- The 2008 estimate of school dropout cited by the National Center for Education Statistics (U.S. Department of Education) indicates 8% of American high school students left school before completion. As many policymakers have indicated, the dropout crisis is a moral and economic imperative for the nation. Many, if not most of the social obstacles to high school completion (drug use, teen pregnancy, violence, hunger, poverty) are also obstacles to health.
- Research shows that it increases educational success by providing physical and mental health care that allows students to stay in school and do better academically.3 They are a proven strategy for eliminating or reducing barriers to graduation and preventing school dropout. It’s time to think big about what school-based health care can do to increase health, well-being and educational success school-wide.
- School climate has a major impact on students, shaping their experiences within the school walls and their chances at academic success. School climate can either reinforce negative influences or help students grow, learn and graduate. Establishing a positive school climate is critical, but it is by no means a simple task. Its creation requires concerted effort and dedication from students, staff, and support from the community at large.
- To avoid hunger and sustain energy, people who experience food insecurity consume a good deal of inexpensive, high calorie, low quality food. Herein lies the intersection between two seemingly opposite phenomena – hunger and obesity. Not only does food insecurity include the risk of poor nutrition, obesity and complications from chronic diseases, but also poor school performance.
- One third of all high school students say that violence is a big problem at their school, and one in four say they do not feel very safe at school, showing the potentially widespread impact that school violence could have on students’ physical and emotional well-being, and ultimately their educational success.4 School violence is essential to address as both a public health and an educational issue relating to school dropout.