School health research suggests that school communities need to have a variety of opportunities that will assist the school population to reach its full potential.
- A shared vision with realistic goals Collaboration based on trust and shared responsibility is central to the process. Parents, staff, students, school administration, district personnel and community partners all play a role in influencing health.
- Holistic approach Health instruction and student services are coordinated in a clean, safe and health-promoting environment and are supported by health policies, families and the larger community.
- Distinct health instruction Consistent, enthusiastic instruction by capable teachers and community partners is advisable.
- Longitudinal Process The process needs to occur over several years to be meaningful and relevant to young people’s social and cognitive development.
- Professional Development for all staff Health education training in a whole school context is vital. Staff wellness programs reduce absenteeism and improve job effectiveness.
- Youth Leadership Youth leaders share decisions with adults. (See the Ladder of Young People’s Participation.)
- Support Services Organizations work in partnership to deliver services e.g. public health, parks and recreation, elders, justice, universities, colleges, businesses.
- Sustainability Financial and human resources need to be committed to health education, social services and families.