School Health Models

In her 1997 book, Teaching Positions: Difference, Pedagogy, and the Power of Address, Elizabeth Ellsworth defined “ignor-ance” as “an active dynamic of negation, an active refusal of information.”  Recently the Oxford Dictionary selected “post-truth” as their word of the year.  The word is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotional and personal belief.”  Dr. Trevor Hancock in the Victoria Times Colonist, November 23, 2016.

“Each community needs to determine its own priorities and find the areas where people can agree to work together. They need to be in it for the long haul.” —  Dr. Trevor Hancock, Professor and Senior Scholar at the University of Victoria’s School of Public Health and Social Policy.

Hart’s Model of Youth Participation

Effective youth participation is about creating opportunities for young people to be involved in influencing, shaping, designing and contributing to policy and the development of services and programs.

The Youth Participation Model and explanation is available on NZ Ministry of Youth Development and School-Based Health Alliance.

The CSH/HPS Model

CSH/HPS (Comprehensive School Health or Health Promoting School) are the traditional coordinated school health models for promoting a healthy school community. The key elements are available on a variety of websites.

CSH/HPS Website Workhorses

  • What is a health promoting school? WHO
  • Promoting Health in Schools. From Evidence to Action. – The publication is for people with an interest in what happens in schools. It is particularly for those who create policy and implement the actions that flow from good policy, such as politicians, government departments, non-governmental organizations, regional education authorities, school board/council members, school directors, principals, head teachers, advisors, nurses, social workers and school health coordinators. Although the document was written primarily for policy-makers it is also for teachers, parents and students as the effective promotion of health is an inclusive, participatory process.
  • Joint Consortium for School Health – Examples: Healthy Schools Planner that is a free tool that schools can use to assess the current health environment and build a plan to make improvements; Comprehensive School Health Framework download; Fact Sheets.
  • Physical and Health Education Canada – Health School Community Concept Paper, August 2012.
  • Centre for Addictions Research of BC – e.g. Four Keys to a Healthy Community; iMinds Education Resource.
  • MSA Research Summary #13 – Why should schools address student health?
  • Adolescents and School Health – e.g. Coordinated School Health, The Case for School Health, How to Implement, School Health Index – updates 2013.
  • Centre for Mental Health in Schools – Comprehensive Approaches, Engaging Learners, Preventing Problems, Practitioner Toolbox e.g. Focusing on the Well-being of School Staff, Bullying Prevention, Mental Health Assistance and much more.
  • Healthy Schools BC – Healthy Schools is a partnership with DASH BC (Directorate of Agencies for School Health) and the Ministries of Health and Education. A variety of tools are available to identify and assess needs of a school.
  • Dash BC – DASH is responsible for the coordination of the Healthy BC Schools Initiative. Examples: Programs and supports, resources and stories.


Sourced from Healthy Schools BC website

The WSCC Model

WSCC – (Whole School/Whole Community/Whole Child) is a model launched in 2007 as a “Collaborative Approach to Learning and Health.” WSCC combines and builds on elements of CSH and calls for greater alignment, integration and collaboration between health and education to improve each child’s cognitive, physical, social and emotional development.

WSCC has expanded the original components of CSH and recognizes the need to engage students as active participants in their learning and health. The focus of the WSCC Model is on the whole person. School health programs are coordinated and modernized.

Website Workhorse

Visit the ACSD Whole Child Initiative site for information about:

  • Why We Need a Collaborative Approach to Learning and Health
  • The Need for a New Model
  • Expanded Components
  • Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child
  • End Notes
  • Core and Consultation Groups
  • The WSCC Model

Connections Matter

An important protective factor

University of Victoria (British Columbia) professor Sibylle Artz, an expert on youth violence, says that extensive research on preventing delinquency and recidivism has shown the importance of maintaining connections with families and communities.

The traditional school health approach vs CSH/HPS/WSCC for the 21st Century

A comprehensive set of programs can be woven into the fabric of every school. In developing a comprehensive, integrated approach, every school can be seen as a key element of its community. School and community are not separate entities.

Traditional Approach

  • Focuses on didactic classroom teaching.
  • Addresses health issues one by one.
  • Considers only the health needs of students.
  • Focuses only on the school.


CSH/HPS/WSCC for the 21st Century

  • teenagers2Focuses on all aspects of the school community:
    • integrated instruction/health education
    • services for students
    • health promoting environment
    • social support
    • school community context
  • Addresses and integrates specific health issues into a coordinated program of developing health literacy and life skills.
  • Is concerned with health needs of staff, students, parents and the broader school community.
  • Focuses on the school in the context of the local community.


Human beings are not things needing to be motivated and controlled; they are four dimensional−body, mind, heart and spirit.

Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Value school health and follow this formula for success