health program, to serve as the basis for further work. To provide a general context for this definition, the interim statement reviews briefly the history of school health programming and examples of previous definitions and models for these programs; these topics will be examined in depth in the full report. The interim statement also identifies additional questions and issues that emerged in the process of formulating the definition, which the committee intends to explore during the course of its study.
The provisional definition of a comprehensive school health program adopted by the IOM Committee on Comprehensive School Health Programs in Grades K–12 follows:
A comprehensive school health program is an integrated set of planned, sequential, school-affiliated strategies, activities, and services designed to promote the optimal physical, emotional, social, and educational development of students. The program involves and is supportive of families and is determined by the local community based on community needs, resources, standards, and requirements. It is coordinated by a multidisciplinary team and accountable to the community for program quality and effectiveness.
Each term in the definition is described in Chapter 3 of this document. This definition is intended to be compatible with various existing models and definitions, but allows the committee flexibility in pursuing its charge. This definition emphasizes what the committee believes are the unique features of a comprehensive school health program —family and community involvement, multiple interventions, integration of program elements, and collaboration across disciplines.