Local School Wellness began when the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 required all districts to establish local school wellness policies by School Year 2006‐2007 with a goal of promoting student health, preventing childhood obesity, and combating problems associated with poor nutrition and physical inactivity.
The Healthy, Hunger‐Free Kids Act of 2010 expanded the scope of wellness policies by adding nutrition promotion to the goals addressed in policies, bringing additional stakeholders to its development, implementation and review, and requiring public updates on the content, assessment, and implementation of the wellness policies (Section 204). These requirements went into effect June of 2017.
The intent is to strengthen local school wellness policies so they become useful tools in evaluating, establishing and maintaining healthy school environments, and to provide transparency to the public on key areas that affect the nutrition environment in each school.
- Address in policy how foods will be handled at school parties.
- Address in policy how students with food allergies will be handled at parties and who will be responsible for ensuring that the policy is followed.
- LWP to include, at a minimum, goals for nutrition education, nutrition promotion, physical activity, and other school‐based activities to promote student wellness, as well as nutrition guidelines for all foods available on school campus.
- LEAs are required to involve parents, students, teachers of physical education and school health professionalsand representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators and the public in the development of LWP.
- LEAs are required to develop nutrition guidelines for foods sold and foods provided but not sold to students.
- LEAs must ensure that food marketing on campus meets the Smart Snack Guidelines.
- The stakeholders named above are required to participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and updateof the LWP.
- LEAs can determine the specific policies appropriate for the schools under their jurisdiction, provided that those policies include all required elements specified in the Act.
- LEAs are required to inform and update the public (including parents, students, and others in the community) about the content and implementation of the LWP.
- LEAs are required to establish a plan for measuring implementation and to measure periodically and make available to the public an assessment on the implementation of LWP. The assessment must include the extent to which schools are in compliance with LWP, the extent to which the LWP compares to model LWP, and to describe the progress made in attaining goals of LWP.
LEAs are required to establish a plan for measuring implementation of the LWP, including designation of one or more LEA officials or school officials, as appropriate, charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that each school complies with the LWP.
The USDA administers the National School Lunch Program under which the Local School Wellness Mandate falls. They provide a number of resources including a model wellness policy and assessment tools for evaluating local school wellness policies on their website. Click on this hyper link to see more of their resources: USDA- Local Wellness Information and Resources
Recognition Opportunity- Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms
The Healthier US School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms is open to all Team Nutrition schools participating in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. We recognize that changing the school nutrition environment takes time and celebrate both the gradual changes and big successes of schools working diligently to help children eat more healthfully and be more physically active. Schools can submit an application at any time during the year for a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Gold of Distinction level award. To learn more and submit an application click on this hyperlink: Healthier US School Challenge Application Materials.
Assessment Option- School Health Index
This online self-assessment developed by the Center for Disease Control has been adopted by both Alliance for a Healthier Generation and Action for Healthy Kids. It is designed to help schools look at their policies revolving around health and safety and then create an action plan to improve and strengthen those policies. You can find the online assessment as well as links to Alliance and AFHK’s tools here!
Assessment Option- Well SAT 2.0 and Well SAT 2.0i
The Well SAT 2.0 was developed by researchers at the RUDD Center when it was at Yale University to be used to assess Wellness Policies strength. A draft of the Well SAT 2.0i (the “i” is for “implementation) is available on their website. The West Virginia Department of Education is currently using the Well SAT 2.0 to evaluate and provide feedback to counties on their Wellness Policies. More about these assessments is available on the RUDD Center website.
Assessment Option- School and Community Actions for Nutrition (SCAN) Survey
Developed by the University of California, Davis, the SCAN assessment is a rubric designed to score a Wellness Policy and its implementation and then be used as an action plan for improving the school environment.
Assessment Option- School Wellness Investigation
Developed by Fuel Up to Play 60, which is a nutrition and physical activity program created by the National Dairy Council and NFL to help schools improve and increase nutrition and physical activity programing for students with a host of resources to do this. FUTP 60’s assessment is called the School Wellness Investigation and has modules that assess: Nutrition Services, Physical Education/Physical Activity, and Family and Community engagement.