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School Health Policy

CDC defines “policy” as a law, regulation, procedure, administrative action, incentive, or voluntary practice of governments and other institutions. Policies — including laws, mandates, regulations, standards, resolutions, and guidelines—provide a foundation for school district practices and procedures. Sound school health policies

  • Inform, support, and direct individuals throughout the school system
  • Reassure families, students, and school staff that safety and health protection measures are in place
  • Provide legal protection for schools
  • Help contain or prevent controversy

CDC and its funded partners provide information, tools, and resources to support school health policy and program development, implementation, and evaluation. The efforts of these CDC funded partners illustrate exemplary work that protects and improves adolescent health.

School Health Policy Information by Topic

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is the nation’s education law that governs many educational activities for all students in the United States. The law requires states to help ensure that all students have access to excellent teachers and positive, safe learning environments with necessary supports to prepare students for success. Learn more from the U.S. Department of Education.

General School Health Policy Resources

State School-Based Health Education
To assist education agencies understand the context in their state, the Division of Adolescent and School Health conducted a legislative analysis among all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The analysis identified and systematically coded specific characteristics of state laws and regulations related to school-based education on sexual health, HIV prevention, and STD prevention as of April 2016.

State-Level School Health Policies Database

Searchable database from the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) allows users to search state education laws and practices on issues such as school health curriculum and instruction, staff education requirements, and crisis management and emergency response. The database also provides access to federal laws.

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School Health Profiles

The School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, and territories. These data can help education and health officials identify professional development needs, plan and monitor program success, support health-related polices, and other activities.