Supporting Student Health
Healthy students learn better. For this reason, Healthy is one of the five tenets of Ohio’s Whole Child Framework. The Healthy tenet reads: Each student enters school healthy and learns about and practices a healthy lifestyle.
Supporting student health requires intentional policies and practices that ensure students have access to health services and resources and are able to thrive physically and mentally. The indicators of a healthy school environment encompass:
- inclusivity in school culture,
- physical activity,
- health education priorities that are integrated with curriculum and activities,
- safe and supportive facilities,
- family and caregiver outreach and support,
- community partnerships,
- and child nutritional supports.
How does your school or district create conditions to foster student health? Where do you have gaps in meeting students' overall health needs today and how could you address them? Read on to find resources and ideas for addressing these questions.
- Each CoP cohort will delve into professional learning experiences.
- The CoP is designed to foster intentional learning and the sharing of best practices.
- Each cohort will determine a problem of practice and receive dedicated support from ASCD faculty members.
- The specific professional learning content and meeting times will be determined collectively by the cohort.
- Parent Support for a Whole Child Education. A survey from the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio, in partnership with Baldwin Wallace University Community Research Institute, shows Ohio parents overwhelmingly support “Whole Child” Education and Social-Emotional Learning. Survey findings can be found at Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio.
- Ohio Whole Child Stories. Knowledge Works is publishing a series of success stories featuring Ohio districts with a whole child-focused approach to education. The stories include:
In a new episode of the ASCD Connect podcast, Ohio education leaders delve into the Healthy tenet of the Ohio Whole Child Framework. The episode looks at how school systems can coordinate health resources and implement policies and practices that foster health and help students thrive and grow.
- Reem Aly, Executive Director of the Ohio School-Based Health Alliance
- Lindy Douglas, the Special Programs Coordinator & Whole Child Coordinator for Alexander Local Schools
- Joseph Spiccia, Superintendent of Wickliffe Schools
Our latest webinar offers updates and reminders from the Ohio Department of Education on member benefits including access to quarterly newsletters and podcasts. The webinar provides an overview of the Healthy tenet of the Whole Child Framework and features guests from the Fort Frye School District on collaborating with public health partners.
Network Member Spotlight
Position/School: Director of Secondary Education, Worthington Schools
I Grew Up In : Ashland, Ohio
Education: BA, Miami University; Master's, Ashland University; Doctorate, Ashland University
Years in Education: 26
What attracted you to the Whole Child Network? I appreciate the focus on the whole child philosophy and the work from ASCD to provide resources and supports to educators.
What are you or your school district doing that supports the Whole Child? We use a multi-prong approach as part of our district goals which is aligned to Ohio's Strategic Plan. Our Continuous Plan goals this year are from the Four Learning Domains that support the Whole Child. We have a deep focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion through our full-scale professional learning on the impact of implicit bias and focus on restorative practices at the secondary level.
What would you tell others who are hesitant about what they can do to support the Whole Child?
I believe two things prevent educators from moving forward in this area:
1. Thinking that they have to have a deep knowledge before they can start. The work is a journey and builds over time. Begin the process through inquiry and build capacity in the investigation with your team. "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."
2. Thinking that the work with the "whole child" replaces a focus on academics. The research supports that ensuring students are healthy, safe, and supported has a significant impact on the academic levels of students. Creating high-quality professional learning that focuses on academic and social-emotional learning together is our goal.
As the Ohio Whole Child Network grows, we would like to showcase the work that member schools and districts are doing in this newsletter. If you are interested in being featured, please contact Amy Neloms, ASCD's senior manager for professional learning, whole child, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stories on Student Health From ASCD
The Right Mindset for Responding to Student Trauma
Students are struggling with health and wellness like never before. Creating a culture of safety centered around relationships can help.
Fixing Your School's Well-Being Ecosystem
For teachers to have the bandwidth to thrive, schools need to revamp policies that chip away at energy and efficacy.
When students have input into their social-emotional learning, the results can be school- and student-transforming.
CHECKing in on Educator Well-Being
An easy-to-use tool helps teachers invest in their own social-emotional learning.
Cultivating Hope Through Community Partnerships
By understanding the deep needs of students and families—and joining forces with groups capable of meeting those needs—schools can see barriers diminish.
In the NewsWellington Village Schools team up with food programs, local farm to ensure fresh, quality school meals (Cleveland ABC-5)
Clark-Shawnee elementary students, families participate in literacy night (Springfield News-Sun)
Miami professor raises millions of dollars for K-12 mental health services (The Miami Student)