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.
"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)
There are three elements of a school health program that are necessary in order to ensure success and sustainability:
1. A School Health Advisory Council
2. A completed assessment of the school health environment
3. An updated local school wellness policy
A School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) - also referred to as a wellness council - is a committee that leads, coordinates and implements school health programs. SHACs can include parents, students, teachers, school board members, administrators, school health professionals, nutrition representatives and members of the general public. A functioning SHAC that meets regularly and is representative of the community plays a key role in completing an assessment of the school health environment and updating the local school wellness policy.
Resources for School Health Advisory Councils:
Resources for School Health Assessments:
Resources for School Wellness Policies:
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:
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: