What Works for Health

Policies and programs that can improve health

School-based health clinics with reproductive health services

Provide reproductive health care services such as counseling, contraception, and testing in middle and high school-based health clinics

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Sexual Activity

School-based intimate partner violence prevention programs

Provide youth with teen dating violence education that addresses healthy relationships, gender norms, relationship coercion, and violence in a school setting

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Community Safety

School-based nutrition education programs

Address nutrition in schools via educational (e.g., classroom or curricula-wide efforts, peer training, etc.), environmental (e.g., school menus, classroom snacks, etc.), and other approaches

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

School-based physical education enhancements

Expand or enhance school-based physical education (PE) by lengthening existing classes, increasing physical activity during class, adding new PE classes, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Diet and Exercise

School-based social and emotional instruction

Implement focused efforts to help children recognize and manage emotions, set and reach goals, appreciate others’ perspectives, and maintain relationships; also called social and emotional learning (SEL)

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-based social norming: alcohol consumption

Provide objective, normative information to reduce students’ misperceptions about alcohol use and, ultimately, change their alcohol consumption

Evidence Rating:
Mixed Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Alcohol and Drug Use

School-based tobacco prevention skill-building programs

Teach students personal and social skills to avoid tobacco use; led by teachers, health educators, or students in elementary schools, middle schools, or high schools

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Tobacco Use

School-based trauma counseling

Help students process trauma exposure and develop coping skills through individual or small group counseling with mental health professionals or school staff with trauma-specific training

Evidence Rating:
Some Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-based violence & bullying prevention programs

Address students’ disruptive and antisocial behavior by teaching self-awareness, emotional self-control, self-esteem, social problem solving, conflict resolution, team work, social skills, etc.

Evidence Rating:
Scientifically Supported
Health Factor(s):
Education

School-community liaisons

Provide low income or at-risk public school students and their families with information about social services and health care supports; also called community resource or family and community liaisons

Evidence Rating:
Insufficient Evidence
Health Factor(s):
Education