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What is the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC)?

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child, or WSCC model, is CDC’s framework for addressing health in schools. The education, public health, and school health sectors have each called for greater alignment that includes, integration and collaboration between education leaders and health sectors to improve each child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development. This model focuses on the child to align the common goals of both sectors to put into action a whole child approach to education.

The WSCC model has 10 components:

  • Physical education and physical activity.

  • Nutrition environment and services.

  • Health education.

  • Social and emotional school climate.

  • Physical environment.

  • Health services.

  • Counseling, psychological and social services.

  • Employee wellness.

  • Community involvement.

  • Family engagement.

The WSCC model meets the need for greater emphasis on both the psychosocial and physical environment as well as the increasing roles that community agencies and families play in improving childhood health behaviors and development.

Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood and this is where schools play a critical role.

To come full circle, when schools engage families in meaningful ways to improve student health and learning, families can support and reinforce healthy behaviors in multiple settings—at home, in school, in out-of-school programs, and in the community.

There are examples of evidence-based strategies and promising practices for using the WSCC framework to promote student health before, during and after school for the following:

School Health Services Strategies

Nutrition Strategies

Out of School Time (OST) Strategies

Physical Education and Physical Activity Strategies

Click here to learn about specific examples for each of these categories and to get downloadable graphics for use in presentations, on websites, and handouts.


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