Health is not just the absence of disease—it is complete physical, mental, and social well-being. A school health program that effectively addresses students’ health consists of many different components. Each component makes a unique contribution while also complementing the others.
The components listed below encompass a school's instruction, services, and physical and social environments. Because individuals, institutions, needs, and resources differ from community to community, no two approaches are expected to look exactly alike. Each
new setting brings together a unique group of people and agencies to determine
the specific needs facing young people in their schools.
Schools by themselves cannot and should not be expected to solve the nation’s most serious health and social problems. However, schools could provide a critical facility in which many agencies might work together to maintain the well-being of young people. The systematic approach must involve families, health care workers, the media, religious organizations, community organizations that serve youth, and young people themselves.
For additional information regarding coordinated school health, please visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Coordinated School Health website (outside source). For a list of approved coordinated school health programs, please visit the approved program webpage.
A Systematic Approach to Addressing the Needs of Students
Click on any of the links below for more information on the eight components of Coordinated School Health:
Healthy and Safe School Environment
Counseling and Mental Health Services
Parent and Community Involvement
Staff Wellness Promotion
The following announcements provide the latest news about
Coordinated School Health requirements and approved programs.
School Health Survey
Each school district and open-enrollment charter school is required by the Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.0141
to provide to the agency information relating to student health and physical activity. Summaries of the required school health survey are posted below.
Recommended Best Practice-Based Programs
Health and Safety Code §161.325 (outside source) states that the Department of State Health
Services (DSHS), in coordination with TEA and regional education service
centers (ESCs), shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best
practice-based programs for implementation in public elementary, junior high,
middle, and high schools within the general education setting. DSHS, TEA, and
each ESC is required to make the list easily accessible on their websites. The
list must include programs in the following areas:
mental health intervention
health promotion and positive youth development
For more information about the Public Schools Best Practice-Based Resources, please visit the DSHS website (outside source).
Suicide Prevention Training for
Educators in Public Schools
House Bill (HB) 2186 (outside source), which was passed by the 84th Texas Legislature, 2015, and
signed into law by Governor Abbott on June 19, 2015, requires suicide
prevention training to all new school district and open-enrollment charter
school educators annually and to existing school district and open-enrollment
charter school educators on a schedule adopted by the TEA by rule. Training
must be selected from the list of recommended best practice-based programs that
is provided by the DSHS (outside source). School districts and
open-enrollment charter schools may also select programs through an independent
review of online suicide prevention training materials that comply with the guidelines (PDF, 84KB) developed
by the TEA. More information about this training is included in this correspondence (PDF, 131KB). If you have further questions regarding
this training, please contact Victoria Ellis in the Division of Educator
Preparation by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (512) 936-8400, Option
School Health - Additional Resources
The following links may provide
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coordinated School Health Program's (outside source) - The CDC provides information on a coordinated school health (CSH) program model.
The expanded model integrates the eight components of a CSH program with the tenets of a whole child approach to education.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Schools, Healthy Youth (outside source) - The CDC offers information on disease prevention, healthy kids, and healthy schools. The CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) works to prevent unhealthy actions among children, adolescents, and young adults.
Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) (outside source) - HECAT can help school districts, schools, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula.
Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) (outside source) - PECAT is a self-assessment and planning guide designed to help school districts and schools conduct clear, complete, and consistent analyses of physical education curricula.
School Health Index (SHI) (outside source) - The SHI is a self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. It's easy to use and completely confidential. The School Health Survey is required per the Texas Education Code §38.0141 (outside source). The survey gathers information on the implementation of school health-related policies and programs. The information is used to develop reports, respond to legislative inquiries, and create relevant training and technical assistance systems to support districts in implementing school health programs.
Texas Department of State Health Services, Coordinated School Health Implementation Guide (outside source) - All Texas school districts are required by law to implement a coordinated school health program in grades K-8.
Texas Department of State Health Services, School Health Advisory Council: A Guide for Texas School Districts (outside source) - A School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is a group of individuals representing segments of the community, appointed by the school district to serve at the district level, to provide advice to the district on coordinated school health programming and its impact on student health and learning.
Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)
(outside source) - The Texas YRBSS, initiated in 1991, is a federally
funded classroom-based paper survey conducted biennially on odd years to
monitor priority health-risk behaviors that contribute substantially to
the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among
youth and adults in the United States.
Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), Center for Disease Control (CDC) (outside source) - The YRBSS monitors six types of health-risk behaviors that contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults.