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Using Needs Assessments to Connect Learning + Health: Opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

This guide is intended to highlight the ways that school needs assessments required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can be a valuable tool in identifying, understanding and addressing health conditions that contribute to poor academic performance. It provides child advocates, community leaders, school personnel and other key stakeholder groups with the information that they need to convince their state and local education leaders to make health and wellness a significant component of the needs assessment and school improvement process.

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Addressing Mental Health and Wellness through ESSA Implementation

Untreated and undertreated mental health conditions remain a substantial factor in stifling academic achievement. Under ESSA, education leaders have the opportunity to remedy some of these underlying issues to ensure that schools integrate more evidence-based mental health promotion and treatment in the everyday workings of the education system, and help their students thrive and succeed.

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Addressing Chronic Absenteeism through ESSA Implementation

ESSA presents an important opportunity to create public accountability around chronic absenteeism and ensure state ESSA plans support a comprehensive approach to address chronic absenteeism. This document highlights various approaches that stakeholders might use to leverage ESSA to support efforts to address chronic absenteeism.

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Addressing Nutrition and Physical Activity through ESSA Implementation

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of health and wellness. ESSA also provides an opportunity to ensure equitable access to quality education and the conditions that support student learning. Health is a key part of this. ESSA transitions authority from the federal government to state education agencies. Thus, as states begin to implement ESSA, it is critical they do so in a way that supports health and wellness.

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Addressing the Health-Related Causes of Chronic Absenteeism

Taking action to address health-related chronic absenteeism can have a powerful impact on students’ academic success and well-being for a lifetime. This document focuses on preparing educators—particularly school district decision-makers —with knowledge and practical guidance for creating meaningful change to address health-related chronic absenteeism.

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State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness: A Framework for Action

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the vital role that health and wellness play in education. This document focuses on supporting advocates who are interested in working with state-level policymakers to develop state ESSA plans. It provides practical resources and emphasizes several key areas with the greatest potential impact on student health.

Related Programs:

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Indicators of School Quality: Social and Emotional Learning

This document provides an overview of social and emotional learning as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: School Discipline

This document provides an overview of school discipline as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: School Connectedness

This document provides an overview of school connectedness as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: School Climate

This document provides an overview of school climate as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.