Lay the Foundation for a Healthy School: Update Your Wellness Policy Now
Recognizing the critical role schools play in protecting and promoting child health, national requirements around local school wellness policies have existed since 2004. These policies set guidelines and expectations for wellness initiatives that take place in school buildings and help school staff create a shared agenda to build healthier environments.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is now updating the requirements for wellness policies with a proposal issued in early 2014 and a final set of rules expected in 2015. A few key components of the update include ensuring diverse stakeholders are represented in the process; assessing and evaluating the policy on a regular basis; publicly reporting progress to the community; and including food marketing rules in the policy.
We’re here to help you improve your local wellness policy in advance of the new requirements.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program has been working with districts across the country since 2006 to create and implement strong wellness policies, guided by science-based best practices. Now, we’re releasing an updated model wellness policy to make revising your district or school’s policy easier than ever. This resource meets the new federal requirements based on the USDA’s proposed rule and offers more stringent language in areas where your district is ready to raise the bar.
Get started now:
- Download the Alliance’s updated model wellness policy and tailor the language to meet your district’s individual needs.
- If you haven’t already, join the Healthy Schools Program and assess your school using the School Health Index.
- Contact the Alliance’s Customer Service Center to learn about online training opportunities, resources and assistance from one of our national experts.
- Update your School Health Index on a regular basis to show progress (and celebrate success!) and identify areas where more work is needed.
Remember that when it comes to developing a local school wellness policy, a collaborative approach is key. Think of a school wellness council as the ultimate holiday meal. Everyone contributes a course and the process is only complete with a full table of appetizers, side dishes, entrees and even dessert. If your district has not engaged in planning their “policy menu” yet, now is the time to take a seat at the table!