School Health

Schools play a critical role in promoting the health of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research shows that healthy schools can help improve student’s academic performance and overall health.

Well-Ahead Louisiana works to support healthier schools through partnership development and technical assistance to schools and school districts. Our goal is to ensure all youth have a healthy start to a healthy future.




School Health 411

Well-Ahead works with state agencies, school systems, schools, and community partners to prevent chronic disease and promote the health and well-being of children and adolescents in schools. The Whole School Whole Community Whole Child (WSCC) model is our framework for addressing health in schools.   The WSCC model is student-centered and emphasizes the role of the community in supporting the school and the importance of evidence-based policies and practices.

Take Action

Well-Ahead Louisiana is here to help schools and school districts take action to positively impact the health of students and school staff. Well-Ahead supports healthy schools by providing direct WellSpot technical assistance, providing professional development, and cultivating statewide partnerships. 

School WellSpot Designation

Through its WellSpot Designation Program, Well-Ahead Louisiana works with schools to help them meet wellness benchmarks.  These benchmarks include things like creating a School Wellness Committee, incorporating physical activity energizers in the classroom, and implementing Smart Snacks. 

Becoming a School WellSpot is a great first step to implementing the WSCC model at your school.  There are many resources that can help your school implement WSCC components and WellSpot Benchmarks. Visit our school resources webpage to learn more.

Support Healthy Eating

Most US children attend school for 6 hours a day and consume as much as half of their daily calories at school. The school nutrition environment and services is part of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and can help shape lifelong healthy eating behaviors.

CDC recommends that schools implement policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices. A healthy school nutrition environment provides students with nutritious and appealing foods and beverages, consistent and accurate messages about good nutrition, and ways to learn about and practice healthy eating throughout the time children spend on school grounds—including before- and after-school.

Physical Education and Physical Activity

Schools are in a unique position to help students attain the nationally recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Physical education and physical activity is one component of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and can help shape lifelong physical activity behaviors.

CDC recommends a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all available opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. This approach is referred to as a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP). The goal of CSPAP is to increase physical activity opportunities before, during, and after school and increase students’ overall physical activity and health.

Geaux Tobacco Free

Lawmakers cleared the air for every student in the state in 2017 by passing Act 351. The legislation prohibits smoking across more than 1,400 schools statewide. Talk about breathing room! Click here to learn more about implementing a tobacco-free policy at your school. 

While cigarette use has steadily declined among youth, new vapor (or e-cigarette) products targeted to youth have changed the tobacco landscape. In Louisiana, vaping increased by 48% among high school students (from 8.3% to 12.3%) and 65% among middle school students (from 5.2% to 8.6%) between 2015 and 2017!

Check out Well-Ahead Louisiana’s Memorandum for School Administrators, School Nurses, Health Educators, and Coaches to learn how you can be a leader in stopping the vaping epidemic and ensuring a healthy and bright future for Louisiana’s youth! Vaping and tobacco resources can also be found here.

Creating a Healthy Smile

Healthy children learn more easily, and it is estimated that 51 million school hours are lost each year to dental-related illness. In addition, an estimated 17 million children in the U.S go without dental care each year. Dentists, physicians, community leaders, and schools can help create healthy smiles in Louisiana.  Click the links below to learn more about Well-Ahead Louisiana’s oral health efforts.

Healthy Schools Training Krewe

Well-Ahead Louisiana has worked to coordinate professional development and identify resources that can assist schools and school districts in making healthy changes. The Healthy Schools Training Krewe collaborates with the Louisiana Department of Education, content leaders, and state organizations to deliver professional development. The mission of the group is to enhance the knowledge and skills of those working to create healthier schools by providing professional development to schools and school districts. 

Click here to request a workshop! 

Upcoming Workshops

To learn more about any workshop listed below, visit Louisiana Healthy Schools on Eventbrite

  • Culinary Skills Training for School Food Service Professionals - April 2020 (Register at Louisiana Fit Kids)
  • Louisiana Healthy Schools Academy at Teacher Leader Summit - May 2020 (Registration coming soon)

Self-Paced Virtual Learning

Offered Workshops

School Nutrition

The Krewe provides professional development to schools and school district on the implementing policies and practices to create a nutrition environment that supports students in making healthy choices. 

  • Local Wellness Policies
  • Smart Snacks
  • Celebrations & Rewards 
  • Food and Beverage Marketing 
  • Healthy Eating Learning Opportunities
  • Staff Role Modeling
  • Healthy Eating Before and After School

Louisiana Team Nutrition, in partnership with the Louisiana Culinary Institute, has launched a regional culinary skills training series in that is focused on enhancing food preparation skills and knowledge of school food service professionals. The training has traveled the state, reaching Baton Rouge, Monroe, Bossier Parish, Lake Charles, Marksville, and the surrounding areas.  The next training will be in Baton Rouge in the 2019-2020 school year. To learn more, visit Louisiana Fit Kids or contact Stephanie Jodeir at 

Physical Activity and Physical Education 

The Krewe provided professional development on implementing a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all available opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. 

  • Physical Education 
  • Recess
  • Classroom Physical Activity 
  • Physical Activity Before and After School 
  • Staff Involvement Family 
  • Community Engagement 
Management of Chronic Conditions 

The healthcare needs of children with chronic illness can be complex and continuous and include both daily management and addressing potential emergencies. Health services in schools are a key component of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model. Ensuring that students have the health services they need in school to manage their chronic condition is important in helping them stay healthy and ready to learn.

Health Education 

Health education is integral in providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to become successful learners and healthy adults. Health education that provides students with the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and experiences needed for lifelong healthy eating and physical activity. 


Below is a current listing of content leads for the Healthy Schools Training Krewe. 

Physical Activity & Physical Education

  • Christina Courtney, MS, MBCT
  • Joanna Faerber, M. Ed., NBCT
  • Andre Dicharry, M.Ed.
  • Carolyn “Petsy” Mills, M.Ed.
  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette - School of Kinesiology - The mission of the School of Kinesiology is to develop highly skilled graduate and undergraduate students who will be competitive in the job market based around core experiences that consists of innovative instruction, exposure to innovative scholarship, and community engagement. Dr. Ben Kern, Dr. Charles Duncan, and K-Lynn McKey serve as trainers for the Healthy Schools Training Krewe.

Child Nutrition & Wellness

  • Jen Duhon, MS, RDN, LDN
  • Joannie Miller, MS
  • Tina Griffith, BS
  • Pat Farris, MS, RDN, LDN

Social Emotional & Health Services

  • Dr. Barzanna White, SSP, PhD

Louisiana Healthy Schools Team

  • Stephen Guccione (LDOE)
  • Erica Gilliam (LDOE)
  • Stephanie Jodeir (Well-Ahead)
  • Emily Pineda (Well-Ahead)

State Associations