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Students are healthy


Below is the research for each of the indicators for the result: Students Are Healthy Physically, Socially, and Emotionally

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% of students demonstrating social & personal competencies

Students who are socially and emotionally healthy are productive members of their families, communities, schools, and society.  Social and emotional competencies include students’ knowledge of self-worth; the abilities to handle daily tasks, and to set and achieve goals; and positive relationships with others, according to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). 

In addition to students’ personal well-being, CASEL’s research reveals that students’ social and emotional capacities affect academic performance in a variety of direct and indirect ways.  Social and emotional education programs in schools have been shown to enhance students’ preparation to learn and ability to succeed. Students who have learned these emotional and social competencies have grasped how to effectively manage emotions that can interfere with learning, the motivation to persevere after academic failures, the ability to cooperate in peer groups and to set and work toward academic goals.  Instruction of social and personal skills has been linked to better attendance and graduation rates; reduced suspension, expulsion, and grade retention rates; and higher achievement in math, language arts, and social studies, compared to students who do not demonstrate such skills.1 CASEL research has also found that the average student enrolled in a social and emotional learning program (SEL) ranks at least ten points higher on achievement tests than SEL non-participants.2

% of students demonstrating well-being on a range of health indices (immunizations; obesity; vision; hearing; asthma; STDs; pregnancy; substance abuse)

High-risk behaviors related to health contribute to the leading causes of death and physical, emotional, and social problems in young people.  Poor health as the result of insufficient medical care in early childhood, along with high-risk behaviors in adolescence, set the stage for unhealthy physical, social, and emotional development for youth.  

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors the categories of priority health-risk behaviors and the general health status of U.S. youth. Data provided by the YRBSS states that seventy-one percent of all deaths among 10–24 year olds in the U.S. result from motor vehicle and other accidents, homicide, and suicide. Results from the 2005 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) indicates that, during the thirty days preceding the survey, many high school students had engaged in behaviors that increased their likelihood of death from these causes: 9.9% had driven a car or other vehicle when they had been drinking alcohol; 18.5% had carried a weapon; 43.3% had drunk alcohol; and 20.2% had used marijuana. In addition, during the year preceding the survey, 35.9% of high school students had been in a physical fight and 8.4% had attempted suicide.3

Substantial  social problems among youth also result from unintended pregnancies and STDs, including HIV infection. During 2005, a total of 46.8% of high school students had had sexual intercourse; 37.2% of sexually active high school students had not used a condom the last time they had sex; and 2.1% had injected an illegal drug.

Among adults aged 25 years and older, 61% of all deaths result from two causes: cardiovascular disease and cancer. Many of the risky behaviors associated with these diseases were initiated during adolescence, YRBS research shows. During 2005, a total of 23.0% of high school students had smoked cigarettes during the 30 days preceding the survey; 79.9% had not eaten >5 times/day of fruits and vegetables during the 7 days preceding the survey; 67.0% did not attend physical education classes daily as children; and 13.1% were overweight.4

Over the last decade, the prevalence of many health-risk behaviors among high school students nationwide has decreased. However, many high school students continue to engage in behaviors that place them at risk for the leading causes of mortality and morbidity. While the prevalence of many health-risk behaviors varies across cities and states, the YRBS recommends that more effective school health programs and other policy and programmatic interventions are needed throughout the nation to improve healthy outcomes for youth.5

Students have access to good nutrition

To promote healthy physical and mental development, it is essential that students consume a variety of healthy foods and engage in physical activity everyday. The diet and exercise patterns established in youth not only determine health in a student’s childhood, but will set the stage for his or her life-long health habits. From infancy to adolescence, it is particularly important that children consume enough iron, calcium, protein, and other nutrients to ensure their healthy physical growth and development. Urban and low-income students, often do not have acces to the fresh, nutrient- rich foods and sufficiently varied diets that they need to be healthy.  

As the prevalence of adults who are obese or overweight increases, so too does its prevalence among children and adolescents.   Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999), indicate that approximately twenty-five percent of American adolescents between the ages of twelve and nineteen can be described as overweight, or at risk of being overweight. Studies show that twenty to forty percent of American youngsters are physically unfit.6 Overweight and obese children and teens are much more likely to become overweight or obese adults. These children also have greater risk for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, bone and joint problems, poor self-esteem and other health, social and psychological problems.7

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least sixty minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity five or more days per week for children ages five to twelve, and at least thirty minutes of similar activity five days a week for adolescents.  Dietary guidelines encourage children age five and over to consume a diet moderate in total fat (thirty percent or less of calories) and low in saturated fat (ten percent or less of calories).8

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1 "The Scientific Base Linking Prevention Programs to Academic Achievement," Zins, J., in "Underage Drinking too Costly to Ingnore," The Challenge (a publication of the US Department of Education)

2"No Emotion Left Behind," Timothy P. Shriver and Robert P. Weissberg, The New York Times, Op-Ed, August 16, 2005,
3 "Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance – U.S. 2005," in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC,
4 Ibid
5 Ibid
6 "Child and Adolescent Nutrition," Background on Nutrition, Health, & Ohysical Activity During Childhood and Early Adolescence, May, 2004, International Food Information Council,
7 "Institute of Medicine Report: Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?," Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Television Health Series, September, 2006,
8 Ibid
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