The WSCC Model

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child, or (WSCC) model, is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) framework 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. CDC and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum (ASCD) developed the WSCC model—in collaboration with key leaders from the fields of health, public health, education, and school health—to strengthen a unified and collaborative approach designed to improve learning and health in our nation’s schools.

The WSCC model defines 10 important areas of a healthy school: health education; physical education and physical activity; nutrition environment and services; health services; counseling, psychological, and social services; social and emotional climate; physical environment; employee wellness; family engagement; and community involvement. 

Infographic describing WSCC policy categories

The Role for State Policymakers in the WSCC Approach

School systems improve both student learning and health if they coordinate policy, process, and practice across the 10 domains of CDC’s WSCC model. However, there are specific tasks that many state boards of education, working collaboratively with state education agencies and health departments, can do:

  • Develop school wellness policies for student and staff health.
  • Establish ongoing assessment (e.g., CDC School Health Index) and coordination mechanisms (e.g. school health councils, coordinators).
  • Develop policies and practices to ensure that school staff who provide health-related education, prevention, management, or response are well qualified and have ongoing professional development opportunities.
  • Develop policies that enable adequate student health and mental health services, including screening and identification, management, and community provider referral.
  • Develop policies to ensure safe and healthy school environments in the areas of transportation, nutrition, physical activity, environmental health (including allergens), injury prevention and safety, and emergency preparedness and response.
  • Set curriculum standards for planned, sequential health education and physical education curriculum and instruction.
  • Encourage schools to partner with families and communities to enhance student health and learning.

For more information about the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model, visit the CDC's Healthy Schools website.