Comprehensive School Health

Comprehensive School Health (CSH) is a way to link health and education within the school setting.
It is an approach to building a healthy school community.

Note: Ever Active Schools has compiled resources that support a CSH approach in the resource section of our website. You can access these resources by following the links on this page.

CSH is an internationally recognized approach to supporting improvements in students’ educational outcomes while addressing school health in a planned, integrated and holistic way (1).

This whole-school model builds capacity to incorporate well-being as an essential aspect of student achievement. Actions address four distinct but inter-related components that comprise a comprehensive school health approach:

When actions in all four components are harmonized, students are supported to realize their full potential as learners – and as healthy, productive members of society (1).
Currently in Alberta, three key priority areas for CSH have been identified:

  • Physical Activity

  • Healthy Eating

  • Positive Mental Well-being

Two other key priority areas for CSH have been identified:

Effective, sustainable progress in CSH depends on a common vision, shared responsibilities and harmonized actions among health, education and other sectors. The challenge is to coordinate these efforts so that partners pool resources and develop action plans together, with, and in support of schools. This is known as the CSH process (1).

The process of CSH is made up of the following steps:

  • Prepare
  • Create a Shared Vision
  • Determine the Priority Issues
  • Develop an Action Plan
  • Implement and Monitor
  • Reflect, Evaluate and Celebrate

Joint Consortium for School Health

      Joint Consortium for School Health

A great resource to start with is the Developing Healthy School Communities Handbook developed by Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund, which includes guidance and practical ideas on the process of developing a healthy school community, including more about why we need CSH and how to implement it (2).

csh

CSH supports key competencies identified by Alberta Education. It is an integrated approach to health promotion that gives students numerous opportunities be engaged thinkers and ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit. Through the key priorities, physical activity, healthy eating and building positive social environments, educators are able to provide opportunities to students to discover, develop and apply competencies across all subject areas.

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