Wellness Policy Tool: Seven Steps to Success
School districts across the country recognize that healthy eating behaviors and regular physical activity are essential for students to achieve their full academic and life potential, and that they have a responsibility to provide a healthy learning environment by supporting wellness, good nutrition, and regular physical activity. Wellness policies promote life-long wellness behaviors, and link healthy nutrition and exercise to students' overall physical well-being.
Action for Healthy Kids developed the Wellness Policy Tool: Seven Steps to Success, with input from our partner organizations and volunteer Team members, to assist wellness policy work. This tool has been designed to help you create a local wellness policy that meets your district's unique goals for nutrition and physical activity and take the next steps to put the policy into action to positively impact students' health and lifelong choices.
Using the Action for Healthy Kids Wellness Policy Tool
School Board policies are statements that set forth the purposes and prescribe in general terms the organization and programs of a school system. These policies create a framework to provide direction and guidance for administratios, staff and students. Policies serve as sources of information for parents, community members and others who are interested in or connected with the schools. Policies should define clearly the goals and objectives of the school system, allow for the flexibility that is vital in day-to-day operations, reflect the board’s vision, define roles and responsibilities (who is supposed to do what), and include measurable outcomes.
The AFHK Wellness Policy Tool is intended to help anyone involved in developing, implementing, and evaluating wellness policies by providing practical guidance and how-to information about the wellness policy process. The process of developing and implementing a wellness policy tool is cyclical and on-going. Putting the policy on paper is not enough to improve student nutrition and physical activity. By following the cycle of policy development shown in the AFHK tool , school districts can improve student nutrition and physical activity long-term.
To use this tool, you will need to register and then log in. Then, you can start with Step 1 or go directly to the step that is relevant to your progress. There you will find objectives, resources, and frequently asked questions to guide your journey through the wellness policy process. Click on any step of the tool to go to the registration and log in page.
The Action for Healthy Kids Wellness Policy Tool uses a continuous process, consisting of seven steps. The steps are related to each other, and by working through each step, it is possible to effectively establish district wellness and other policies. Clicking on each step will open a new page with specific information and guidance. It is the intent of this tool that the team established in Step 1 works together through each step of the process in their work as a district wellness committee. Specific questions will guide the process and related resources are listed with each step. Helpful online resources are listed at the end of each step.