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School & Health: Our Nation's Investment
One-third of these objectives can be influenced significantly or achieved in or through the schools (McGinnis and DeGraw, 1991);
the National Education Goals, a bipartisan effort begun at a national governors' summit in 1989; among their directives, the goals call for (National Education Goals Panel, 1993, 1994) students to start school with the healthy minds, bodies, and mental alertness necessary for learning; the development of safe and disciplined school environments that are free of drugs and alcohol, including the development of comprehensive K–12 drug and alcohol prevention education programs in every school district; access for all students to physical education and health education to ensure that students are healthy and fit; and increased parental partnerships with schools in order to promote the social, emotional, and academic growth of children;
the organization in the early 1990s of a federal Interagency Committee on School Health and a National Coordinating Committee on School Health;
significant reports during the late 1980s and early 1990s on the health status of children and young people from organizations such as the American Medical Association, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the National School Boards Association, the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Council of Chief State School Officers (Lavin et al., 1992); numerous reports from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, especially in relation to students with special health care needs, have also provided valuable assistance to school health planners (much of this material can be accessed through local and state health department maternal and child health offices);
the issuance by the American Medical Association in 1992 of Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services (GAPS), which calls for all adolescents aged 11 to 21 to have an annual preventive services visit to a physician who will address both the biomedical and the psychosocial aspects of health, with emphasis on health guidance and screening for risky behaviors such as sexual activity, substance abuse, eating disorders, learning difficulties, abuse, and emotional problems (American Medical Association, 1992);
since the beginning of 1994, a number of national conferences and reports have focused on the importance of improving access to comprehensive health and social services for children and families as a means of improving the health, welfare, and educational achievement of children; 3
One important event was "Principles to Link By," a conference in early 1994 attended by over 50 national organizations, including such wide-ranging groups as the American Academy of Pediatrics, Council of Governor's Policy Advisors, American Medical Association, National School Boards Association, National Parent Teachers Association, National Education Association, and the American Association of School Administrators (American Academy of Pediatrics, 1994a).