In 2014 the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (WSCC) – a collaboration between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ASCD – was launched. It was a response to the “call for greater alignment, integration, and collaboration between education and health to improve each child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.” (ASCD, 2014, p. 6).
In the following years the model has become the preeminent school health framework in the U.S. and is used by the vast majority of states, districts, and schools. And while the use and expansion of this model has grown over the years there was still something missing.
A school’s culture – resulting from the school’s climate, the actions, interactions of everyone in that environment – plays a very large role in the success or failure of any new initiative. Culture is influenced by everyone inside the school but if there is one role or one group that has a huge influence it’s the principal, the school leader.
By focusing attention towards the school leader we prepare them with the skills and mindsets to implement change and to enhance their influence across the school community. We engage these key drivers of change in the process of change, and help ensure that the policies, processes, and practices across the school align, blend, and compliment.
A focus on the transformative skills of our school leaders is necessary and when adjusting or building a whole school initiative, the role of this type of leader is imperative.