Encouraging ‘healthy schools’ in Mississippi, report says

February 13, 2019 | The Hechinger Report

Mississippi has been highlighted in a new report as one of ten states in the nation that has robust policies that encourage “healthy schools,” defined as those that fully support a student’s “academic, physical, emotional, and social well-being.”

The report, released by several organizations including the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Child Trends, the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and EMT Associates, Inc., analyzed state statutes and regulations relating to ten domains of health, including nutrition, social services, employee wellness and family engagement. Mississippi’s statutes and regulations were found to be “comprehensive” in six of these domains, including health education and employee wellness. The state is the only one in the nation to comprehensively cover employee wellness in its policies.

Mississippi did particularly well in the areas of health education, which includes requiring a healthy eating and nutrition curriculum in all grade levels, and incorporating social and emotional learning in some grade levels. The state also scored well in health services, which include requiring preventive health screenings across grade levels. The state’s policies regarding nutrition environment and services, counseling, psychological and social services, and community engagement were rated “moderate.”

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