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 school health education 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 school health education, community involvement, family engagement, physical environment, health services, and more.


15 CDC Model ImageWhile the original CDC “Coordinated School Health” approach has now been expanded by the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child 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 and school health education, 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.

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.

“The language of CATCH is so easy,” says former Dallas ISD Coordinated School Health Specialist Karen Burnell. “Our schools in particular have latched on to MVP language. We created own logo for MVP. We also made checklists for teachers to ensure they’re incorporating all of the elements of coordinated school health. The coordination kits make it seamless. Everyone has a resource, everyone has something to do every 6 weeks.”

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!

Ysleta Bulletin 2

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!

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