Resources

These free resources—from tip sheets to model policies and reports—can support your efforts to make healthy changes at your school.

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Here + Healthy Factsheet

Nationwide, a staggering number of children are chronically absent, often at a very young age and often without attracting attention or intervention. While the causes are multi-fold, one stands out as especially significant: student health. Attendance Works and Healthy Schools Campaign are calling on partners across the country to sign on to Here + Healthy and raise their voices about the connection between chronic absenteeism and health.

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Here + Healthy Campaign Call to Action

Nationwide, a staggering number of children are chronically absent. While the causes are multi-fold, one stands out as especially significant: student health. Taking action to address health-related chronic absenteeism can have a powerful impact on students’ academic success and well-being for a lifetime! Healthy Schools Campaign and Attendance Works are calling on partners across the country to sign on to the Here + Healthy campaign to raise awareness about the connection between chronic absenteeism and health.

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Education Data for Health Systems: Challenges and Opportunities

This brief highlights existing efforts to integrate education data, such as chronic absenteeism, into health and public health accountability systems, describes common barriers and best practices, and suggests key opportunities for further exploration to advance this work.

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Healthy and Ready to Learn: Recommendations for Illinois’ Governor

HSC is pleased to present Healthy and Ready to Learn: Recommendations for Illinois’ Governor. The following recommendations are ways in which state leadership can support schools and their communities in creating conditions for improved school wellness and student health over the next four years.

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Walking the Walk: Learning with Pedometers

Pedometers are great tools for measuring physical activity levels and motivating students. Some PE departments may have funds for these or companies may be willing to make a donation for a healthy school initiative.

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Fruit or Not?

It may come as a surprise, but several vegetables we eat every day are actually fruits! In this lesson, challenge what your students already know to see if they can win the game of “Fruit or Not?”

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Using Needs Assessments to Connect Learning + Health: Opportunities in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

This guide is intended to highlight the ways that school needs assessments required by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can be a valuable tool in identifying, understanding and addressing health conditions that contribute to poor academic performance. It provides child advocates, community leaders, school personnel and other key stakeholder groups with the information that they need to convince their state and local education leaders to make health and wellness a significant component of the needs assessment and school improvement process.

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Chicago Public Schools’ Pathways to Excellence in School Nutrition

This plan documents and make publicly accessible the district's high school meal nutrition standards and health promoting initiatives and outline an action plan to provide healthy school food to all CPS students. This strategic plan was created in collaboration with the CPS School Food Advisory group co-convened by Healthy Schools Campaign. Download

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Moving Minutes Activity Guide

A collection of ideas on how to keep students moving the classroom or during indoor recess.

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How to Integrate Health and Wellness Goals into a Continuous Improvement Work Plan

This toolkit lays out a simple framework to assist Chicago Public Schools schools in incorporating health and wellness into their school improvement plans—and ensure all students have the opportunity to be the best learners they can be.

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Economic Impacts of Farm to School: Case Studies and Assessment Tools

This report presents findings from surveys conducted with 26 producers in nine states, highlighting economic impact assessment findings from two case studies: Minneapolis Public Schools and the state of Georgia.

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Chicago Public Schools Local School Wellness Policy for Students 2017

The purpose of this policy is to ensure the Board’s expectations for a healthy school environment are articulated and satisfied by establishing requirements for nutrition education, physical activity and the provision of healthy food choices at schools.

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Chicago Public Schools Healthy Snack and Beverage Policy 2017

The purpose of this policy is to establish nutrition standards, requirements and recommendations for foods and beverages sold, provided or served to students at school that compete with food provided under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), National School Breakfast Program (NSBP), Seamless Summer Option (SSO) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). This policy seeks to create a school environment that supports student nutrition and healthy food choices by providing nutrition standards for food and beverages sold 1) as competitive foods in vending machines or in school stores, 2) by food vendors on school grounds, 3) as a la carte items sold in the school dining centers, 4) as part of school fundraisers, celebrations or rewards. The nutrition standards set forth in this policy are consistent with the USDA’s Smart Snacks Guidelines and the gold standard for competitive foods.

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Chicago Public Schools Breakfast After the Bell Policy 2017

This policy establishes the requirements for providing breakfast after the bell in all Chicago Public elementary, middle, and high schools. This policy establishes alternative breakfast models by which breakfast after the bell will be implemented. Models include but are not limited to: Breakfast in the Classroom (“BIC”), Grab n’ Go, Second Chance Breakfast, Breakfast Vending or a hybrid of those models to be determined by the Office of Nutrition Support Services. This policy seeks to create a school environment that supports breakfast participation by all students, encourages students to embrace a morning routine that includes breakfast and creates a healthy start to each school day.

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Fit to Learn Tip Sheet: Healthy Celebrations and Rewards

Celebrations and rewards are a big part of school culture. Help students make nutritious food choices all day long! Beyond regular meals, snacks are sometimes offered during in-class celebrations or as rewards from a teacher. When schools reinforce healthy habits in the classroom, students learn consistent lessons that can last a lifetime.

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Fit to Learn Tip Sheet: Garden-Based Learning

School gardens allow students to participate in hands-on activities. School gardens can strengthen academic and social skills as well as allow students to develop life skills in areas such as nutrition, leadership and decision-making. Through a school garden, students can learn about and practice healthy behaviors in an exciting, hands-on way. Chicago Public Schools supports more than 400 schools with a school garden through various initiatives.

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Fit to Learn Tip Sheet: Physical Activity

Physical activity during the school day helps students focus better in the classroom, increases social skills and encourages an active lifestyle. Activity in the classroom is also a great way to get students’ minds moving. During class time, teachers can integrate physical activity into lessons.

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Fit to Learn Tip Sheet: Nutrition Education

Good nutrition can go far beyond the cafeteria—into the classroom! Nutrition education can be a separate curriculum or it can be woven into existing standards-based curricula.

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Fit to Learn Tip Sheet: Healthy Fundraising

Schools have many options for successfully raising money while keeping school wellness a priority—without relying on sales of unhealthy foods. Learn more about easy ways to hold healthy fundraisers in your school that send consistent, positive messages that wellness really matters.

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Fit to Learn Tip Sheet: Building Your Team

Although individuals within schools can make big strides toward school wellness, real progress takes a great team. Use these tips to create a strong support system for a healthy school environment.

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Addressing Mental Health and Wellness through ESSA Implementation

Untreated and undertreated mental health conditions remain a substantial factor in stifling academic achievement. Under ESSA, education leaders have the opportunity to remedy some of these underlying issues to ensure that schools integrate more evidence-based mental health promotion and treatment in the everyday workings of the education system, and help their students thrive and succeed.

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Addressing Chronic Absenteeism through ESSA Implementation

ESSA presents an important opportunity to create public accountability around chronic absenteeism and ensure state ESSA plans support a comprehensive approach to address chronic absenteeism. This document highlights various approaches that stakeholders might use to leverage ESSA to support efforts to address chronic absenteeism.

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Addressing Nutrition and Physical Activity through ESSA Implementation

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the need for schools to support the whole child and specifically acknowledges the importance of health and wellness. ESSA also provides an opportunity to ensure equitable access to quality education and the conditions that support student learning. Health is a key part of this. ESSA transitions authority from the federal government to state education agencies. Thus, as states begin to implement ESSA, it is critical they do so in a way that supports health and wellness.

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About the Healthy Students, Promising Futures Learning Collaborative

The Healthy Students, Promising Futures Learning Collaborative, in partnership with Healthy Schools Campaign and Trust for America’s Health, was launched in July 2016 to support states in expanding Medicaid services in schools, including physical and behavioral health services.

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“Free Care” Medicaid School Based Services

From the National Association for Medicaid in Education.

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Dismantling Barriers to School Health

From the American Federation of Teachers.

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Advocates’ Guide to the Change in the Medicaid Free Care Rule

This document provides guidance for health care advocates to engage a diverse set of partners to advance implementation of the medicaid free care rule change.

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Medicaid’s “Free Care Policy:” Results from Review of State Medicaid Plans

From the National Health Law Program.

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Policy Considerations for California Following the Reversal of the Medicaid “Free Care Rule”

From the California School-based Health Alliance.

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Let’s Take Medicaid Back to School

This blog offers concrete examples of how advocates and stakeholders can support school-based Medicaid programs, streamlining federal and state reimbursements to school districts and contributing to children's equitable, easy access to high-quality healthcare services.

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Medicaid Helps Schools Help Children

A clear overview of the role Medicaid plays in ensuring student health.

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State Resources on Medicaid and CHIP

From Georgetown Center for Children and Families.

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Happy, Healthy and Ready to Learn: Insure All Children

This toolkit focuses on school-based child health outreach and enrollment.

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Guide to School-Based Outreach for Health Coverage Enrollment

From the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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A Guide for Incorporating Health and Wellness into School Improvement Plans

This guide explores the opportunities provided by School Improvement Plans to address the needs of the whole child, incorporating physical, social, emotional and/or behavioral health priorities into schools.

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State Health Department Leadership in Addressing Chronic Health Conditions in Schools: Case Studies from Massachusetts and Missouri

These case studies demonstrate the important role that state health departments can play in strengthening the management of chronic health conditions in schools, even in an era of limited funding.

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Ten Principles for Collaboration between the Health and Education Systems

From Healthy Schools Campaign and Trust for America's Health.

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Hospitals and Schools as Hubs for Building Healthy Communities

From Brookings Institution.

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Healthy Students, Promising Futures Tool Kit

This toolkit focuses on state and local action steps and practices to improve school-based health. It is structured around five key high-impact opportunities.

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How States are Leveraging Medicaid to Expand Health Services in Schools

Leveraging Medicaid to Expand Access to Health Services in Schools: An Update from the Healthy Students, Promising Futures State Learning Collaborative. The Healthy Students, Promising Futures Learning Collaborative includes a growing number of state teams from Departments of Education and Medicaid who are exploring ways to expand health services in schools and leverage funding through Medicaid. The Collaborative is supported by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in partnership with Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). This webinar provides an overview of the Collaborative and highlight preliminary findings, successes and challenges that the state teams are facing.

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Medicaid Managed Care 101: Building a Common Understanding for the Healthy Student

Managed care is the predominant delivery system for children’s health coverage in Medicaid. What is more, managed care plans are important partners when designing innovative care delivery models. This webinar provides basic background about Medicaid managed care and how managed care plans support children’s health through Medicaid. In addition, the webinar provides general guidelines about what plans may cover and how the benefit design may vary from state-to-state. Because every state’s experience with managed care is different, this is not be a deep dive into individual state policies, but it does answer general questions about the critical role managed care plans play—and includes a thoughtful discussion about how schools could work with managed care organizations.

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Behavioral Health 101: Exploring Best Practices for Behavioral Health in Schools

This webinar provides an overview of the components of a comprehensive school behavioral health system and highlights two examples from Colorado and California where schools or school districts are implementing innovative models to provide behavioral health promotion, prevention and treatment services in schools using a multi-tier system of supports (MTSS) utilizing federal and state funds.

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50 State Scan of Telehealth Reimbursement Laws and Medicaid Policies – Factsheet, Interactive Map

An overview of current national trends in Telehealth.

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Addressing the Health-Related Causes of Chronic Absenteeism

Taking action to address health-related chronic absenteeism can have a powerful impact on students’ academic success and well-being for a lifetime. This document focuses on preparing educators—particularly school district decision-makers —with knowledge and practical guidance for creating meaningful change to address health-related chronic absenteeism.

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Our Recommendations for a Stronger Chicago Public Schools Wellness Policy

These recommendations, when adopted and implemented will support and deepen CPS’ ability to positively impact student health and wellness and allow all schools to fulfill the vision and requirements of the district’s wellness policy.

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Working on Wellness: How Aligned are District Wellness Policies with the Soon-To-Be Implemented Federal Wellness Policy Requirements?

Healthier students are better learners, and when children spend most of their waking hours at school, their health and well-being becomes a key component of their education. For over a decade, Congress and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been requiring that all school districts participating in the Federal Child Nutrition Programs adopt and implement nutrition and physical activity goals for students during the school day through the use of a local wellness policy.

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Local School Wellness Policy Implementation Under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010: Summary of the Final Rule

On July 29, 2016, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) finalized regulations to create a framework and guidelines for written wellness policies established by LEAs. The final rule requires LEAs to begin developing a revised local school wellness policy during School Year 2016-2017. LEAs must fully comply with the requirements of the final rule by June 30, 2017.

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School District Wellness Policies: Evaluating Progress and Potential for Improving Children’s Health Eight Years after the Federal Mandate

This report was written by the Bridging the Gap program and National Wellness Policy Study at the University of Illinois at Chicago with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Bridging the Gap is a nationally recognized research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation dedicated to improving the understanding of how policies and environmental factors affect diet, physical activity and obesity among youth, as well as youth tobacco use. Bridging the Gap is a joint project of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Health Research and Policy and the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The National Wellness Policy Study continues the work on school wellness policies that was started by Bridging the Gap and continues to track state laws and district wellness policies into future school years. In addition, the National Wellness Policy Study collects qualitative information to evaluate the perspectives of key stakeholders directly involved in student health and wellness.

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Fit to Learn Online Resources

A collection of online resources for teachers related to movement in the classroom, nutrition education, creating a culture of health and more.

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Social Emotional Learning in Elementary School

This issue brief, created by The Pennsylvania State University with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is one of a series of briefs that addresses the need for research, practice and policy on social and emotional learning (SEL). SEL is defined as the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

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