Giving Compass' Take:

• A new report found that Mississippi is one of ten states to have "comprehensive" statutes and regulations at its school, particularly in health education and employee wellness.

• What are the reasons that the schools excelled in some domains, but fell short in others? 

• Read about how access to nutritious food could be the key to student academic success. 

Mississippi has been highlighted in a new report as one of ten states in the nation that has robust policies that encourage “healthy schools,” defined as those that fully support a student’s “academic, physical, emotional, and social well-being.”

The report, released by several organizations including the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Child Trends, the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago and EMT Associates, Inc., analyzed state statutes and regulations relating to ten domains of health, including nutrition, social services, employee wellness and family engagement.

Mississippi’s statutes and regulations were found to be “comprehensive” in six of these domains, including health education and employee wellness. The state is the only one in the nation to comprehensively cover employee wellness in its policies.

Mississippi did particularly well in the areas of health education, which includes requiring a healthy eating and nutrition curriculum in all grade levels, and incorporating social and emotional learning in some grade levels.

In the counseling, psychological and social services domain, the report found Mississippi’s statutes and regulations failed to address school-based mental health services, professional development for mental health, or professional development for trauma.

The report is part of a larger initiative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the nonprofit group ASCD to push schools to address physical, mental and social well-being. These supports in nonacademic areas ultimately help children perform better academically.

Read the full article about Mississippi schools by Jackie Mader at The Hechinger Report