with existing definitions but not confine or constrain the committee 's study. The committee's definition emphasizes the unique features of these programs—family and community involvement, multiple interventions, integration of program elements, and collaboration across disciplines. Each italicized term or phrase in the definition is explained in the following discussion.


The term comprehensive means inclusive, covering completely and broadly, and refers to a broad range of health and education components. Thus CSHPs are a broad set of school-based and community-based components involving a wide range of professionals. Examples of components include health education, health services, physical education, counseling and psychological services, nutrition and food programs, a healthful and supportive school environment, work-site health promotion for school faculty and staff, and integration of school programs with a wide range of community health and social programs. These components provide educational, social, and health care interventions assisting students and families in preventing disease, promoting and protecting health, minimizing the complications of health problems, and managing chronic conditions.

While comprehensive implies broad and complete coverage, it should be emphasized that programs and services actually delivered at the school site may not provide complete coverage by themselves. Instead, school-site programs and services are intended to work with and complement the efforts of families, primary sources of health care, and other health and social service resources in the community to produce a continuous and complete system to promote and protect students' health.


Integrated means to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole, to unite. When the various elements of CSHPs are integrated, they mutually reinforce and support each other, and produce a whole that is greater than the sum of its separate parts, in meeting the health needs of students and fostering student health literacy.

As an example, consider how the various elements of a CSHP might be integrated in the area of nutrition. Lessons on nutrition in the health education classroom can be supported by a school food service that serves healthful, well-balanced meals and labels the nutritional content of cafeteria selections.

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