It has been noted, for instance, that "Children and adolescents are more likely to practice healthy behaviors when those behaviors are broadly supported at school, at home, and in the community" (Health Framework: 11). This broad type of support, therefore, must draw on people from the school itself, from the students' support network at home, and from relevant health care and other professionals in the community. The best way to gain support is by enlisting networked groups, explaining the objective links between student health and performance, and then implementing a coordinated program with regular assessment periods. This is so important at these levels because, as the data demonstrates,
A variety of risk factors influence whether or not a child will be healthy and will maintain a commitment to health. The school, the home, the community, and the peer group are four major areas of a child's life in which these risk factors may be found. The risk factors include, among others, economic deprivation, neighborhood disintegration, poor family-management practices, peers who use alcohol and other drugs, low expectations for children's success, and academic failure. Although some risk factors are far beyond a school's control, others can be addressed directly and effectively through health education supported by collaborative efforts that include parents, the school, and the community (Health Framework: 11-12).
The significant point is that, because these risk factors derive from a variety of sources, the response must be comprehensive enough to ameliorate or otherwise create an educational and support system to be of value. The risk factors may result from conditions in the home, from conditions in the community, from conditions at a particular school or some combination thereof. The very essence of a student's physical, cognitive and psychological health is multifaceted and the response must also be nuanced and multifaceted.
Question 2: Interrelationships and Primary Care Givers
Such a coordinated school health program is of paramount importance at the kindergarten to twelfth grade levels; it is of paramount importance because these children are grappling with a number of changes and challenges both in their biological and psychological development as well as in their homes and in their communities. Although, at the macro level, a coordinated structure is viewed as essential, it is also important to note that the teachers and the student health professionals must assume greater responsibilities and they must, in a very real sense, transcend their traditional duties if the school is to fulfill its role as an invested stakeholder. Teachers, for instance, must do more than simply lecture against or punish certain unhealthy behaviors. They must not be viewed as disciplinary adjuncts or mini-police officers; quite the contrary, teachers must begin to develop a position of trust and confidence which more closely resembles those of health care professionals than the role of judge and executioner. They must be