Demystifying the 6-Step Process: Step 2 - Assess Your School
This post is authored by Susan Rhine, School Nurse at Edward Titche Elementary School, TX
Using the online tool provided by the Healthy Schools Program, I was able to assess our school (Edward Titche Elementary School) using these three simple steps:
1. Start with the low-hanging fruit
I read through the Assessment questions thoroughly and provided answers to the questions that I readily knew.
2. Involve our campus Coordinated School Health (CSH) committee
I presented the questions to our campus CSH committee, which is comprised of our physical education coaches, cafeteria manager, school counselors, various classroom teachers, in addition to myself (the school nurse) and a member of our administrative team.
3. Share the work
Each member of the committee took the responsibility of assessing their area of expertise in the school. For example, the physical education coaches answered questions in Module 3: Physical Education and other Physical Activity Programs, our cafeteria manager answered questions in Module 4: Nutrition Services, and various committee members worked together to answer questions in modules such as School Health and Safety Policies and Environment.
By dividing the Assessment questions between the various members of the CSH committee, we were able to overcome our biggest obstacle: time. We reduced the time it took to complete the Assessment from hours (if only one person had worked on it) to mere minutes for each person or group that completed a module.
My best piece of advice is not to use the Assessment to determine what you’re doing wrong, but rather as a way to see what you’re doing right and where your school can make improvements around health and wellness practices. Don’t get discouraged by the number of needed improvements or try to tackle everything at once. Start by taking baby steps on your way to a healthier school environment.
And remember, the Alliance staff is only a phone call or email away to answer any questions or concerns you may have!
Click here to get started on your Assessment or update your existing Assessment. Remember to contact the Healthy Schools Program support staff at 888-KID-HLTH with any questions.