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Information on topics supporting youth and adolescent health in school.​

 Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use

Vaping and E-Cigarette use​

Stats & Facts:

Classroom Resources:

  • Classroom Resources on Drug Effects

    Lessons, activities, and drug facts to educate teens about the effects and consequences of drug use.  Find FREE science- and standards-based classroom lessons and multimedia activities on teens and drugs – all funded or created by NIDA with the Lesson Plan and Activity Finder.

  • Operation Prevention
    Operation Prevention's classroom resources provide educators with engaging tools that are aligned to national health and science standards and integrate seamlessly into classroom instruction. Through a series of hands-on investigations, these resources introduce students to the science behind opioids and their impact on the brain and body.

Other Resources:

  • Preventing Underage Drinking
    This guide is designed to take communities through the process of planning, implementing, and evaluating strategies to prevent underage drinking and youth access to alcohol. The guide is structured according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Strategic Prevention Framework, a five-step prevention approach.

 CPR/AED Training for Students

A student who has been shown a video on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be in a better position to save a life in school, at home or in the community. Public Act 097-0714PDF Document, effective June 28, 2012, recommends such training for students in grades 6 through 8 as part of the school’s safety education curriculum. Schools may choose to but are not required to provide this training. 

Stats & Facts:

Other Resources:

 Enhanced Physical Education

​Enhanced P.E. correlates directly to the health and well-being of students for the rest of their lives and has cognitive benefits, too, making students more receptive to learning. There is a significant body of research showing that children who are more physically active perform better in class and on standardized tests. Improving opportunities for physical activity is an imperative for improving our children’s academic achievement and their health.​​​

 Health Education

 Mental Health

Trauma-informed care has become an essential aspect of how educators approach caring and supporting all children, which has shifted educational opportunities and outcomes in a positive direction. To genuinely provide the best care for our students, we also must take care of ourselves – as human beings. Providing high-quality care means we must be reflective of ourselves and those around us. Trauma is not just something our students experience; we as adults experience trauma as well. At unprecedented times like these, we are all experiencing our own form of trauma.


T​his department supports and promotes the overall wellbeing of children.  Healthy meals and healthy habits are essential for readiness to learn and success in the classroom and beyond.

Programs administered by the department ​include the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, and the Special Milk Program.

 Oral Health

Stats & Facts:

Classroom Resources:

  • KidsHealth in the Classroom
    KidsHealth in the Classroom offers educators free health-related lesson plans for PreK through 12th grade. Each Teacher's Guide includes discussion questions, classroom activities and extensions, printable handouts, and quizzes and answer keys all aligned to National Health Education Standards.

Other Resources:


What is Safe2Help Illinois?YouTube Video Link

​​​​​In the absence of a trusted adult, Safe2Help Illinois will offer students a safe, confidential way in which to share information that might help prevent suicides, bullying, school violence or other threats to school safety. This program is not intended to suspend, expel or punish students. Rather, the goal is to get students to “Seek Help Before Harm.” Safe2Help Illinois will also develop an educational curriculum aimed at changing the culture in Illinois schools while also providing the resources to help parents and educators reinforce the components of this program.

​​​​​Safe2Help Illinois is a 24/7 program where students can use a free app, text/phone, website and other social media platforms to report school safety issues in a confidential environment. Once vetted, the tips will immediately be shared with local school officials, mental health professionals and/or local law enforcement, depending on the nature of the tip. The program also will help local officials by connecting them with mental health resources or other appropriate resources to intervene and help students before they harm themselves or others. Visit Safe2Help to learn more. ​​​

Cyberbullying Resources

 Sexual Health Education

Public Act 102-0522 requires the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) to adopt the National Sex Education Standards as the Illinois Learning Standards for sexual health education. The board adopted these standards on June 14, 2022. PA 102-0522 also requires ISBE to post resources for districts that choose to teach these standards by August 1, 2022. Please visit ISBE’s new webpage for sexual health education​ to view these resources and learn more about comprehensive personal health and safety and sexual health education in Illinois.​​​

 Unstructured Play Time/Recess

  • Unstructured Play Time 105 ILCS 5/27-6.3
  • Wind Chill and Heat Index ChartsPDF Document

    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.

 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

  • Youth Risk Behavior Survey
  • 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.

    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.

    For general questions about the survey and/or data, visit the CDC YRBS FAQ page​.

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