WellSpot Resources

School Specific

Supporting The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child

"Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behavior patterns. Research shows a link between the health outcomes of young people and their academic success. To have the most positive impact on the health outcomes of young people, government agencies, community organizations, schools, and other community members must work together through a collaborative and comprehensive approach."
CDC - WSCC: http://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/wscc/index.htm)


Building a Sustainable School Health Program

There are three elements of a school health program that are necessary in order to ensure success and sustainability:

                   1.  An active school health team
                   2.  An action plan using the results from the School Health Index to identify the strengths and weaknesses. 
                   3.  Implementation of a school district's wellness policy

A School Health Council (also referred to as a wellness committee, school health team or a school health advisory council) is a group of individuals representing different segments of the school and community, who collectively act to provide advice to a school on aspects of the school health program. These teams can work with schools to help identify health problems and concerns, set priorities, and design solutions.

The CDC's School Health Index (SHI) is an online self-assessment and planning tool (also available in a downloadable, printable version) that schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs.  Action for Healthy Kids and Alliance for a Healthier Generation have adopted modules of CDC's School Health Index as its assessment tool for schools to implement policies and practices that can help students stay healthy and ready to learn.

A local school wellness policy is a written document that guides a local educational agency or school district's efforts to create supportive school nutrition and physical activity environments.  Wellness policies can be integrated into the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model for school health, and can help put into action several provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act, including Title I and Title IV.  Local Wellness Policies can address policies and practices for before-, during-, and after-school.

Resources for Building a Sustainable School Health Program:

Tobacco-Free Policy - School Specific

Schools and school districts across the country are going tobacco-free on their campuses, including schools here in Louisiana!  Going 100% tobacco-free protects both school-aged youth and school staff from exposure to secondhand smoke.  A Tobacco-Free Policy outlines what is and is not allowed on school property and provides a tool for enforcement with students, employees and visitors.  All school WellSpots are required to implement a Tobacco-Free Policy for designation at any level.  For sample policies and tips for implementing in your school, visit the provided resources.


Improving the School Nutrition Environment

School nutrition plays a key role in a child's academic achievement.  Students that are not eating breakfast or are not consuming enough food or nutrients have lower grades, are absent from school more often, struggle focusing and have decreased cognitive performance.  There are opportunities to improve the school nutrition environment in the cafeteria, in the classroom and at school and community events.  School Health Advisory Councils should work together to improve school nutrition.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and Academic Achievement Overview. Atlanta, GA: U..S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2014.

Resources for Healthy Fundraising:
Increasing School Breakfast Participation:
Resources for Smarter Lunchrooms:
Resources for Farm to School:

Resources for Smart Snacks:


Increasing Physical Activity and Physical Education Opportunities

Physical activity has been shown to help boost academic performance, improve classroom behavior and strengthen cognitive skills and attitudes.  Opportunities for physical activity occur before and after school, during the school day, and in physical education classes.  Schools that take advantage of these opportunities and who engage staff, families and the community can help their students meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day and help them develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health and Academic Achievement Overview. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2014.

Resources for Physical Activity Opportunities for Staff:
Resources for Physical Activity Opportunities for Students:

Resources for Recess Best Practices:

Resources for PE Best Practices:

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: