Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund

Comprehensive School Health

Background

A healthy school community embeds a culture of wellness for the entire school community using a comprehensive school health (CSH) framework to create an inclusive, collaborative and connected environment.

Canada’s Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH) states that CSH is an internationally recognized framework for supporting improvements in students’ educational outcomes while addressing school wellness in a planned, integrated and holistic way. It is not just about what happens in the classroom. Rather, it encompasses the whole school environment with actions addressing four distinct but interrelated components that provide a strong foundation for a healthy school community (JCSH, 2008).

Four Components of Comprehensive School Health

  • Social and physical environment
  • Teaching and learning
  • Healthy school policy
  • Partnerships and services

Why do we need Comprehensive School Health?

A comprehensive school health framework develops healthy school communities. Research has shown that healthy students are better learners. One way to support the health of students is to implement a comprehensive school health framework in school settings.

In the classroom, a comprehensive school health approach helps to improve academic achievement and can increase positive behaviours (Deschesnes et al., 2003). In the broader school environment, it helps students develop the skills they need to be physically and emotionally healthy for life (WHO, 2007).

The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes the need for education and health to work together to develop a healthy school community.

CSH Process Model