Denver Public Schools (DPS) recognizes the significant impact that health has on the academic achievement of students. Healthy kids make better students, and better students make healthier communities. Plus, a healthy workforce contributes to more effective instruction, operations and positive role modeling in school settings. Schools contribute to health in many ways, including nutrition services, physical education and the work of school nurses, social workers and psychologists. Schools also strive to provide a safe and enriching environment for learning. DPS hopes to make a notable difference by focusing energies and resources on a targeted set of health goals that can be accomplished within five years. This set of goals is called the DPS Health Agenda 2015. The DPS Health Agenda 2015 was developed by the Denver School Health Advisory Council through the work of committees and with input from more than 1,200 stakeholders who completed a survey.

Planning Process

Priority was given to:

1) Health issues with the strongest correlation to learning and/or readiness to learn.

2) Strategies that are evidence-based and best practices

3) Health indicators that are measurable and ones that schools can directly affect

4) Goals that are ambitious yet feasible within five years

5) Objectives that build on existing programs and strategies proven successful in DPS

Special consideration was given to:

1) Goals that are aligned with local health concerns and priorities

2) Goals that emphasize prevention and population-level impact

3) Goals that contribute to reducing health and/or educational disparities

4) Goals that are aligned with other DPS priorities, especially the 2009 Denver Plan and Board of Education Five-Year

The health goals selected through this collaborative process are outlined in this document. They are organized into the areas of Coordinated School Health, a framework endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A variety of funding strategies will be employed to actualize these goals, including district contributions, private donations, public and private grants, and other innovative partnerships.

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