Operating Principles

NCCSHS Operating Principles banner


All children and youth in the United States are healthy, safe, academically successful, and prepared for rewarding and productive lives.


The mission of the National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety (NCCSHS) is twofold:

  1. To facilitate collaboration among the many private and public national organizations and agencies concerned with promoting the health, safety, and academic success of America’s children and youth.

  2. To inform federal and other agencies about current issues affecting the health, safety, and well-being of children and youth and the roles of schools in addressing these issues.


NCCSHS works to achieve its vision and mission by:

  1. Providing national leadership to enhance the provision of quality programs and services aimed at improving student health, safety and well-being through such activities as:
    • Convening meetings designed to disseminate current research, explore and discuss important and emerging issues, and identify opportunities for improvement.
    • Promoting greater collaboration among systems, organizations, agencies, and initiatives that serve children and youth by identifying and addressing common strategies for action.
    • Facilitating communication among NCCSHS members, federal staff, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
    • Disseminating timely policy and program information among NCCSHS members, federal staff, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
  2. Promoting health and safety in schools through such activities as:
    • Conveying a clear vision of the importance of health and safety initiatives in improving students’ academic achievement and preparation for rewarding and productive lives.
    • Recognizing the many and diverse facets of health, nutrition, safety and well-being.
    • Developing and providing recommendations to key leaders and policymakers on incorporating health and safey concerns into school improvement and education system reform efforts.
    • Showcasing effective and innovative programs, models, and initiatives through multiple venues.


Sponsoring federal agencies may invite other agencies and not-for-profit non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a mission related to the health, safety, and well-being of children and youth to become members of NCCSHS. Such organizations include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • National membership associations.
  • National voluntary health organizations.
  • University-based programs and centers with a national scope.
  • Philanthropic foundations.
  • National organizations who may represent or help to bring the active voices of youth to the table.

Interested for-profit organizations may attend meetings of NCCSHS as observers at their own expense, if there is space. They are not eligible to vote or to serve on NCCSHS committees or work teams.

There is no cost for membership. Member organizations that send no representatives to meetings and do not respond to communications may be removed from the membership list.

Organizational Structure

  1. NCCSHS Chair (one Chairperson or two Co-Chairs).

    A volunteer Chairperson, or a team of two Co-chairs, is elected for a two-year term by the NGO members and works closely with administrative staff to carry out the vision and mission of NCCSHS, and to implement activities supporting its strategies.

    In the year a new NCCSHS Chair needs to be elected, a Nominating Committee, convened by the Immediate Past Chair and including the two most recent and available Past Chairs, solicits nominations through an open process and prepares a ballot with at least one and no more than two candidates or two-person teams who have agreed to serve if elected. Balloting takes place by electronic communication prior to the annual meeting so that all member NGOs may participate. Each member NGO has one vote. Federal agencies and for-profit observers do not vote. The newly elected Chair assumes the role on October 1. To maintain continuity, the Immediate Past Chair orients the incoming Chair and maintains an advisory role.

  2. Steering Subcommittee.

    A standing Steering Subcommittee, composed of one volunteer representative from up to approximately 35 member organizations and federal agencies, is convened by the Chair to coordinate and monitor NCCSHS activities, plan meetings, establish ad hoc committees and work teams to pursue specific objectives, propose revisions to the Operating Principles, and recommend new activities.

    Nongovernmental organizations represented on the Steering Subcommittee serve for a three-year term that may be renewable based on need. There is a strong expectation that Steering Subcommittee members actively contribute to NCCSHS efforts in each of the three years of their tenure and attend each full NCCSHS meeting. Steering Subcommittee members are invited to serve by the NCCSHS Chair in consultation with federal administrative staff and the Nominating Committee. Organizations represented on the Steering Subcommittee represent a balance of discipline as well as recent participation in NCCSHS functions and activities.

    To provide continuity, the Immediate Past Chair is also a member of the Steering Subcommittee and attends NCCSHS meetings, whether or not that person continues to represent a NCCSHS member organization. In addition, former Chairs are expected to collectively select a representative to participate in the Annual NCCSHS and Steering Subcommittee meetings. This representative need not be the same person for every meeting in a given year.


All documents or other materials written under the name of NCCSHS will include a disclaimer stating that the views expressed do not necessarily represent the opinions of its sponsors or its member organizations and agencies.

Revisions to the Operating Principles

Every three years the Steering Subcommittee convenes an ad hoc work team to review and propose revisions to these Operating Principles. Proposed revisions are voted on, and may be further modified, during a NCCSHS general membership meeting by a majority vote of the organizations present. Each NGO has one vote. Federal agency representatives and for-profit observers do not vote.

Adopted by consensus in April 2001. Revised in May 2003, May 2004, and May 2007. Reviewed and accepted in 2010. Revised in 2014-15 and adopted by consensus in June 2015.

Date Last Reviewed:  July 2016