Academy for Social-Emotional Learning in Schools

Successful School Guideline #4 [Safe and Healthy]

The school community promotes health and wellness and creates an environment where all members are welcomed, supported, and feel safe in school: socially, emotionally, intellectually and physically.


Suggested Actions that address the Guideline:

  • Engage the School Safety Team in promoting practices to improve the safety of the school environment and develop a positive school climate and culture.
    • Carry out an audit of where and when accidents occur; survey students and staff about where they feel most and least safe, and why, and use this information for intervention planning and action
  • Engage the school nurse and health educators in designing and providing resources that encourage health and wellness.
    • Create an ongoing, multi-grade, developmental focus on what students eat, what the nutritional value is, what options they have; integrate this with lunch, biology, and parents
  • Design and implement prevention efforts to address risky behaviors including all forms of violence, harassment, intimidation and bullying, unhealthy relationships, underage drinking, drug use, and destructive decision-making.
    • Do an audit of where and when HIB incidents take place, share with students, and solicit their ideas for prevention.; engage in parallel, student-centered strategies for data gathering and action planning for other problem behaviors.
  • Survey students, their families, school staff and community stakeholders to discover what the school should do to further enhance a welcoming, supportive, healthy and safe environment.
    • With the leadership of the Culture and Climate Committee, Implement a systematic climate survey from grades 3 and higher that includes elements of engagement, morale, safety, support, belonging, and health, create a plan for data analysis, disaggregation, summary, feedback, and discussion, and involve those affected by issues in planning relevant actions
  • Provide multiple opportunities for students and staff to engage in healthy behaviors, such as physical activity and healthy eating, on a daily basis.
    • Institute journals for recording eating and exercise and create incentives and recognition for improvement
  • Monitor and evaluate the prevention and intervention strategies designed to support people feeling welcomed, supported and safe and use that data to improve relevant policies, practices, facilities, staff competencies, and accountability. – overlaps with the above
    • Create a Safety Patrol of students, with tasks appropriate for every grade level, to instruct and support health behavior among peers