Share Your Feedback on CPS’ Wellness Policy

September 23, 2015

In 2012, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) took a huge step in making its schools healthier places for students to learn and grow by adopting a new Wellness Policy. This policy codifies many victories; increases access to healthy food, recess and physical activity; and requires schools to assess and report their progress in implementation.

In three years, much success has been realized: More children are eating healthy meals and getting the exercise and play they need to focus on their schoolwork. But there have also been challenges. The policy called for a review process after three years to check in and see what successes and challenges schools are having.

That’s where we are now.

Healthy Schools Campaign is pleased to be partnering with the district to co-convene an advisory committee to assess the effectiveness of policy implementation, make recommendations and to share findings with the Chicago Board of Education, schools, community members and other key stakeholders.

HSC was instrumental in getting the district to adopt its first wellness policy in 2006, as well as a revamped version in 2012. We worked for years with incredible parent advocates, classroom teachers, principals and community members whose efforts to create healthy schools — one school at a time and through policy change at the district level — to build a foundation for this advancement.

We’re working with partners at UIC’s Institute for Health Research and Policy to analyze data to find out how implementation has been going. One such data point measures how comprehensively a school has adopted the new wellness policy. Our initial analysis is proving what we already know: Healthier school environments lead to more successful students. We’re looking forward to uncovering more specific ways the wellness policy is helping students across Chicago.

But we also want to hear from you during this review process! We welcome you to share your  thoughts and experiences to make this policy even stronger. Our hope is to compile and share findings and recommendations to the board before the end of this calendar year. We’ve made this easy to do with this online form. We’re looking for feedback about successful implementation strategies; implementation challenges; and ways the new wellness policy has improved school food, physical education, physical activity and physical education. Deadline to complete the survey is October 23.