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IV. The School Administrator and the School Nurse

A Position Statement of The National PTA

The National PTA believes that health is based on the quality of life of the whole child -- emotional, intellectual, physical, social and spiritual. All elements must be considered before optimum health can exist.

National PTA recognizes that:

  • Social changes have produced major health problems among our children that have directly impacted on schools and their ability to educate;
  • Academic achievement and student self-esteem and well-being are inextricably intertwined;
  • Responsibility for the emotional, intellectual, physical and social health of children is that of the whole community and of all its institutions; and
  • That, after the home, the school is often best positioned to serve as the community's center for meeting the needs of the whole child.

National PTA believes that a comprehensive school health program, encompassing health education, health services and healthy school environment includes the following components:

Philosophy and goals established by local school boards in partnership with parents, students, educators, community heath care providers and others, and including the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive school health program.

Health services that appropriately reflect the educational and community commitment to address identified health problems that limit students' abilities to learn.

Health curriculum that is comprehensive, sequentially developed, age and culturally appropriate, reflects current health issues of the community, and is taught by educators qualified to present health instruction. The curriculum and instruction program should include the following content areas: accident prevention and safety; nutrition; community health; personal health; consumer health; environmental health; substance use and abuse; family life education; mental and emotional health; and prevention and control of disease.

Healthy school environments that demonstrate care for physical facilities, stress the importance of positive mental health and emotional climates within the school setting, and ensure the physical safety of the students and staff.

Integrated school and community health promotion efforts that acknowledge the shared responsibility for student health with the home, public and private health care systems, law enforcement and justice systems, government, environmental agencies, business, religious organizations, civic groups and the media.

Physical education programs that promote lifelong physical activities and fitness, higher order cognitive and affective objectives, and health-related fitness testing.

Food service programs that reflect the ethnic and cultural diversity of students and staff, encourage and promote the health and well-being of students through the serving of nutritionally adequate, quality meals; and provide a program of nutrition education.

School counselors who work with students, families and school personnel in the areas of emotional, mental and social growth and development; and collaborate with community professionals in order to serve the whole child.

School nurses who serve as the primary health care provider for students in the school setting and a source of information and support for students, families and staff within the school community.

School-site health promotion programs for faculty and staff that include wellness components which will increase job satisfaction, morale and a healthy quality of life.

National PTA believes that comprehensive school health programs are an essential link in the health education/health-care chain.

In order to fulfill the responsibility of offering educational opportunity to all children, we need to recognize and deal with their health needs as they impact on our schools.

Therefore, schools must form partnerships with parents and the community in order to provide effective, comprehensive school health programs.

Used with permission of The National PTA

330 N. Wabash, Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60611-3690
(312) 670-6782 or (800) 307-4PTA (4782)

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