The healthiest schools in America excel in family engagement, social-emotional learning and seven other key components of positive K-12 climates. The rankings recognized more than 400 schools across 26 states for advancing the physical, mental and social-emotional health of students, staff and families, says the nonprofit Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which compiled the list along with several corporate sponsors.
Schools were ranked for their achievements in nine categories:
- Increasing family and community engagement
- Strengthening social-emotional health and learning.
- Cultivating staff well-being
- Improving nutrition and food access
- Implementing a school wellness policy
- Bolstering physical education and activity
- Promoting tobacco-free schools
- Enriching health education
- Supporting school health services
“Oak Hill fosters positive growth, development, and well-being through nutrition, physical health, and social-emotional health education,” said Sherry André, a school counselor at one of the top-ranked buildings, Oak Hill Elementary School in St. Louis Public Schools.
The rankings gave extra weight to each school’s response to COVID and their efforts to eliminate systemic inequities that students and staff of color continue to face.
Nearly 75% of the awardees are Title I schools, and students of color are in the majority in about two-thirds of the buildings, according to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which helps K-12 develop health policies and programs.
These healthiest schools are considered “all-stars” for getting top marks in all nine categories:
- Alton Elementary School, Mission Consolidated ISD (Texas)
- Carl Waitz Elementary, Mission Consolidated ISD (Texas)
- Cedarcreek Elementary School, Saugus Union School District (California)
- Curtisville Primary Center, Deer Lakes School District (Pennsylvania)
- Griffin Middle School, Cobb County School District (Georgia)
- IDEA Pflugerville Academy, IDEA Public Schools Austin (Texas)
- IDEA Pflugerville College Prep, IDEA Public Schools Austin (Texas)
- Oak Hill Elementary School, St. Louis Public Schools (Missouri)
- Springhill Lake Elementary School, Prince Georges County School District (Maryland)
- Wilkinson Early Childhood Center Elementary School, St. Louis Public Schools
- West Creek Academy, Saugus Union School District (California)