The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a unique opportunity to ignite the public interest in healthy school environments. It has motivated leaders of organizations toward a more coordinated and bold agenda — one that advocates for shared responsibility for healthy schools across education, health care, and public health — to support school communities into the next decade.
Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools and the National Healthy Schools Collaborative are pleased to announce the launch of the Ten-Year Roadmap for Healthy Schools to encourage action around that agenda.
Ten-Year Healthy Schools Road Map (Foreword)
Dear Education and Health Stakeholders,
It is well established that health and learning are interconnected. Education is key to life-long success, but poor health leads to poor learning outcomes. On average, students with poor health miss school more often, may be less engaged, and face increased barriers to academic achievement. Conversely, on average, adults with more education tend to have better jobs, live in healthier neighborhoods, and have a longer life expectancy. Similarly, educators’ working conditions — including their health and safety conditions — also affect learning outcomes.
The COVID-19 pandemic further illuminated the interdependence of health and learning while also exacerbating deep inequities that exist across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The pandemic presents an urgent and historic opportunity to build a more equitable system that better serves children nationwide.
Members of the National Healthy Schools Collaborative (NHSC) are at the forefront of the movement to create healthy schools that strengthen the mental, physical, and social-emotional health of all employees and students. Successfully achieving this collective vision for healthy schools will require public-private partnerships and multi-sector collaborations — especially with the education and health sectors working together.
We are calling on stakeholders from across the education and health sectors, as well as decision-makers at all levels of government, to increase alignment across systems over the next decade to ensure that every school in our nation is a healthy school.
We know how difficult the past three years have been. Our deepest thanks for all you have done and all you will do to support the health and learning of students, families, educators, and communities.
~The National Healthy Schools Collaborative
We invite you to read more about the Ten-Year Healthy Schools roadmap and learn about what Thriving Schools is doing to create transformational change and how you can also get involved.