Schools strive to help students reach their highest academic potential. The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) School Health NJ Project, administered by the NJ Department of Health (NJDOH), is in its 8th year of promoting healthy schools. The WSCC model, shown below, is an expansion and update of the CDC’s Coordinated School Health (CSH) approach and incorporates the components of CSH and the tenets of the ASCD’s whole child approach to create a collaborative approach to learning and health. This model helps schools address the health needs of students with its focus on the whole child and strengthened by a school-wide approach and support from the local community and its resources.
The WSCC model is the framework for the New Jersey Department of Health’s (NJDOH) WSCC School Health NJ Project. Over the course of eight years, the WSCC School Health NJ Project has collaborated with various state, local and statewide professional organizations to improve school health to enhance student learning for life success. Our vision for this pilot is to begin to transform the NJ public school landscape by directing resources to build and sustain healthy schools for all students. The NJDOH will be providing up to $15,000 to 21 schools across the state to participate in a 3- (potentially 4) year pilot to strengthen the school district’s capacity to support and sustain healthy schools.
This pilot is based on the following principles:
- Healthy children learn better.
- Health and academic achievement are inextricably intertwined.
- Schools are an ideal venue for chronic disease prevention.
- Administrative and Board of Education support is critical for creating a culture of health in schools.
- A commitment to systems change is required to sustain healthy schools.
The NJDOH will begin recruiting schools with at least 40% of students eligible for free/reduced lunch. Public middle- and/or high-schools are eligible to lead this pilot in their school district. In addition to funding, the NJDOH’s regional school health agencies will provide programmatic guidance and support throughout the pilot period. A funding match of $8,000 from the local BOE/district is required.
Pilot schools will establish a WSCC Health and Wellness (H&W) Coordinator position and convene a WSCC H&W Team that will be responsible for assessing, developing, implementing and reporting on school health and wellness policies, programs and activities. Administrative support is needed for the sustainability of accomplishments achieved during this pilot.
Schools eligible for this funding are those that have previously participated in one of the following:
- NJ DOH-funded projects:
- School Health NJ and/or Parents as Champions (PAC)
- Sustainable Jersey for Schools Health and Wellness Small Grants Program
- Community Health and Wellness Services CDC 1305 School Health Project
- Johnson & Johnson School Health Leadership Program (SHLP)
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AHG)
- Center for Supportive Schools – Campaign Connect
- United Way of Northern New Jersey in partnership with College of Saint Elizabeth – School Climate and Culture Initiative
- Rutgers Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology’s (GSAPP) – School Climate Transformation Project (SCTP)
- Department of Children and Families (DCF) School Based Youth Service Programs
- NJ DOH-funded projects:
We invite you to share this funding opportunity with your colleagues and others that are committed to improving the health of New Jersey students to enhance their learning. For more information, please email the Child and Adolescent Health Program Manager: [email protected]
For more information on steps and examples for effectively implementing the WSCC model, please refer to the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model: A Guide to Implementation prepared by the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD).