Healthy Schools Research

Kids walk in a school hallway.

When schools are a healthy environment for learning and growing, we have a better chance of raising a generation of strong and vibrant students who are prepared to succeed in life.




The Issue

To better understand how parents, teachers, students, education stakeholders and business leaders think about healthy school environments, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supported a series of message research studies, conducted by Edge Research and GMMB.

Key Findings

  • All audiences agree that there are multiple dimensions that make up a healthy school environment, including physical and social emotional health, safety, academic achievement, discipline, and school support, and these elements are interconnected.

  • Many say healthy schools are important and ideal, but competing priorities and limited resources are among the barriers that get in the way.

  • Messages around how a healthy school environment can promote equity and student success performed the best across audiences.

  • Each audience understands they have a role to play in creating a healthy school. Students, teachers, and parents see themselves as the core players and understand that the partnership is critical but complex.


This research provides insights into how key audiences think about how schools and communities can take a holistic approach to student well-being and success. It explores ways to communicate around goals and concepts to build support for healthy school environments that can be helpful for organizations working at the intersection between health and education.

About the Study

This presentation includes research findings from in-depth interviews with K-12 state, district, and out-of-school time leaders; focus groups with parents, teachers and students; a national survey of public school parents and teachers; and in-depth interviews with business leaders. 

RWJF webinar

Healthy Schools Message Research

Participants discuss an initiative to understand what it will take to merge health and education perspectives so schools can be places where good health goes hand-in-hand with success in school and life.

Listen to the webinar recording