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Becoming a Thriving School

Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools seeks to impact health in schools on a broad scale while addressing high priority health needs in the specific communities where we operate.

We collaborate closely with selected schools across our eight regions to provide site-specific programming support, and we offer a range of school health resources to thousands more schools across the country through a robust set of virtual offerings and health education campaigns. All of this is possible through our strategically chosen partnerships with some of the most respected health and education organizations in the country.

Our vision is that every community can count on their school as a champion for good health that enables great learning.

Any school can become a Thriving School. Schools that actively engage in promoting the health and well-being of students, staff, and teachers are well on their way.

Kaiser Permanente offers a variety of tools and resources — linked throughout this website — that schools can use to build healthier food environments, more opportunities for quality physical activity, and greater social and emotional well-being for school employees and students.

We encourage you to explore the powerful link between good health and strong learning and to tap into school health resources and ideas provided here that you can bring to your school community.

Consider how your school operates on most days. Where are the barriers to health? What opportunities can you act on?

My School is…

The following list offers action steps that school wellness champions and district leaders can take to strengthen health. Use this list as a guide to evaluate your school’s efforts and develop new initiatives.

General Wellness Policies and Practices

  • Implementing a school or district wellness policy.
  • Providing professional development opportunities for staff to focus on their own healthy eating, physical activity and/or social and emotional health and well-being.
  • Dedicating a staff member or team to address school health and safety environment.

To take action on policies and practices focused on well-being, go here.

Physical Education/Physical Activity

  • Providing a structured PE program with 200 minutes minimum every 10 days in elementary school or 400 minutes minimum every 10 days in middle/high school.
  • Encouraging students and staff to walk and bike to school (e.g. bike rack, crossing guards, walking clubs).
  • Encouraging teachers to incorporate physical activity into classroom instruction (e.g. physical activity breaks, physical activity in lesson plans).

To take action on physical education/physical activity for students, go here. For staff, go here.

Healthy Foods and Beverages

  • Providing the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program that meets federal standards for school meals and snacks.
  • Implementing healthy school fundraising and celebration practices that replace junk food with healthy foods and fun physical activities.
  • Making available safe, free drinking water that is easily accessible to all students and staff on campus.

To take action on healthy foods and beverages for students, go here. For staff, go here.

School Health/Mental Health Services

  • Maintaining systems to address health emergencies and support students with chronic health conditions.
  • Dedicating a staff member or team to link students/staff/family to needed health and social-emotional services onsite or in the community.

To take action on school health/mental health services for students, go here. For staff, go here.

School Climate

School climate refers to the quality and character of school life encompassing norms, values, relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures.

  • Engaging in trauma-informed practices to approach daily school life with greater sensitivity and build a safe and supportive learning environment.
  • Implementing a policy to address harassment and bullying.
  • Implementing positive discipline policies and procedures that are just and clear, and aimed at decreasing suspension rates and teaching positive social behaviors, such as cooperation, conflict resolution, and helping others.

To take action on school climate for students, go here. For staff, go here.

Staff Well-Being

  • Dedicating a staff member or team to address staff well-being.*
  • Adopting and implementing a staff wellness policy.*
  • Offering programs to support staff physical health (e.g. physical activity/fitness, flu shots).
  • Offering programs to promote staff social-emotional health/stress reduction (e.g. team building).
  • Ensuring the school campus makes healthy food easily accessible for staff.
  • Ensuring the school campus makes physical activity easily accessible for staff.

To take action on staff well-being, go here.

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