Profiles Overview

The School Health Profiles (Profiles) is a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, large urban school districts, and territories. Profiles surveys are conducted biennially by education and health agencies among middle and high school principals and lead health education teachers. Profiles monitors the current status of

  • School health education requirements and content
  • Physical education and physical activity
  • Practices related to bullying and sexual harassment
  • School health policies related to tobacco-use prevention and nutrition
  • School-based health services
  • Family engagement and community involvement
  • School health coordination

Education and health officials use Profiles data to

  • Describe school health policies and practices and compare them across jurisdictions
  • Identify professional development needs
  • Plan and monitor programs
  • Support health-related policies and legislation
  • Seek funding
  • Garner support for future surveys
  • The District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education used Profiles data to inform the modification and revamping of their 2016 Health Education Standards.
  • The Orange County Public Schools used Profiles data to support updates to the district’s Local Wellness Policy, as well as to support updates to human sexuality lesson plans and resources for students in grades 6-12.
  • In Arkansas, Profiles data were used to monitor the implementation of mandated requirements within districts. Profiles results revealed that some districts were not in compliance with these requirements, which allowed the Department of Education to focus their technical assistance on districts that could benefit from it the most.

Profiles is conducted among a sample of secondary schools in a state, large urban school district, or territory. Profiles data are collected from self-administered questionnaires from the principal and the lead health education teacher at each sampled school. In 2016, 48 states, 21 large urban school districts, and 4 territories obtained weighted data. Weighted data means that at least 70% of the principals or lead health education teachers in the sample completed the survey. Weighted data represent the state, school district, or territory, whereas unweighted data represent only the schools that completed the questionnaire.

Among states, the median number of principals participating was 262, and the median number of teachers participating was 254. Among school districts, the median number of principals participating was 62, and the median number of teachers participating was 63. Among territories, the median number of principals participating was 12, and the median number of teachers participating was 12.