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Updates to 2014 CDC SHI Tool

Many schools are familiar with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) School Health Index (SHI) interactive assessment tool. Whether you’ve used it for assessment in the past or will be in the future, it is an important tool to understand.

This self-assessment tool enables schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs and develop action plans for improving student health promotion based on federal recommendations and national standards. It is a common assessment tool utilized by schools working to improve student health through changes made with local resources, as well as a useful tool for identifying needs during the grant application  process and for monitoring improvement during the grant implementation process. In fact, completion of Modules 1-4 of the School Health Index is a requirement for applying for a Carol M. White PEP grant, and PEP grant awardees must re-administer SHI by the end of their grant periods to determine progress made.

The CDC recently announced updates to the tool for 2014. These changes include updated nutrition content to align with new USDA regulations (including Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards), and revised physical education and physical activity content to align with updated national standards and advancements in physical activity programming. In addition to the changes, The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program has also adopted CDC’s School Health Index as its assessment tool to help schools assess their current policies and practices as well as track progress over time.

Two versions of the SHI are made available by the CDC. Version 1 retains the full comprehensive SHI, with its six health topics: nutrition, physical activity, unintentional injury and violence prevention, tobacco use prevention, asthma, and sexual health. Version 2 is focused on just two health topics: nutrition and physical activity.

To learn more about the tool, the changes, and get started with an assessment, access the SHI tool on

We’ll also have some additional content in the near future with more details on using the SHI tool.

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