Who We Are

The Center for Healthy Kids and Schools offers a range of health resources including links to professionals who address health matters, nutrition, physical education, the prevention of mental health problems, and emergency preparedness in schools.  Please see below for a description of our programs and links to their sites.


The Alcohol, Tobacco, Other Drug and Violence Prevention Program  provides opportunities for schools, communities, businesses and families to work together to develop and implement comprehensive programs to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, violence or other disruptive behaviors among youth.  OCDE's Prevention Coordinator offers technical assistance, training and support to Orange County school districts in the preparation and implementation of prevention and intervention programs.

Healthy students learn better and are more successful in school!  The goal of the OCDE is for all students to succeed.  The OCDE recognizes the importance of health and it's relationship to learning; the goal is that our students experience wellness and achieve their greatest potential.  Coordinated school health programs, which include nursing and health services, promote health and wellness. The OCDE provides countywide leadership in school health and nursing services, as well as consultation and direction for the implementation of coordinated school health programs.

Health Matters

Dr. Marc Lerner, a long-time Orange County pediatrician and educator, was selected as the inaugural OCDE Medical Officer.  He offers consultation services on youth related medical and health issues for the educational community.  Dr. Lerner focuses on student wellness, nutrition, physical education, the prevention of mental health problems, and emergency preparedness, and serves as a  liaison between educators and the Orange County medical community.
Health, Sports and Physical Education
Health, Sports and Physical Education is part of the School Health & Wellness Team at the Orange County Department of Education. We provide Training, Tools, and Resources in Health Education, Physical Education, Physical Activity, Youth & High School Sports, and School Wellness Policy. Our partners include districts, schools, public agencies, community youth, health and sports organizations, healthcare providers, student and parent groups.

The Network for a Healthy California is a nutrition, education and physical activity promotion program dedicated to creating healthy school environments that can lead to successful learning for Orange County students.  The Network program currently serves low income schools in 23 school districts. Services include the following: encouraging the reduction of childhood obesity, promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables., encouraging the consumption of healthy beverage choices, supporting local School Wellness Committees, and providing skills-based nutrition education classes for parents. http://ocde.us/healthycalifornia  


School Based Mental Health Services

The School Based Mental Health Services provide prevention and early intervention for children and youth.  Programs include Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and four Violence Prevention Education (VPE) programs.  PBIS and VPE services provide a broad range of personalized social development services that are culturally and linguistically appropriate and consistent with the Mental Health Services Act, Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) model.  PBIS and four program sub-components comprise the multi-faceted violence prevention school-based program. Each component supports the PEI plan to reduce the risk of school failure.  The PEI School-based Mental Health Services is funded in part by the Orange County Health Care Agency, Behavioral Health Services, Prevention & Intervention Division.


Student Mental Health Matters

The aim of the K-12 Student Mental Health Initiative is to reduce barriers to learning.  The initiative takes a prevention and early identification approach to student mental health issues by promoting resilience, mental wellness, positive school climate, and healthy social and emotional development.  Services that are available include trainings for school staff and the community on youth mental health, facilitating collaboration among educators and mental health professionals for student mental health services, demonstration projects, resource-linking and technical assistance.  http://www.ocde.us/healthyminds/Pages/default.aspx


Student Services, Child Welfare and Attendance

The office of Student Services, Child Welfare and Attendance supports the success of districts and their students throughout Orange County.  The office promotes safe schools, school attendance, positive behavioral interventions, fair and equitable discipline, understanding and application of Juvenile laws and Education Code as well as providing mediation assistance for parents and districts related to school attendance options and discipline proceedings.  The office also partners with agencies and resources that assist school districts and their students including counseling/mental health organizations, human rights groups, truancy court, probation, the district attorney's office, social services and law enforcement.