What is Health at School?

Health at School is a free program provided by the OKC-County Health Department to schools in Oklahoma County. Health at School is a multi-disciplinary team made up of health promotion specialists, registered nurses, and social workers.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department is well known for providing services to the community, such as immunizations, pool and restaurant inspections, preparing for and responding to emergencies, and preventing and treating sexually transmitted diseases. What many people may NOT know is that OCCHD works with schools in Oklahoma County to promote healthy behavior.

What Does Health at School Do?

Health at School utilizes the CDC's (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Coordinated School Health model to assist schools in creating and maintaining a healthier school environment. The Coordinated School Health Model is made up of eight inter-related components that work together to increase health.

  • Counseling, Psychological, and Social Services
    • Connect schools and communities to mental health resources
    • Provide professional development in behavioral health and classroom management
  • Family and Community Involvement
    • Assist in planning health-related events for the school and community
    • Build partnerships among education, health, and other community partners
  • Health Education
    • Aid in incorporating health education into the classroom
    • Distribute health information to schools
  • Health Promotion for Staff
    • Develop staff wellness programs
    • Advocate for staff health and wellness
  • Health Services
    • Connect the school and community to local health services
    • Arrange for health services to be provided at the school
  • Healthy and Safe School Environment
    • Participate in health and safety committees
    • Facilitate school health assessments and action planning
    • Please visit learnpsychology.org for more information on bullying awareness and prevention
  • Nutrition Services
    • Promote healthy food and beverage choices
    • Assist in incorporating nutrition education in the classroom

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  • Physical Education
    • Establish physical activity programs
    • Coordinate professional development in physical education

Why Health at School?

Schools are in a unique position to influence and improve the health of our youth. Ninety-five percent of young people spend six hours or more a day in school. This translates into 13 critical years of their physical, social, psychological, and intellectual development. 1

The academic success of youth is strongly linked to their health. Science has shown that healthier students have a greater ability to concentrate, lower absenteeism, better productivity, fewer discipline problems, higher test scores, and better classroom participation. 2

In addition, addressing health at school creates an environment where students feel more connected to the school. 3 This is important because students who feel connected to their school, peers, and teachers are less likely to:

  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Drink alcohol
  • Engage in sexual intercourse
  • Carry weapons
  • Participate in violent activities
  • Experience emotional problems or suicidal thoughts
  • Suffer from eating disorders

1 National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health. Healthy Youth! Coordinated School Health. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 7 December 2010. Web. 23 May 2011.

2 Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition. Healthy Oklahoma Schools Manual. Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. May 2011. Web. 10 June 2011.

3 National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Adolescent and School Health. Fostering School Contentedness. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. July 2009. Web. 23 May 2011.