The American School Health Association was founded as the American Association of School Physicians on October 27, 1927 by 325 physicians at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Cincinnati, Ohio. Original members represented 29 states as well as Canada. The first president of the association was William A. Howe, M.D. from Buffalo, New York. Interest in the association grew so rapidly that in 1936 the association opened its membership to all professionals interested in promoting school health and officially changed its name to The American School Health Association.
The American School Health Association is a multidisciplinary organization made up of administrators, counselors, dietitians, nutritionists, health educators, physical educators, psychologists, school health coordinators, school nurses, school physicians, and social workers. Collectively, ASHA is working to lead efforts to prioritize school-based approaches that promote lifelong health, build a community to support the whole child, and activate champions of school health.
Our mission is to transform all schools into places where every student learns and thrives.
We envision healthy students who learn and achieve in a safe and healthy environment nurtured by caring adults functioning within coordinated school and community support systems.
5 Core Beliefs
Our core beliefs encompass five critical components of a healthy school environment designed to support PreK-12 students. We support student-centered, integrated and collaborative approaches that address the needs of the whole child. We believe the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model is the best representation of a truly collaborative approach to health and learning.
- Health and learning are directly linked and essential to the development of healthy, resilient citizens.
- Schools are uniquely positioned to help students acquire healthy habits for a lifetime.
- A coordinated school health approach is the most effective and efficient means of promoting healthy citizens.
- School health professionals should be highly qualified and be able to use current theory and research to select and design effective health and education strategies.
- Schools should be safe, nurturing environments that facilitate learning for all.
Learn more about ASHA’s core beliefs and why they matter.
Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model
The WSCC model is the recommended framework by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for addressing health in schools. The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school, the connections between health and academic achievement and the importance of evidence-based school policies and practices. We, at ASHA, believe the WSCC model is the best representation of a truly collaborative approach to health and learning.
To learn more about the WSCC model and its 10 components click here.
Meet the ASHA Board of Directors