Coordinated School Health
With over 25 years of continuous research and development of our programs, CATCH is the Coordinated School Health Program with the most scientific evidence of effectiveness. And, it is the only program that provides a Coordination Kit: our step-by-step guide to organizing the many influencers of child wellness.
The below information pertains to schools nationwide. If you are interested in compliance with Texas-specific mandates, visit our Texas Coordinated School Health page.
What is Coordinated School Health?
Coordinated School Health was a term originally coined by the Centers for Disease Control to describe child health programs that synthesize the different factors working together to improve the health of a child including: health education, community involvement, family engagement, physical environment, health services, and more.
While the original CDC “Coordinated School Health” approach has now been expanded by the Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Community model (more info: CDC website), the term Coordinated School Health continues to be used to describe health programs addressing more than one component of a child’s health.
Since 1987, CDC’s coordinated school health (CSH) approach has been the blueprint for integrating health-promoting practices in the school setting. The new WSCC model includes 10 components, expanding upon the CSH components of Healthy and Safe School Environment and Family/Community Involvement into 4 distinct components.
For a detailed description of how CATCH aligns with each component of the WSCC model, view this helpful PDF, or download to share with your team!
Federal legislation supports the consensus that a child’s health is integral to their success in school. The Every Student Succeeds Act, which in December 2015 replaced the No Child Left Behind act as the federal legislation providing a framework and funding for primary and secondary education, marks health and physical education as part of a student’s “well rounded education” (previously known as “core subject areas”).
CATCH is an approved Coordinated School Health Program.
- CDC Prevention Centers list CATCH as a program improving physical activity and diet
- SNAP-Ed’s Toolkit for Obesity Prevention includes CATCH as an effective intervention approved for use with SNAP-Ed funds (page 15)
- Many state education and health departments including Texas also include CATCH on their list of state-approved Coordinated School Health programs. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if yours is one of them!
How CATCH integrates Coordinated School Health
The master plan for school-based coordination is the CATCH Coordination Kit. Organized into simple six- and nine- week periods, the Coordination Kit provides administrators and teachers with a concrete plan and tools to engage school, community and parent constituents. A clear roadmap for administrators looking to improve Coordinated School Health, the Coordination Kit includes lessons, parent materials, information for school nutrition staff, and more.
Community integration of CATCH and shaping the environment
A primary tenet of Coordinated School Health is bringing health lessons out of the classroom and into the halls, homes, and broader communities of CATCH users! Click through the below slide show for examples of how communities across the country have made CATCH part of their environments.
Compliance with federally mandated Local School Wellness Policy
According to the USDA Website, “a local school wellness policy is a written document of official policies that guide a local educational agency (LEA) or school district’s efforts to establish a school environment that promotes students’ health, well-being, and ability to learn by supporting healthy eating and physical activity.”
Any LEA participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program must put together a school wellness policy, and CATCH can play an important role in yours.
CATCH can help you meet a number points on your Wellness Policy checklist, from parent involvement, to healthy nutrition promotion, to physical activity promotion.
If you’re working on your Local Wellness Policy and need assistance, our friends at Action for Healthy Kids put together a 7 step Wellness Policy Tool that can help you on your way!