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School Health Index


The School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide 2014 is an online self-assessment and planning tool (also available  in a downloadable, printable version) that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs. It’s easy to use and completely confidential.

The SHI was developed by CDC in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies to

  • Enable schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs
  • Enable schools to develop an action plan for improving student health, which can be incorporated into the School Improvement Plan
  • Engage teachers, parents, students, and the community in promoting health-enhancing behaviors and better health

The SHI is based on CDC’s research-based guidelines for school health programs, which identify the policies and practices most likely to be effective in reducing youth health risk behaviors.

Self-Assessment & Planning Guide

The SHI has two activities that are to be completed by teams from your school: the eight self-assessment modules and a planning for improvement process:

  • The self-assessment process involves members of your school community coming together to discuss what your school is already doing to promote good health and to identify your strengths and weaknesses. The SHI allows you to assess the extent to which your school implements the types of policies and practices recommended by CDC in its research-based guidelines for school health and safety policies and programs.
  • After you complete the self-assessment process, you will be asked to identify recommended actions your school can take to improve its performance in areas that received low scores. You will then be guided through a simple process for prioritizing the various recommendations. More

SHI 2014 Features

  • Updated nutrition content to align with new USDA regulations, including Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.
  • Revised physical education content to align with updated national standards and advancements in physical activity programming.

Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids has adopted CDC’s School Health Index as its assessment tool for schools to implement policies and practices that can help students stay healthy and ready to learn. The index includes an online action plan and a readiness estimate for the Healthier US School Challenge. To complete the School Health Index for Action for Healthy Kids, please click here.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program has adopted CDC’s School Health Index as its assessment tool to help schools assess their current policies and practices as well as track progress over time. To complete the School Health Index for the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, please click here.

SHI e-Learning Course

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to CDC’s School Health Index: Self-Assessment and Planning Guide. After this module, you will be ready to conduct or participate in a self-assessment and create a plan to improve the health of students in your school or district.

The course objectives are for you to:

  • Understand the School Health Index modules,
  • Identify the steps for implementing the School Health Index, and
  • Learn the process for conducting a self-assessment and plan for improvement.