America's Healthiest Schools 2023 banner

America's Healthiest Schools

Healthier Generation’s signature award program honoring schools for the key role they play in advancing the health and well-being of students, staff, and families.

Get started with the Award Eligibility Checklist.

Apply by April 18, 2023

What is America’s Healthiest Schools?

America’s Healthiest Schools is Healthier Generation’s prestigious annual recognition program that celebrates schools for implementing best practices to support the physical, mental, and social-emotional health needs of the learning community.

Awardees must meet criteria in the Thriving Schools Integrated Assessment, an evidence-informed tool that helps schools identify strengths and opportunities for improving policies and practices to advance health and learning with an integrated approach.

What topics are recognized in America’s Healthiest Schools?

School teams may apply for recognition in up to nine topic areas:
  • Increasing Family & Community Engagement
    Presented by: Kohl’s
    Recognizes school teams that gather input from the school community, engage parents and caregivers in meaningful ways to support student successes, and connect families to resources related to social drivers of health
  • Improving Nutrition & Food Access
    Recognizes school teams that implement best practices to maximize school meal participation, meaningfully collaborate with teachers on nutrition education, and partner with community organizations to increase food access for students
  • Implementing Local School Wellness Policy
    Recognizes school teams that implement the district’s wellness policy with the support of a diverse set of stakeholders, set measurable goals, and reflect on progress, successes, and challenges
  • Bolstering Physical Education & Activity
    Recognizes school teams that provide physical education using an evidence-based curriculum and integrate physical activity opportunities throughout the school day with all students, including students with special health needs
  • Promoting Tobacco-Free Schools
    Recognizes school teams that address tobacco use in youth through prevention education and cessation intervention and actively engages youth in promoting a tobacco-free campus
  • Strengthening Social-Emotional Health & Learning
    Presented by: Harmony SEL at National University and Kaiser Permanente
    Recognizes school teams that implement an evidenced-based social-emotional learning curriculum, positively motivate students, and implement opportunities for students to regulate their emotions and learn from their mistakes
  • Cultivating Staff Well-Being
    Presented by: Harmony SEL at National University and Kaiser Permanente
    Recognizes school teams that actively promote relationship building with staff, foster a culture of gratitude, and provide resources to support breaks for all staff during the instructional day
  • Enriching Health Education
    Recognizes school teams that provide health education to all students, using an evidence-based curriculum and prioritize opportunities for students to practice skills to maintain and improve their health
  • Supporting School Health Services
    Recognizes school teams that address chronic health conditions, routinely conduct health screenings, and provide a pathway for students with health concerns to receive additional support from the school or community-based providers

Schools that achieve recognition in all nine topic areas are designated All-Star Schools.

Why apply for America’s Healthiest Schools?

Schools function best when students and educators are happy and healthy. Earning an America’s Healthiest Schools recognition indicates that your school is a leader in school health. Previous awardees have received a multitude of benefits, including:

  • A digital promotion package including web graphics, social media messages, newsletter blurbs, and email templates to help schools share the news.

What is the application timeline?

The application for the recognition program will open in late 2022/early 2023 in the Healthier Generation Action Center.

  • Application Opens: Winter 2022-2023
  • Application Closes: April 18, 2023
  • Award Notification: Summer 2023
  • Award Celebration: Fall 2023

Apply Early! All applications are due no later than April 18, 2023. Applications must be complete in order to be submitted for consideration.

Who can apply for America’s Healthiest Schools?

Any K-12 public or private school in the United States is eligible to apply for recognition as one of America’s Healthiest Schools—including elementary, middle, and high schools. Any school, regardless of earlier awards achieved, can apply for a 2023 award.

To receive an award, schools must have all criteria in a single topic area fully in place during the 2022-23 school year before the submission deadline.

View past award winners:
Inside one of America's Healthiest Schools:

“I love my job. I love my students. And I want the best for them.”

– Alanna Kolonics, PE Teacher

Wells Middle School, Alvord Unified School District, California

How can I apply for America’s Healthiest Schools?

1
Decide which topic area(s) to include in your application.
  • Find your school in the Healthier Generation Action Center. Invite others to join your team, if you’d like.
  • Answer the questions in the Award Eligibility Checklist to determine if your school will apply for recognition in one or more topic areas. Watch a short video on how to use the checklist.
  • To receive an award, all criteria in a single topic area must be “Fully in Place” during the 2022-23 school year before the submission deadline.
2
Gather the required evidence.
  • To verify award criteria is “Fully in Place,” your school team will provide information about implementation methods, improvements made this school year, and procedures and communication sent to students and families.
  • Use the Award Guide to prepare the required evidence for the topic(s) you will include in your application.
3
Submit Your Application

The 2023 Award Application will be available in the Action Center later this school year.

Get Help

The Healthier Generation team is here every step of the way to support your success.

How can districts support their schools' applications?

  • Share the Award Guide which outlines the evidence schools can collect in advance of completing the application. Pull together information that might support your schools’ applications. For example, a survey that gathered family input that was distributed widely through each school. Collect the evidence in a common drive to share with your schools.
  • Get in touch with our Member Engagement & Support Team or connect with your Healthier Generation Program Manager. You can also set up an online meeting with a Healthier Generation team member and your schools to walk through the application and get your questions answered.
  • Send out helpful calendar invites for your schools. These can include reminders of when the application is due and time to walk-through the application with schools in advance of submission to answer any questions.
Help and Support

Help and Support

If you have questions about the required evidence in the application or need technical support, please contact our Member Engagement & Support Team.

Ready to get started?