This area of the website provides information and guidance in regard to the physical health of students. Trainings, information about specific school health issues, classroom management and student and family resources are found here.
According to the Center for Disease Control, 20 percent of youth experience a mental disorder in the United States (CDC, 2016). In order to better equip adults who work with youth, ISBE is partnering to raise awareness of youth mental health.
Youth Mental Health First Aid webinar that was hosted by Illinois State Board of Education, Central Illinois Health Education Center, Illinois State University and National Council for Behavioral Health. Individuals who work with youth in Illinois may find helpful this informational introduction to Youth Mental Health First Aid.
The webinar will introduce you to concepts covered in YMHFA course. Youth Mental Health First Aid® USA is a public education program designed for adults who work with youth ages 12–18. The evidence-based program helps teachers, other school staff and the general public to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness and substance use early, provide support, deescalate possible crisis and refer young people to professional help. This session outlines the background and mission of this groundbreaking public education program, discusses federal, state and local support, and provides an overview of the course content. ***This webinar is intended to introduce concepts which are covered more in depth curriculum and in no way substitutes for the full curriculum to become certified as a Youth Mental Health “first-aider”.
Professional Development Credit will be available for attendance at this webinar. Professional Development Credit will be available until February 28, 2019. In order to receive PD credit, you must complete the
YMHFA Primer survey.
These modules, produced by ISBE in collaboration with Benedictine University, were developed for use by school nurses who may
in turn use them for training other school personnel, such as classroom teachers, health assistants, and administrators. They may be viewed singly or in any combination. The first 30 nurses who view all three of the modules and complete the attached survey will receive 1.5 hours CNE issued by ISBE.
The Centers for Disease Control has developed interim guidance for grade K-12 district and school administrators for public health actions pertaining to the Zika virus infection. This guidance is intended to address concerns about the risk for Zika virus infection in K–12 schools and provide school districts with information for planning school-related activities, and recommend actions that can be taken, in consultation with local public health authorities and government officials, to reduce the potential risk for Zika virus transmission on school premises and among students.
To view the Zika virus guidance, please visit
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance "Addressing Ebola Virus Infection Concerns in K-12 Schools: Interim Guidance for District and School Administrators". For more information, visit the
ISBE participates on the Ebola Task Force led by the state health department to monitor the outbreak and provide information. For more information about what Illinois is doing to combat the spread of Ebola visit the
The Illinois State Board of Education has released the results of the
2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) of Illinois high school students. The YRBS is taken by a randomly selected sample of students in Illinois high schools and is administered during the spring of the school years when spring falls on an “odd” year (e.g., 2014-15, 2016-17).
The YRBS monitors six categories of priority health-risk behaviors among high school students —behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence; tobacco use; alcohol and other drug use; and sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV infection; unhealthy dietary behaviors; and physical inactivity. In addition, the YRBS monitors the prevalence of obesity and asthma and other priority health-related behaviors.
A sample of 4,300 students in 46 Illinois public, non-charter high schools took the 2017 survey, which is voluntary, self-administered, and anonymous. ISBE contracts with a company experienced in administering surveys in schools with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) under a cooperative agreement between the CDC and ISBE.
Many high school students engage in behaviors that place them at risk for the leading causes of morbidity and mortality. YRBS data are used widely to compare the prevalence of health behaviors among subpopulations of students; assess trends in health behaviors over time; monitor progress toward achieving 21 national health objectives for Healthy People 2020; provide comparable state and large urban school district data; and help develop and evaluate school and community policies, programs, and practices designed to decrease health-risk behaviors and improve health outcomes among youth.
Partner organizations can request other data files from ISBE. For more information on the Illinois YRBS, contact
Jessica Gerdes, principal consultant for school health at ISBE. For general questions about the survey and/or data, visit the
CDC YRBS FAQ page.
Students should be encouraged to engage in physical activity year-round, including winter, when they are adequately protected from exposure to extreme weather. Attached is a chart, created by Iowa Department of Public Health and distributed nationally, which may help school districts decide when to limit outdoor play and other activities. The chart explains both wind chill and heat index and is based on information provided to Iowa DPH by the US National Weather Service. To be most useful, the chart, if printed, should be printed in color.
* * * This page has been archived. The content on this page may no longer be in effect. * * *