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:
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.
- NEW Healthy Schools Toolkit
- Health and Academics (CDC)
- Healthy Students Are Better Learners (CDC-DASH)
- Brain Rules – Dr. John Medina
- Spark – John Ratey M.D.
- Whole Child (WSCC)
- Health Education
- Physical Education and Physical Activity
- Out of School Time
- Employee Wellness
- Managing Health Conditions
- Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services
- School Climate & Environment
- Family & Community Engagement
- State Health Data
- MHS In Action
- Professional Learning
- Advisory Council
- Local Wellness Policy
- Partner Resources and PD
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:
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
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.
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.
Health Education resources, tools and trainings.
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.
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.
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
- MO DHSS – Recess Before Lunch Toolkit
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.
- NEW Missouri Healthy Schools (MHS) - Brain Energizers
- NEW Missouri Healthy Schools (MHS) - Mindful Movements
- Classroom Energizers
- Fitbound - inclusive energizers
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 (OST)
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
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
- DESE Student Health and Wellness
- MO School Nurse Link – School nurses can easily navigate this site to find information to support care of students, especially those with chronic conditions. This link connects to all schools (public, charter and private with resources offered by Medicaid health plans in Missouri. Together, these plans cover about 500,000 children across the state, located in every community.CDC School Health Services
- Click here for listing of MO Local Public Health Agencies
- Click here for MO School Health (DHSS)
- MO Kids Count Data
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Healthy Children
- National Association of School Nurses
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.
Physical Environment & Social-Emotional Climate
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.
- Healthy Schools, Healthy Buildings (US EPA)
- EPA Health and Safety (IAQ) Resources & Tools for Schools (Including COVID-19) with link to webpage
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.
Teen depression awareness programs and resources in middle school and high school communities
Missouri Green Schools (MGS)
Family & Community 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.
- Missouri PTA
- Parents for Healthy Schools Guide
- Parents for Healthy Schools e-learning series
- Parents for Healthy Schools (CDC)
- We Can! (NIH)
- Whole Family Resources (AHA)
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.
Following are the results from the 2017 Missouri High School YRBS followed by the 2015 Middle and High School YRBS and Youth Tobacco Survey.
- NEW 2019 MO YRBS Infographics
- 2017 MO YRBS Infographics
- Bicycle Helmet Use (All Students)
- Seat Belt Use (All Students)
- Secondhand Smoke Exposure (All Students)
- Alcohol & Drug Use (High School)
- Cellphone Use While Driving (High School)
- Depression & Suicide (High School)
- Prescription Drug Use (High School)
- Sexual Behaviors (High School)
- Tobacco Use (High School)
- Tobacco Use (Middle School)
- 2017 MO YRBS Report
- 2017 MO YRBS PPT Presentation
- 2017 MO High School Survey Summary
- 2017 MO High School Graphs
- 2017 MO High School Summary Graphs
- 2017 MO High School Summary Tables
- 2017 MO High School Trend Report 10 Years
- 2017 MO High School Trend Report
- 2015 Missouri Youth Risk Behavior and Youth Tobacco Survey Results – Middle and High School
- Missouri Youth and Tobacco, 2005-2015: Results from the Youth Tobacco Survey and Youth Risk Behavior 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 2016 School Health Profiles.
- Trend Analysis Report– Principal Survey
- NEW MO School Health Profiles: 2018 Key Findings Report
- MO School Health Profiles: 2016 Key Findings Report
- Weighted Principal Survey Results Tables Missouri 2016
- Weighted Principal Survey Results Charts Missouri 2016
- Weighted Lead Health Education Teacher Survey Results Tables Missouri 2016
- Weighted Lead Health Education Teacher Survey Charts Missouri 2016
- MO School Health Profiles: 2014 Key Findings Report
To access more information on School Health Profiles released, click here.
Use the links below to access state data:
- NEW Click here for exploreMOhealth to examine targeted health data to a particular county or zipcode.
- Click here for MO county health rankings.
- Click here for the Shape of the Nation report for Missouri.
- Click here for MO obesity rate data from Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
- Click here for MO health data from Healthy Americans.
- Click here for MO State of Obesity Data.
- Missouri Adolescent Physical Health Facts
- Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
MHS In Action
Upcoming Professional Learning
Summer 2020 Virtual Learning Series
|Tuesday, July 21st, 2020||
Skills-Based Health Education (Day 1): Reentry Guidance & Best Practice – Presenter Holly Alperin, EdM, MCHES
Session 1 (9:15-11:15 AM) - Skills-based Health Education 101
|Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020||
Skills-Based Health Education (Day 2): Reentry Guidance & Best Practice – Presenter Holly Alperin, EdM, MCHES*Session times/topics same as Day 1
|Thursday, July 23rd, 2020||
K-12 Physical Education Series (Day 1)
DESE has partnered with Online Physical Education Network (OPEN) to host a 2-day virtual learning series.
Topics: Teaching PE with physical distancing; Active Home resources; Building a Virtual Classroom; Virtual/physical distancing Meet & Greet; SEL-Physical Education connection
Session 1: 9:00-10:00 AM
*Schedule of topics TBA
|Thursday, July 23rd, 2020||
K-12 Physical Education Series (Day 2)
Session 4: 9:00-10:00 AM
Saved Professional Learning
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
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?
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.
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.
MOSHAPE Town Halls
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.
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.
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.
- Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 - Summary of Final Rule
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.
- Wellness School Assessment Tool (WellSAT 3.0) - Assessment tool for comparison of district LWP to model LWPs
- School Health Index
- School Health Index e-learning course - School-level assessment on compliance of local wellness policy and practices (triennial assessment)
Resources for Implementation
- The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model: A Guide to Implementation
- The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model: Ideas for Implementation
- Putting Local School Wellness Policies into Action
- Health & Wellness into School Improvement Plans (NACDD)
- Achieving Impact: School Nutrition, Physical Education, Physical Activity, and Management of Chronic Health Conditions in Schools (NACDD)
Partner Resources and Professional Development
- CDC Healthy Schools
- SHAPE America
- Action for Healthy Kids
- Alliance for Healthier Generation
- KC Healthy Kids
- Boys and Girls Clubs: OST staff, school administrators and parents.
- Society of Public Health Education (SOPHE)
- SOPHE School Health
- SOPHE School Health Playlist (Youtube)
- MOre Healthy Schools: Re-entry Considerations for Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sports