Do you believe in the link between health and learning? Do you support the notion that healthy kids learn better? As I dig into more and more research on what creates effective, sustainable school health programs, you know what keeps coming up? Administrative support. District-wide implementation. Superintendents taking the lead and saying, "My district will work on school health initiatives because I know there is a correlation between addressing staff and student wellness and test scores, attendance and graduation rates." So, how do we get more administrators on board? We don't want un-engaged superintendents that are passively supporting the work. We want leaders. And, one way to help ensure you are hiring a leader that will embrace this proven philosophy that healthy kids learn better is to hire well.
Here are 15 school health questions you can use when hiring leaders for your school or district. You could even use these when appointing school board members or state board of education members.
- What comes to mind when I say, 'Coordinated school health?'
- Could you share any anecdotal experiences or research you have experienced or read between test scores, attendance and graduation rates and the health of students?
- Do you have experience creating, supporting and/or implementing any policies at the school or district level around creating healthier and safer school environments?
- Explain how you personally value the link between health and learning.
- How might addressing the health and wellbeing of your staff affect staff attendance, retention, health, costs and possibly even the academic success of your students?
- What does creating sustainable school health programs mean to you?
- How might your leadership embrace healthier school environments?
- What comes to mind when I say, 'Consistent healthy messages within a school environment?'
- What will you do to ensure our school/district is working to create healthy schools?
- What do you do to model a healthy lifestyle for your staff and students?