The CSH Approach

Education reforms have not succeeded in improving the performance of all students, particularly those who do not arrive at school ready to learn. Coordinated School Health encourages healthy lifestyles, provides needed supports to at-risk students and helps to reduce the prevalence of health problems that impair academic success.

Coordinated School Health is an effective approach designed to connect health (physical, emotional and social) with learning. CSH improves children’s health and their capacity to learn through the support of families, communities and the schools working together.

The involvement of parents, families and community is the glue that binds the CSH. Full involvement of these entities as partners in the educational process provides valuable input, increases the commitment of all partners and ensures positive educational and health outcomes.

Coordinated School Health is not a program, but is a systematic approach to promoting student health that emphasizes needs assessment; planning based on data, sound science and analysis of gaps and redundancies in school health programming; and evaluation.

The CSH approach consists of eight major components. By definition, all Coordinated School Health Components work together to improve the lives of students and their families.  Although these components are listed separately, it is their composite that allows CSH to have significant impact. The eight components include: health education, health services, counseling, psychological and social services, nutrition, physical education/physical activity, school staff wellness, healthy school environment and student/parent/community involvement.

Program History

The Office of Coordinated School Health (OCSH) was established by the Tennessee Department of Education in February 2001. The primary mission of the office is to improve student health outcomes as well as support the connection between good health practices, academic achievement and lifetime wellness.  The OCSH partners with the Tennessee Department of Health, Office of School Health. With the passage of T.C.A. Section 49-1-1002 in 2000, authorization and funding for CSH was established. Additional funding has been provided by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coordinated School Health is a national model that is making an impact on children’s health. The coordinated school health model was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1988. The CDC has funded over 20 states to support the development of coordinated school health initiatives.

With the passage of T.C.A. 49-1-1002, The Coordinated School Health Improvement Act of 2000, authorization and funding for CSH was established in Tennessee. State funding provided support for ten pilot sites. In 2006, Public Chapter 1001, the Coordinated School Health Expansion and Physical Activity Law, established authority and funding ($15 million) to expand CSH statewide. The law created a Physical Education Specialist and a Coordinator of School Health position within the Tennessee Department of Education and mandated 90 minutes of physical activity in grades K-12. By July 1, 2007, all Tennessee public school systems implemented coordinated school health for the 2007-08 school year.

Additional funding has been provided to the Office of Coordinated School Health by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additional Information

Last Update: July 17, 2014