Missouri Healthy Schools


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Missouri Healthy Schools, Success-Ready Students (MHSSS)

Evidence shows that the health of students is strongly linked to their success in school. Healthy students are better on all levels of academic achievement – academic performance (class grades, standardized tests, graduation rates), education behavior (attendance, dropout rates, and behavioral problems in schools, and cognitive skills and attitudes (concentration, memory, and mood). The healthy development of children and adolescents is influenced by many societal institutions. Students spend much of their time at school, making it an ideal setting to teach and model healthy behaviors. School health programs and policies has proven to be one of the most efficient means to prevent or reduce risk behaviors and prevent serious health problems among students. Schools can reduce how often students are absent, experience behavioral problems, and achieve higher school-wide test scores and grades by implementing strategies to help students stay healthy. School health has four interrelated goals shown below:

  • Improve health knowledge, attitudes, and skills 
  • Improve health behaviors and health outcomes
  • Improve educational outcomes
  • Improve social outcomes

These goals are most effectively and efficiently achieved when all the goals are addressed simultaneously through a coordinated approach requiring action from the entire community – state public health education agencies, school districts, parents, and students. Evidence-based strategies, tools, and resources to promote healthy behaviors in young people and to create a healthy school environment can be found on the CDC Healthy Schools website. By all stakeholders working together, we can ensure that our youth are healthy and ready to learn. 



Whole Child (WSCC)

Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC)

The Whole Child

School's, health agencies, parents and communities share a common goal of supporting the health and academic achievement of adolescents. Research shows that the health of students is linked to their academic achievement.  Schools are recognized as a perfect setting for this collaboration and most efficient for providing health services and programs to children and youth, as approximately 95 percent of all U.S. children and youth attend school. The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model emphasizes a systems approach that works together integrating health services and programs more deeply into the day-to-day life of schools and students to raise academic achievement and improve learning. To learn more visit:

WSCC Model Logo

State School Health Policy Database

A comprehensive source of information about individual states’ policies on over 40 different topics relating to key areas of school health. Since 1998, the database tracks state-level school health policy changes and provides access to state school health policies. The database is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s School Health Branch. Please send questions to SSHPDatabase@nasbe.org

Health Education

National Health Education Standards

The National Health Education Standards (NHES) were developed to establish, promote, and support health-enhancing behaviors for students in all grade levels—from pre-Kindergarten through grade 12. The NHES provide a framework for teachers, administrators, and policy makers in designing or selecting curricula, allocating instructional resources, and assessing student achievement and progress. Importantly, the standards provide students, families and communities with concrete expectations for health education.


Health Education - Missouri Learning Standards 

Assessing School Health

Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)

The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) is an assessment tool to help school districts, schools, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the National Health Education Standards and CDC’s Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum.


Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum

An effective health education curriculum has the following characteristics according to reviews of effective programs and curricula and experts in the field. In addition to the NHES framework, administrators, teachers, and policy makers should also take into account the characteristics of an effective health education curriculum.


The Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO)

The Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO) recently released the final version of the Code of Ethics for Health Professionals.

RMC Health

Health Education resources, tools and trainings.


New Resources

NEW K-12 Narrated Oral Health Presentations

The Department of Health and Senior Services is pleased to be able to offer new oral health educational video (English-only) presentations designed specifically for Kindergarten through High School Seniors. The Spanish language PowerPoint presentations have not been narrated at this time, but are still good educational resources. The videos and PowerPoints can be downloaded free-of-charge by clicking on the grade(s) specific icons. The presentations can be used by school nurses, teachers, as well as other health care/child care professionals in conjunction with health curriculum.

Physical Education and Physical Activity

Physical Education and Physical Activity 

Schools are in a unique position to help students attain the nationally recommended 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence is important for promoting lifelong health and well-being and preventing various health conditions.

NEW The Kinesthetic Classroom: Teaching and Learning through Movement

Physical Education

Physical education is the foundation of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. It is an academic subject characterized by a planned, sequential K–12 curriculum (course of study) that is based on the national standards for physical education. Physical education provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for physical activity and physical fitness. Supporting schools to establish physical education daily can provide students with the ability and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.

Missouri Physical Education Standards and Grade-Level Expectations

Assessing Physical Education

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT)

This PECAT is a self-assessment and planning guide developed by CDC. It is designed to help school districts and schools conduct clear, complete, and consistent analyses of physical education curricula based upon national physical education standards.

Physical Activity During School – Recess

Physical Activity During School – Classroom

Classroom brain breaks are research-based and their efficacy has been scientifically proven. Brain Breaks are a quick and effective way of changing or focusing the physical and mental state of the learners in your group. They are a useful tool to use to help activate, energize and stimulate the brain that improves students’ concentration and relieve stress. The most effective brain breaks incorporate some level of physical movement in order to stimulate neurological pathways and help both hemispheres of the brain work together.  Students should have a kinesthetic brain break every 25-30 minutes. Brain break activities do take about 1-3 minutes of class time to complete; however, the efficiency of our students goes up when brain breaks are incorporated. Brain breaks are refreshing for both students and teachers. 

Physical Activity Before and After School



Nutrition Environment and Services

Most US children attend school for 6 hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories at school. The school nutrition environment and services are part of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and can help shape lifelong healthy eating behaviors. Schools can implement policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices. A healthy school nutrition environment provides students with nutritious and appealing foods and beverages, consistent and accurate messages about good nutrition, and ways to learn about and practice healthy eating throughout the time children spend on school grounds—including before- and after-school.

Out of School Time

Out of School Time (OST)

Employee Wellness

Employee Wellness and Health Promotion

Schools can provide opportunities for school staff members to improve their health status through activities such as health assessments, health education, and health-related fitness activities. These opportunities encourage staff members to pursue a healthy lifestyle that contributes to their improved health status, improved morale, and a greater personal commitment to the school's overall coordinated health program. This personal commitment often transfers into greater commitment to the health of students and creates positive role modeling. Health promotion activities have improved productivity, decreased absenteeism, and reduced health insurance costs.

Managing Health Conditions

Managing Health Conditions

For students with chronic health conditions, school nurses and other health care providers play a large role in the daily management of their conditions. School health services staff are there to provide coordination of care and overall support.

School Health Services

School health services staff can help all students with preventive care such as flu shots and vision and hearing screening, as well as acute and emergency care. Qualified professionals such as school nurses, nurse practitioners, dentists, health educators, physicians, physician assistants, and allied health personnel provide these services. School health services uses various methods to support students.

Chronic Health Conditions

About 25% of children in the United States aged 2 to 8 years have a chronic health condition such as asthma, obesity, other physical conditions, and behavior/learning problems.1 Ensuring that students have the health services they need in school to manage their chronic condition is important in helping them stay healthy and ready to learn—therefore, CDC works to improve the delivery of health services in the school environment for students of all ages.

Missouri Health Information and Resources


Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services

These services are provided to improve students’ mental, emotional, and social health and include individual and group assessments, interventions, and referrals. Organizational assessment and consultation skills of counselors and psychologists contribute not only to the health of students but also to the health of the school environment. Professionals such as certified school counselors, psychologists, and social workers provide these services.

School-Based Health

School Climate & Environment

Physical Environment

A healthy and safe physical school environment promotes learning by ensuring the health and safety of students and staff. The physical school environment encompasses the school building and its contents, the land on which the school is located, and the area surrounding it. A healthy school environment addresses any biological or chemical agents that are detrimental to health, as well as the physical conditions such as temperature, noise, lighting or any other physical threats to protect all occupants.

Social and Emotional Climate

School climate refers to the psychosocial aspects of students’ educational experience that influences their social and emotional development. The climate of a school can impact student engagement in school activities; relationships with other students, staff, family, and community; and academic performance. A positive social and emotional school climate is a supportive learning environment that promotes health, growth, and development.

SEL Resources - CDC conducted an environmental scan to identify existing resources that support implementation of SEL approaches and programs in schools. Unique interest in SEL resources, tools, and guidance targeting Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) components (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2014) that improve student health outcomes were prioritized. The environmental scan focused on specific document types, including guides, guidelines, guidance documents, manuals, programs, practices, policies, toolkits and other resources published after 2010. Only resources that were free and accessible to the public were included in the results. The following sections of the report highlight the key SEL resources, tools, and guidance identified.

Erika’s Lighthouse

Teen depression awareness programs and resources in middle school and high school communities

NEW - Taking Time to B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Strategies for Strengthening Staff and Student Well-being

Taking Time to B.R.E.A.T.H.E. Strategies for Strengthening Staff and Student Well-being

Stress is an issue of global concern among teachers, students, and well, humans in general. Chronic stress is harmful to our physical, mental, and social-emotional health. Research based practices from the fields of Mindfulness and Positive Psychology have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and boost well-being and self-reported happiness.

Learn strategies that have been shown to strengthen efficacy, performance, the ability to focus attention, and overall physical and psychological wellbeing.

Missouri Green Schools (MGS) 

Family & Community Engagement

Family & Community Engagement

Creating School and Community Partnerships 
WSCC fact sheets to support training, understanding and application of the WSCC model. Strong partnerships between schools and their communities are crucial to student well-being and success.

Family Engagement

An integrated school and parent approach can enhance the health and well-being of students. Schools actively solicit parent involvement to respond more effectively to the health-related needs of students.

Community Involvement

School health advisory councils, coalitions, and broadly based constituencies for school health can build support for school health program efforts.  Community based efforts also engage resources and services within schools.

State Health Data

Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

The Missouri Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is conducted as part of a national effort by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) to monitor students’ health-risk behaviors in six priority areas. These six areas include injury and violence, alcohol and drug use, tobacco use, nutrition, physical activity, and sexual risk behaviors. These risk behaviors contribute to the leading causes of death, disability, and social problems among youth and adults in the U.S.

Missouri has been administering the YRBS since 1995. The survey is voluntary and is administered to a randomly selected sample of middle and high school students across the state.

For more information regarding the YRBS and for national, state, and large city survey results, please visit the CDC website.

  • NEW CDC YRBS Youth Online 
    Youth Online lets you analyze national, state, and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from high school and middle school surveys conducted during 1991 – 2019 and Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) data from students aged 13-17 conducted during 2003 – 2015. YRBSS data can be filtered and sorted on the basis of race/ethnicity, sex, academic grade, and sexual orientation while GSHS data can be filtered and sorted on sex and age. Additionally you can filter and sort both surveys by location and year, create customized tables, maps, graphs, and perform statistical tests by location and health topic. Please see Youth Online Help for more information about using all Youth Online capabilities.
  • NEW CDC YRBS Youth Explorer 
    Want a more exciting way to explore your favorite High School Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data? Try the new YRBS Explorer tool to visualize survey responses.


Following are the results from the 2017 Missouri High School YRBS followed by the 2015 Middle and High School YRBS and Youth Tobacco Survey.

School Health Profiles

The School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a system of surveys developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess school health policies and programs in states and large urban school districts. The Profiles survey is conducted in Missouri biennially among middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers.

Profiles monitor the current status of:

  • School health education requirements and content
  • Physical education requirements
  • Health services
  • Nutrition-related policies and practices
  • Family and community involvement in school health programs
  • School health policies on HIV and AIDS prevention, tobacco-use prevention, violence prevention, and physical activity
  • Professional preparation and staff development for lead health education teachers

Profiles data is used to:

  • Compare school health policies and programs across the state
  • Identify health education topics and skills that are taught
  • Identify topics for staff development
  • Improve school health programs and policies
  • Determine how well schools address the health and safety needs of their students

The following are the results from the 2020 School Health Profiles.

To access more information on School Health Profiles released, click here

Use the links below to access state data:

MHS In Action

Missouri Healthy School Training Cadres

Missouri Healthy Schools consists of a diverse group of professionals who support school districts with professional development, technical assistance, resources and tools with the common goal of building healthy school environments through improved polices, programs and practices to enhance health and academic success.

Healthy School Self-Assessments and Planning Guides

School Health Index Training Cadre 

WellSAT 3.0 Training Cadre

Health Education Training Cadre

  • Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)

Physical Education and Physical Activity Training Cadre

  • Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT)
  • Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs (CSPAP)


Missouri Healthy School – School Districts 

Bayless, Charleston R-1, Jennings, Kennett, Ritenour, Senath-Hornersville C-8, University City

School Health Advisory Councils (SHACS)

Engaging teachers, parents, students, and members of the community in the completion of the School Health Index (SHI) to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs.  SHI results guide the development of an action plan for improved health and incorporated into the overall School Improvement Plan.

Jennings School District


Kennett School District #39


Ritenour School District


Senath-Hornersville C-8


University City


MHS Success Stories – Conversation to Action!

Bayless School District

Cooking Garden Club


Bayless Physical Education and Employee Wellness

Jennings – Northview Elementary School


Professional Learning Webinars, Tools and Resources

Professional Learning

Professional development (PD) is a consciously designed, systematic process that strengthens how staff obtain, retain, and apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

DESE Physical Education Professional Development Series!

DESE and the CDC are working together to provide educators and advocates in Missouri amazing professional development opportunities revolving around the current educational climate. The series will feature two outstanding Missouri educators and advocates, Tari Garner and Sean Nevills, as they lead discussions to address individual situations surrounding the many challenges and opportunities for growth COVID-19 brings to health and physical education. These professional development opportunities will be presentations with opportunity for participant questions and discussion.

All professional development presentations require a quick registration to attend. Simply click the links below to register! Episodes will be recorded and available for viewing after session has completed.

  • Implementation and Advocacy of Physical Education
    Friday, 12/11/2020, 9:00am-10:00am
    Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejro54uCqKM 
  • SHAPE America COVID-19 Resources and Implementation
    Friday, 01/15/2021, 9:00am-10:00am
  • Learning from COVID-19: How will Physical Education and Health change moving forward?
    Friday, 02/12/2021, 9:00am-10:00am
  • Instructional Differences K-12: How to implement learning in various environments
    Thursday, 02/18/2021. 4:00-5:00pm
  • Returning to the norm after COVID-19. What have we learned about our instruction and classroom?
    Thursday, 03/04/2021. 4:00-5:00pm
  • Teacher Self-Care: Prioritizing Teacher Wellness Time in Hybrid/Distance Models
    Thursday, 03/11/2021 4:00-5:00pm
  • Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in COVID-19 Environments
    Thursday, 04/08/2021, 4:00-5:00pm

Professional Learning Library

Summer 2020 Professional Learning Series (July)

Skills-Based Health Education

Presenter: Holly Alperin, co-author of Lesson Planning for Skills-Based Health Education
Session 1: Skills-based Health Education 101
Session 2: Distance Learning Best Practices for Skills-based Health Education
Session 3: Considerations for Reentry in Skills-based Health Education: Trauma-informed Practices

K-12 Physical Education

Presenters: OPEN National Trainers – Lynn Hefele, Brian Devore, Doug Hallberg, Nick Kline & Nichole Wilder
Session 1: When Technology Meets Wood and Cement – How to Build a Virtual Classroom
Session 2: COVID-19 – The Response and Future Resources from OPEN
Session 3: Pleased to Meet You! What’s Your Name?
Session 4: The SEL Physical Education Connection
Session 5: Teaching Face-to-Face with Physical and Social Distancing


Summer 2020 Virtual Learning Series (June)

The June series was conducted in partnership with the Missouri Society of Health and Physical Educators (MOSHAPE) and Missouri State University

Standards Based Assessments – What does that mean?

Presenter: Brenda Goodwin
What does standards-based assessment mean and does your curriculum promote this type of assessment? How can you implement this knowledge into your classes thus promoting understanding and better execution of performance standards?

Proficiency Scales and Rubrics: Measuring Student Performance

Presenter: Dr. Patrick Fine
How can we collect evidence that assures us that our students have met our learning expectations? Rubrics should be designed to formulate standards for levels of accomplishment and guide and improve performances all while making expectations clear to the students. A rubric or matrix should provide scaled levels of achievement that are fully described and help guide students to successful completion of an assigned task/skill.

SEL (Social and Emotional) Learning – Assessment and Evaluation of SHAPE Standards 4 & 5

Presenters: Kristi Bieri; Anna Forcelledo; Kyle Salvo
How can we implement effective and meaningful social and emotional learning throughout our curriculum? Where can we find reliable information on SEL? This webinar will help the attendee analyze and implement activities and concepts that facilitate the promotion of SEL on a daily basis, as well as how to properly assess this learning.

Missouri Coordinated School Health Coalition (MCSHC)

MOSHAPE Town Halls

SHAPE America School Reentry Considerations: Panel Webinar

Panelists: Laura Beckmann; Dr. Tom Loughery; Sean L. Nevills
This webinar features our Missouri Healthy Schools team as they discuss the published SHAPE America School Reentry Considerations: K-12 Physical Education, Health Education, and Physical Activity.

Online Learning Guidance

Presenter: Brad Brummel, Springfield Public Schools
This town hall meeting focuses on the development and application of online and other learning programs to meet distance learning needs in Physical Education.

Advisory Council

Advisory Council

Local Wellness Policy

Local Wellness Policy (LWP)

A local school wellness policy (wellness policy) is a written document that guides a local educational agency (LEA) or school district’s efforts to create supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments. This is important because each local education agency participating in federal Child Nutrition Programs, including the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, is required to develop and implement a wellness policy.

Effective wellness policies support a culture of health within a school community by establishing practices and procedures that make the healthy choice the easy choice for students, staff, and families.

Missouri School Board Association (MSBA)

Missouri Consultants for Education (MCE)

School Health Guidelines

CDC integrated research and best practices related to promoting healthy eating and physical activity in schools, culminating in the School Health Guidelines. There are 9 School Health Guidelines that serve as the foundation for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for students.


Assessing School Wellness Policy and Practices

Schools can use tools to self-assess school health policies and practices. Schools can benefit from these assessments that help identify strengths and weaknesses, and give insight on creating effective action plans for improving student health.

Resources for Implementation


Partner Resources and PD