Implementation, Evaluation & Communication
Why are Implementation, Evaluation, and Communication so Important?
An important part of putting a good school wellness policy into place includes creating an active school wellness council. School wellness councils provide structure for the proper use of wellness policies, identify challenges, set district goals, and assign responsibility for wellness to district staff.1 The help that school wellness councils provide can improve communication with the school community and public.2 Research is beginning to show the positive outcomes linked with having an active school wellness council. For example, schools with strong wellness councils are more likely to limit unhealthy competitive foods.3
Click on a best practice to see model policy language.
+ There is a district wellness committee with regular, ongoing meetings
This statement clearly shows that the wellness committee is ongoing and meets regularly.
- "The District will have a wellness committee (hereto referred to as the WC) that meets every second Tuesday of the month during the school year at 7:15 a.m. in the District Office to establish goals for, and oversee, school health and safety policies and programs, including development, implementation, and periodic review and update of this district-level wellness policy." -Suring
+ The district wellness committee has community-wide represntation
This policy clearly states that the wellness committee is open to community members and also states specific measures the school will take in order to recruit community members to participate.
- “The School will actively communicate ways in which representatives of committee and others can participate in the development, implementation and periodic review and update of the wellness policy through a variety of means appropriate for the school. The School will use electronic mechanisms, such as email or displaying notices on the school’s website, as well as non-electronic mechanisms, such as newsletters, presentations to parents, or sending information home to parents, to ensure that all families are actively notified of the content of, implementation of, and updates to the wellness policy, as well as how to get involved and support the policy.”- Catholic East
+ One district level official is accountable for ensuring each school is in compliance
This sentence makes it clear that an employee at the district level is tasked with ensuring overall compliance in the district’s schools.
- “The superintendent or designee will ensure compliance with established district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.” – Milwaukee Collegiate Academy
+ One leader in each school is accountable for ensuring compliance within the school
Clear that there is a leader, the principal in this case, in each school in order to keep the school accountable and ensure wellness policy compliance.
- “In each school, the principal or designee will ensure compliance with those policies in his/her school and will report on the school’s compliance to the school district superintendent or designee.” – Milwaukee Collegiate Academy
+ Implementation of the local wellness policy and progress towards wellness goals is assessed regularly
This statement shows a specific timeframe for evaluating wellness policy implementation within the district.
- “Before the end of each school year, the District Administrator shall submit to the Superintendent and Board their report in which they describe the environment in each of the District’s schools and the implementation of the wellness policy in each school.”- Northern Ozaukee
+ Progress reports on compliance and implementation are made to the school community
Clear that the report on compliance and implementation is made available to all members of the school community.
- “An annual school wellness report will be provided to update the school board, school personnel, parents, students, and community members.” – Nekoosa
+ Progress reports on compliance and implementation are made to the public
This excerpt clearly states that the report on implementation is available to the public.
- “The school will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy and implementation status.” – Catholic East
+ Progress reports ensure transparency by including the web address of the wellness policy, a description of each school's activities and progress towards meeting wellness goals, contact details for committee leadership, and information on how to join the committee
This passage addresses progress, contact information, as well as a web address of the wellness policy.
- "The annual progress report will be posted on the district website every September at this address: exampleschool.edu. The report will include a link to the wellness policy, a progress report for each school that includes contact information for wellness committee members. The report will include an open invitation for interested parties to join the committee." -Adapted WellSAT Example
+ There is a plan for updating the policy based on best practices
This passage addresses a specific, required interval for updating the wellness policy.
- “The district will update or modify the wellness policy based on the results of the annual meetings and triennial assessments, and/or as District priorities change; community needs change; wellness goals are met; new health science, information, and technology emerges; and new Federal or state guidance or standards are issued. The wellness policy will be assessed and updated as indicated at least every three years, following the triennial assessment.” –Monroe
+ The policy includes methods for communicating with the public
Clearly provides a method, the school website, for communicating with the public.
- “The school will actively inform families and the public each year of basic information about this policy, including its content, any updates to the policy and implementation status. The School will make this information available via the school’s website.” –Catholic East
+ The policy specifies how the district will engage families to provide information and/or solicit input to meet district wellness goals
This passage specifies that families will receive information about nutrition goals and specifies methods of communication.
- “Nutrition education corresponding with the nutritional themes presented to students will be provided to parents beginning at the elementary level. The goal will be to continue to educate parents throughout the middle and high school levels. Nutrition education may be provided through newsletters, handouts, posting on the District website and presentations that focus on nutritional value and healthy lifestyles.” – Prairie Du Chien
Connect with a team of partners throughout Wisconsin working to make schools healthier.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CDC Healthy Schools Homepage
Brief overview of policy requirements and a collection of policy briefs and resources for implementation ideas.
CDC School Health Index
Confidential and easy to use self-assessment tool to help school districts improve their health policies and programs.
Action for Healthy Kids
Seven Step Wellness Policy Toolkit
Detailed seven step process for developing a school wellness policy, implementing wellness initiatives, and evaluating district progress.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation
School Wellness Committee Resources
Steps for establishing a school wellness committee, recruiting members, and planning out committee meetings.
Video on the Final Rule
Video detailing the final rule and subsequent required wellness policy components.
School Wellness Committee Toolkit
Resource for school wellness committees to convene, plan, and implement action plans.
School Wellness Committee Guide
Brief guide detailing a 6-step process for school wellness committees to assess school wellness progress and create plans for improvement and evaluation.
School Wellness Policy Assessment
Self assessment and planning guide to assist schools in identifying wellness strengths and weaknesses and developing an individualized action plan and team to address these findings.
Healthy Schools Program Framework of Best Practices
Document highlighting wellness best practices for the various components of school wellness policies. Includes an itemized checklist for schools to use when creating wellness policies and programs.
Healthy Schools Program 6 Step Process
Step-based cycle for assessing school wellness progress and planning out wellness program improvements.
Training Center for SWP Engagement
Virtual space where wellness leaders can take focused on-line wellness trainings and engage with national experts and wellness advisors.
Focus Areas for Wellness Policies
Information and essential topics specific to core wellness policy topics.
Team Nutrition Implementation and Resources Homepage
Comprehensive collection of links and resources for school districts to use in developing healthy nutrition environments and ensuring wellness policy requirements are met.
Bridge the Gap
Contains a collection of policy briefs and information about research findings related to school wellness policies and nutrition environments.
Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit
Collection of downloadable, ready to use communication tools for engaging parents, the school community, and the public in school wellness initiatives.
Wellness Policy – Helpful Links
USDA homepage for school wellness policies, contains links for information on various topics, including resources for schools and information on the Final rule and wellness policy requirements.
School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources
Website including a collection of resources and information about wellness policy elements and best practices, the school wellness policy process, grant and funding opportunities, and training for school wellness leaders.
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Local Wellness Policy Checklist
Checklist detailing essential wellness policy components.
Wisconsin Wellness: Putting Policy into Practice (SWP Development Resources)
Interactive resource with information on required policy components, sample goals and objective for policy areas, and establishment of a framework for accountability. This resource is broken down into separate sections based on wellness policy areas for ease of use.
Local Wellness Policy Builder
Tool for building individualized school wellness policies from existing and established wellness policy language. Districts can select and submit their preferred language to generate a general wellness policy.
Local Wellness Policy Report Card Online Tool
Tool for communicating the results of school and district evaluation. Schools can submit the objectives for each comprehensive wellness policy component and receive an individualized report card on their policy.
Wellness Policy Webinars/Checklists for Building
Collection of wellness policy related webcast and descriptions organized by topic.
Rudd Center Model Wellness Policy
Sample school wellness policy containing strong established language for various school wellness policy components.
Belansky ES, Cutforth N, Delong E, Litt J, Gilbert L, Scarbro S, et al. Early effects of the federally mandated local wellness policy on school nutrition environments appear modest in Colorado's rural, low-income elementary schools. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110(11):1712-1717.
Budd EL, Schwarz C, Yount BW, Haire-Joshu D. Factors influencing the implementation of school wellness policies in the United States, 2009. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012;9:E118.
Kubik MY, Lytle LA, Farbakhsh K. School and district wellness councils and availability of low-nutrient, energy-dense vending fare in Minnesota public high schools. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111(1):150-155.