Assessing your school and updating your action plan regularly keeps your school on track and helps to maintain your momentum. While schools are required to formally report their progress and implementation every three years according to the USDA, updating your policy annually will you meet the requirement to share your progress with your community each year.
Communicate your New Policy
Think about who may be impacted by the policy change – students, staff, teachers? Make sure they’re included in your communication plan. Think about how you can utilize different messangers to share the changes, inducing your administrator, wellness council leader or physical education teacher.
Reviewing the entire wellness policy can be overwhelming to school staff. Start small by giving an overview or presenting one policy at a time in a way that is actionable. This strategy will help gain buy-in and will make the process easier when presenting more complex policies in the future.
Make sure to repeat your communication and offer it through several different channels such as a presentation at a staff meeting, an e-mail and a flyer in the teacher’s lounge.
Update Your School Health Index
Update your School Health Index on a regular basis to show progress, celebrate success and identify areas to improve. Use opportunities to gain feedback from families and community involvement in your wellness policy through parent survey’s, sharing a comment box on your website, etc. This regular evaluation and collection of information will keep you on track and allow you to report on your goals as needed.
Evaluate your Goals
Use your Healthy Schools Program Year-End District Report as a tool to capture your progress. As required by the USDA, make sure to report your progress publicly and use this process as a way to identify areas where you need more assistance to the district and community.
And don’t forget to take time to celebrate your success! Show administrators, parents, staff and community members all the great work your district and school has accomplished to continue to build momentum for the next school year.
Talk with Our Expert
Michelle Owens is our National Policy Advisor. By contacting her, you can ask questions, learn best practices and get started creating a healthier school environment.
We offer virtual trainings, curricula and online communities to support school leaders.
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