Better Health, Better Learning Report - July 2017 SCORE Better Health Better Learning Report_July 20 - Page 17

Conclusion “Childhood is brief. Communities of practice that do not typically engage one another, such as education and economic development and public health and the health care sector, need to develop models of working cooperatively to improve the determinants of health and health outcomes.” - Probst, Barker, Enders, & Garinder, 2016 Research conducted in a wide variety of settings and examining a broad set of indicators has consistently shown strong ties between the overall well-being of students and their academic achievement. Too many students—particularly those of color, attending rural schools, and from low-income backgrounds—lack consistent access to high- quality nutrition and mental and physical health services. These gaps affect students in rural, suburban, and urban communities alike. Poor health conditions and nutrition, diminished physical activity, and lack of health care services can lead to increased rates of absenteeism. In turn, lost learning time holds students back from reaching their full academic potential. Lifelong effects on health and productivity can follow. For students to achieve their full potential, leaders from the public health, education, nonprofit, philanthropic, and business sectors all have roles to play in advancing students’ health and academic achievement. Policymakers, too, can deepen our state’s commitment to ensuring all students have the supports they need to meet high expectations. Collaboration and intense focus on these needs will ensure a strong foundation for the future of Tennessee and the future of all Tennesseans. 16