How Will Chicago’s Next Mayor Shape Health & Wellness in Schools? HSC Releases Policy Recommendation

February 21, 2011

Here in Chicago, the big news is tomorrow’s mayoral election. As the candidates have made daily headlines, it’s been fascinating to see the level of dialogue around the health and education of the city’s children. The specific issues that candidates are discussing — from the role of food companies in schools to the importance of sustainable building — illustrate the increasingly prominent role of school health and wellness in public policy dialogue at the local level.

Chicago Public Schools has taken significant steps to improve student health and wellness in recent years, with health-promoting measures ranging from new school food standards to a comprehensive environmental action plan and a partnership with HSC on Go for the Gold.

At this key juncture in the city’s work for school health and wellness, the mayor’s policies will have a major impact on children’s well-being and their opportunities to learn, particularly in light of the significant health disparities the city faces.

Here at HSC, we hope that the next mayor will make students’ health a high priority and will work with the school district to support healthy policies and practices. We’ve put together our specific recommendations related to health and wellness policy: the recommendations cover school improvement plans, green building, professional development, the role of school nurses, school sustainability and Chicago’s response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign to reverse the trend in childhood obesity.

We invite you to check out the full policy recommendations here [pdf].

By supporting healthy eating, physical activity, nutrition education and environmental health, Chicago’s next mayor can help ensure that all students are healthy and ready to learn.