Background: The School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) 2006 is the largest, most comprehensive assessment of school health programs in the United States ever conducted.
Methods: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducts SHPPS every 6 years. In 2006, computer-assisted telephone interviews or self-administered mail questionnaires were completed by state education agency personnel in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and among a nationally representative sample of districts (n = 538). Computer-assisted personal interviews were conducted with personnel in a nationally representative sample of elementary, middle, and high schools (n = 1103) and with a nationally representative sample of teachers of classes covering required health instruction in elementary schools and required health education courses in middle and high schools (n = 912) and teachers of required physical education classes and courses (n = 1194).
Results: SHPPS 2006 describes key school health policies and programs across all 8 school health program components: health education, physical education and activity, health services, mental health and social services, nutrition services, healthy and safe school environment, faculty and staff health promotion, and family and community involvement. SHPPS 2006 also provides data to monitor 6 Healthy People 2010 objectives.
Conclusions: SHPPS 2006 is a new and important resource for school and public health practitioners, scientists, advocates, policymakers, and all those who care about the health and safety of youth and their ability to succeed academically and socially.