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share what they believe and what they are doing to promote
student health. They cooperate, functioning independently
while supporting one another’s programs and services. They
coordinate by reviewing related program goals and action
plans for compatibility and by identifying gaps and duplication. They collaborate by working together to develop a
common vision and to establish priorities and shared goals.
Finally, they integrate, developing seamless, blended programs
and services with shared responsibility and accountability
Because every school and district has different programs
and services to support students’ health-related needs, coordinated school health looks different in every school. Schools
need to begin by looking at what they already have in place.
Most likely, every school has programs and services that are
related, to some degree, to each of the eight components. The
ultimate goal, however, is for the eight components to be
The Essential Eight
In 2000, recognizing the connection between adolescent
health and academic achievement, Tennessee’s state legislature
funded a five-year pilot program to implement coordinated
school health in 10 counties. On the basis of this successful
pilot, school health advocates convinced state legislators to
expand and fund coordinated school health statewide.
Tennessee is now focusing on integrating and coordinating
the eight components of the framework.