The prominent role of the school in many international health efforts is facilitated by two conditions that exist in many countries but not in the United States: health care is an entitlement, and the educational system is nationalized.
A recent model in the evolution of school health programs is the full-service school (Dryfoos, 1994). A full-service school is the center for collocating—locating together in one place—a wide range of health, mental health, social, and/or family services into a one-stop, seamless institution. The exact nature and configuration of services and resources offered will vary from place to place, but services should thoroughly address the unique needs of each particular school and community—hence the title "full-service schools."
According to this model, a full-service school provides a quality education for students that includes individualized instruction, team teaching, cooperative learning, a healthy school climate, alternatives to tracking, parental involvement, and effective discipline. The school and/or community agencies provide comprehensive health education, health promotion, social skills training, and preparation for the world of work.
A distinguishing feature of this model is the broad spectrum of services to be provided at the school site by community agencies. Some examples of these various services include health services such as health and dental screening and services, nutrition counseling, and weight management; mental health services such as individual counseling, crisis intervention, and substance abuse treatment and follow-up; and family welfare and social services such as family planning, childcare, parent literacy, employment training, legal services, recreational and cultural activities, basic services for housing, food, and clothing.
In 1990, the Association for the Advancement of Health Education convened a committee of delegates from the Coalition of National Health Organizations5 and the American Academy of Pediatrics. The charge to
Members of the coalition are the American Public Health Association, School Health Education and Services Section and the Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section; American College Health Association; American School Health Association; Association for the Advancement of Health Education; American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Association of State and Territorial Directors of Public Health Education; Society for Public Health Education, Inc., and Society of State Directors of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.