Coordinated School Health Programs and Academic Achievement: A Systematic Review of the Literature

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.43). 12/2007; 77(9):589-600. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00238.x
Source: PubMed


Few evaluations of school health programs measure academic outcomes. K-12 education needs evidence for academic achievement to implement school programs. This article presents a systematic review of the literature to examine evidence that school health programs aligned with the Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) model improve academic success.
A multidisciplinary panel of health researchers searched the literature related to academic achievement and elements of the CSHP model (health services, counseling/social services, nutrition services, health promotion for staff, parent/family/community involvement, healthy school environment, physical education, and health education) to identify scientifically rigorous studies of interventions. Study designs were classified according to the analytic framework provided in the Guide developed by the Community Preventive Services Task Force.
The strongest evidence from scientifically rigorous evaluations exists for a positive effect on some academic outcomes from school health programs for asthmatic children that incorporate health education and parental involvement. Strong evidence also exists for a lack of negative effects of physical education programs on academic outcomes. Limited evidence from scientifically rigorous evaluations support the effect of nutrition services, health services, and mental health programs, but no such evidence is found in the literature to support the effect of staff health promotion programs or school environment interventions on academic outcomes.
Scientifically rigorous evaluation of school health programs is challenging to conduct due to issues related to sample size, recruitment, random assignment to condition, implementation fidelity, costs, and adequate follow-up time. However, school health programs hold promise for improving academic outcomes for children.

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Available from: Sally Davis, Oct 08, 2015
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    • "This can lead to a difficult tension for teachers who have many learning obligations to prioritise within their educational role. Yet the need to adopt an enhanced role of addressing psychosocial and pastoral care needs for the more vulnerable children at the school might not only be important for the overall development of the children, be that their cognitive, physical, social, emotional, moral and behavioural development, but might also enhance educational experiences and attainments for these children (Atkins et al., 2006; Bhana, 2015; de Wal Pastoor, 2015; Fazel et al., 2014; Murray et al., 2007; Zins et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper describes the role of schools in supporting the overall development of refugee children and the importance of peer interactions. It argues that the UK school into which a refugee child arrives can be considered an extreme setting. Refugee and asylum-seeking adolescents were interviewed following their contact with a school-based mental health service. The social recognition granted to them by peers in ‘moments of change’ gave them the motivation to change, the confidence to seek psychological help, to study harder and make more friends. It concludes that schools in extreme settings are often the best placed institution to address the psychosocial needs of children and should therefore adopt this enhanced role.
    International Journal of Educational Development 01/2015; 41. DOI:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2014.12.006 · 0.95 Impact Factor
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    • "While schools appear to represent an ideal site for increasing youth physical activity (Colley et al. 2011; Pate et al. 2006; Tomporowski et al. 2011), the perception that physical activity threatens academic achievement (Coe et al. 2006; Sallis et al. 1999) and the perceived lack of time available for physical activity (Tsai et al. 2009) have contributed to a lack of physical activity programming in schools. Contrary to these perceptions , time spent participating in physical activity in place of regular instruction time does not impair academic performance (Rasberry et al. 2011) and in fact may improve it (Ahamed et al. 2007; Carlson et al. 2008; Murray et al. 2007; Rasberry et al. 2011; Sallis et al. 1999; Trudeau and Shephard 2008, 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: The amount of time allocated to physical activity in schools is declining. Time-efficient physical activity solutions that demonstrate their impact on academic achievement-related outcomes are needed to prioritize physical activity within the school curricula. "FUNtervals" are 4-min, high-intensity interval activities that use whole-body actions to complement a storyline. The purpose of this study was to (i) explore whether FUNtervals can improve selective attention, an executive function posited to be essential for learning and academic success; and (ii) examine whether this relationship is predicted by students' classroom off-task behaviour. Seven grade 3-5 classes (n = 88) were exposed to a single-group, repeated cross-over design where each student's selective attention was compared between no-activity and FUNtervals days. In week 1, students were familiarized with the d2 test of attention and FUNterval activities, and baseline off-task behaviour was observed. In both weeks 2 and 3 students completed the d2 test of attention following either a FUNterval break or a no-activity break. The order of these breaks was randomized and counterbalanced between weeks. Neither motor nor passive off-task behaviour predicted changes in selective attention following FUNtervals; however, a weak relationship was observed for verbal off-task behaviour and improvements in d2 test performance. More importantly, students made fewer errors during the d2 test following FUNtervals. In supporting the priority of physical activity inclusion within schools, FUNtervals, a time efficient and easily implemented physical activity break, can improve selective attention in 9- to 11-year olds.
    Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 11/2014; 40(3):1-7. DOI:10.1139/apnm-2014-0309 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    • "Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for the development of childhood health problems (Barros et al. 2009) and an increasing number of youth are failing to meet physical activity guidelines (Colley et al. 2011). The significant proportion of children's time spent in school implicates the school setting as an important site for increased physical activity (Tomporowski et al. 2011); yet, despite substantial evidence to the contrary (Ahamed et al. 2007; Carlson et al. 2008; Murray et al. 2007; Rasberry et al. 2011; Sallis et al. 1999; Trudeau and Shephard 2008, 2010), the belief that increasing time spent on physical activity will threaten academic achievement remains (Coe et al. 2006; Sallis et al. 1999). Furthermore , teachers struggling with an already demanding curriculum perceive time availability as a major barrier to implementation of daily physical activity (Tsai et al. 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of an acute bout of brief, high-intensity interval exercise on off-task classroom behaviour in primary school students. A grade 4 class (n = 24) and a grade 2 class (n = 20) were exposed to either a no-activity break or an active break that consisted of "FUNtervals", a high-intensity interval protocol, on alternating days for 3 weeks. No-activity days consisted of a 10-min inactive break while FUNterval days consisted of a 4-min FUNterval completed within a 10-min break from regular class activities. Off-task behaviour was observed for 50 min after each no-activity/FUNterval break, with the amount of time students spent off-task (motor, passive, and verbal behaviour) being recorded. When comparing no-activity breaks with FUNtervals the grade 4 class demonstrated reductions in both passive (no activity = 29% ± 13% vs. FUNterval = 25% ± 13%, p < 0.05, effect size (ES) = 0.31) and motor (no activity = 31% ± 16% vs. FUNterval = 24% ± 13%, p < 0.01, ES = 0.48) off-task behaviour following FUNtervals. Similarly, in the grade 2 class, passive (no activity = 23% ± 14% vs. FUNterval = 14% ± 10%, p < 0.01, ES = 0.74), verbal (no activity = 8% ± 8% vs. FUNterval = 5% ± 5%, p < 0.05, ES = 0.45), and motor (no activity = 29% ± 17% vs. FUNterval = 14% ± 10%, p < 0.01, ES = 1.076) off-task behaviours were reduced following FUNtervals. In both classrooms the effects of physical activity were greatest in those students demonstrating the highest rates of off-task behaviour on no-activity days. These data demonstrate that very brief high-intensity bouts of exercise can improve off-task behaviour in grade 2 and 4 students, particularly in students with high rates of such behaviour.
    Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 07/2014; 39(12):1-6. DOI:10.1139/apnm-2014-0125 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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