collaborative partnerships that bridge health and education in the service of creating a supportive environment. A nonpartisan organization with a strong national reputation in technical assistance, professional development, applying and translating research, and program evaluation, CHHCS uses a public health lens to apply its expertise in children’s health and education issues to build and sustain equitable environments for children to thrive.