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Missouri Healthy Schools, Successful Students (MHSSS)

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.