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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Healthy and Ready to Learn: Recommendations to the Next Administration

We can create a better future for our children and our nation by improving health in schools. The next President of the United States has the opportunity to support states, school districts and communities in creating the conditions of student health and wellness and giving all children a chance for a healthy, brighter tomorrow. This document outlines Healthy Schools Campaign’s recommendations to the next President for improving health and education for our nation's students.

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How States are Leveraging Medicaid to Expand Health Services in Schools

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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State ESSA Plans to Support Student Health and Wellness: A Framework for Action

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the vital role that health and wellness play in education. This document focuses on supporting advocates who are interested in working with state-level policymakers to develop state ESSA plans. It provides practical resources and emphasizes several key areas with the greatest potential impact on student health.

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Oregon: Chronic Absenteeism Statewide Plan

Oregon's statewide plan to address chronic absenteeism takes a strategic multi-sector approach that can provide useful examples for other states. As explained in the plan: "Chronic absenteeism is a complex issue that requires a thoughtful and complex response. Schools and students cannot fix this problem alone. Cross-sector partnerships with local and state health agencies, community based organizations, community and business members, with families must be leveraged to provide essential wrap around support to address the root causes of chronic absenteeism for all students. Creating these partnerships and welcoming school environments can impact absenteeism rates, as well as high school graduation, school discipline, and academic performance. Best and promising practices are most successful when they are systematically applied with knowledge of the local context."

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

This issue brief reports findings from the National Health Law Program’s review of state Medicaid plans (SMPs) for provisions that may impact states’ ability to implement the federal government’s recent reversal of the “free care policy.” Specifically, we reviewed SMPs for provisions related to Medicaid reimbursement for services provided in schools that are available free of charge to beneficiaries and others in the community. This includes SMP provisions that directly prohibit coverage of such services as well as those that might indirectly prevent coverage.

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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 from Bridging the Gap updates data published in February 2013 and evaluates written school district wellness policies from school years 2006-07 through 2013-14, the first eight years following the required implementation date for the federal mandate. Using a nationally representative sample of school districts, this report provides details about the characteristics of these districts as well as the individual components of wellness policies and related provisions. New to this report are data that evaluate the comprehensiveness and strength of wellness policies across all policy categories based on district characteristic. In addition, this report continues to track detailed competitive food and beverage standards by location of sale during the school year immediately prior to the implementation of Smart Snacks. The major findings and trends presented identify areas where progress has been made in adopting and strengthening wellness policies, as well as opportunities for improvement.

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Supporting Health and Wellness in ESSA Implementation: State Policy Opportunity

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) transfers significant authority from the federal government to the state level, creating opportunities to support school health and wellness through state policy. This document, developed by Healthy Schools Campaign, is intended to support state-level educators in making the most of the opportunities presented by ESSA.

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ESSA Implementation: Key Opportunities to Support Health and Wellness

Implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides a number of policy levers for promoting healthy schools and student wellness. This document summarizes Healthy Schools Campaign's analysis of those opportunities.

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School Attendance, Chronic Health Conditions and Leveraging Data for Improvement: Recommendations for State Education and Health Departments to Address Student Absenteeism

This publication highlights how state education and health departments can help lead the way in reducing absenteeism through a comprehensive approach that is inclusive of addressing chronic health conditions. It describes connections between school attendance and chronic health conditions, discusses challenges and opportunities for data collection and use, and promotes the integration of school health services, specifically nursing, into efforts to improve school attendance. The document provides recommendations for action and features successes within various states and communities.

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FoodSpan: Teaching from Farm to Fork

FoodSpan is a free, downloadable high school curriculum that highlights critical issues in the food system and empowers students to be food citizens. It is aligned to national education standards in science, social studies, health, and family and consumer sciences. This curriculum stimulates debate about crucial food system topics related to human health, the environment, equity, and animal welfare. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future developed FoodSpan as a natural outgrowth of the work it does to help build a healthier, more equitable, and more resilient food system.

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ESSA Title I Part A: School Improvement

This presentation by policy analyst Dana Carr provides an overview of Part A of ESSA Title I, which focuses on school improvement.

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Making the Grade: A 50-State Analysis of School Accountability Systems

This document from the Center for American Progress provides an overview and analysis of state accountability systems in the context of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA gives states greater flexibility in designing more holistic accountability systems that take into account multiple indicators of school success, while continuing to hold schools accountable for academic achievement. This report analyzes the measures that states currently include in their accountability systems and examines how state systems compare with the new law’s provisions.

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Testimony on Opportunities for Supporting Student Health Through ESSA – Presented to the Illinois State Board of Education

This testimony on opportunities for supporting student health through the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was presented by Healthy Schools Campaign to the Illinois State Board of Education listening session on May 19, 2016. ESSA recognizes the link between student health and academic achievement and gives the Illinois State Board of Education the opportunity to prioritize the whole child when setting educational standards and directing federal funding for education in Illinois.

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National Association of State Boards of Education Policy Update: New Opportunities to Support Student Health Under ESSA

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) gives states new opportunities to more fully integrate health into education policy and practices. Several policy and funding provisions in ESSA are aimed toward supporting student social-emotional, physical, and mental health and ensuring that all students attend school in a safe, supportive environment. These provisions align with research showing that learning and academic achievement are inextricably linked to student health and wellness. This document outlines several key opportunities for states to support student health and wellness within ESSA.

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Supporting Children’s Health through the Every Student Succeeds Act: Overview for the Health Sector

On December 10, 2015, President Obama signed into law the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act which was last reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. The passage of ESSA at the federal level and the subsequent rollout of the new law to state education agencies and local education agencies provides an important opportunity to change the education landscape to more fully integrate student health into education policy and practice.

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Case Study: California’s CORE Districts / State ESSA Plan Resources

The California Office to Reform Education (CORE) Districts was founded as an association of California’s largest urban school districts, now representing more than 1.7 million students. This document provides an overview of the accountability systems used in California's CORE Districts as they related to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Case Study: Tennessee / State ESSA Plan Resources

Beginning with the 2010-11 school year, Tennessee law began requiring the state department of education to develop parental involvement standards in public schools and to report compliance information for each LEA and public school on the Tennessee Department of Education Report Card. This document provides an overview of these standards as they relate to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Case Study: Chicago Public Schools / State ESSA Plan Resources

As part of an effort to remove health-related barriers to learning so that students may succeed in college, career and life, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) developed the Healthy CPS indicator. The Healthy CPS Indicator is the first comprehensive health-focused measure that is included on the CPS school progress report. This document provides an overview of the Healthy CPS indicator as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Case Study: Connecticut / State ESSA Plan Resources

Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dianna R. Wentzell says that the state’s new “next generation” accountability model “moves beyond test scores and graduation rates to provide a more holistic, multifactor perspective of district and school performance. It also shows where we need to invest more time and resources to help kids in the greatest need and where we can celebrate and share school success stories.” This document provides an overview of the systems used in Connecticut as they relate to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: Social and Emotional Learning

This document provides an overview of social and emotional learning as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: School Connectedness

This document provides an overview of school connectedness as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: School Climate

This document provides an overview of school climate as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: School Discipline

This document provides an overview of school discipline as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Indicators of School Quality: Chronic Absenteeism

This document provides an overview of chronic absenteeism as an indicator of school quality, particularly as it relates to state ESSA plans to support health and wellness.

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Promising Practices of State Child Nutrition Programs

State Agency Directors work to ensure that their state staff, schools, and school districts have the training and resources they need to prepare healthy, appetizing meals every day. Promoting healthy and delicious food while ensuring nutrition programs’ accountability is challenging, but many agency leaders have found effective strategies that may also help their peers achieve similar goals. The following information reflects state agency leader insight on what has worked for them in building strong and successful programs. Since program costs, resources, and challenges vary from one state to the next, these suggestions may be more or less applicable in the context of different states.

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SpacetoGrowChicago.org

Visit the Space to Grow site to learn about this innovative program transforming Chicago schoolyards into vibrant green spaces to play, learn and be outside. The schoolyards promote physical activity, outdoor learning and community engagement while absorbing large amounts of rainwater to reduce neighborhood flooding. The site features school profiles, photo galleries, resources for schools, news, events and more detail about this innovative model for transforming schoolyards. Space to Grow is a partnership led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands, using a unique model that brings together capital funds and leadership from the Chicago Department of Water Management, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Chicago Public Schools.

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Comprehensive Framework for Addressing the School Nutrition Environment and Services

US children attend school for at least 6 hours a day and are exposed to multiple opportunities to make decisions that affect their health during this time. Schools can use the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model to create environments that help students make healthy choices. The WSCC model includes the school nutrition environment and services, which refers to the foods and beverages that are available to students throughout the school day and information and messages about food, beverages, and nutrition that students encounter on school grounds.

A healthy school nutrition environment makes it easier for students to make healthy choices by giving them access to nutritious and appealing foods and beverages, consistent and accurate messages about good nutrition, and ways to learn about and practice healthy eating. Within a healthy school nutrition environment, school nutrition services provide meals that meet federal nutrition standards for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, as well as the health and nutrition needs of all students. They also help make sure that foods and beverages sold outside of school meal programs meet Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards.

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Ingredient Guide for Better School Food Purchasing

This guide is a resource for school food leaders and manufacturers alike who are committed to improving the overall quality, nutritional value, and safety of food provided to all students in every school. It highlights unwanted ingredients to eliminate, or those to watch out for, as new food products are developed and others are modified.

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Parents’ Practical Guide for Healthy Schools / Guía Práctica de Padres para Escuelas Saludables

Creating Meaningful School-Based Change for Health and Wellness in Chicago
We are pleased to release this Parents’ Practical Guide for Healthy Schools. This guide was developed with the input and advice of experienced parent leaders who have successfully created change for healthy eating and physical activity in their schools. These parents’ experiences and the lessons they have shared form the foundation of this guide. With this guide and the ongoing support of Parents United, you are well-positioned to raise your voice for health-promoting change at your school.

Creando un Cambio Escolar Significante Para la Salud y el Bienestar de Chicago
Nos complace presentarles esta Guía Práctica de Padres para Escuelas Saludables. Esta guía se ha creado con la colaboración y la orientación de padres líderes con experiencia que han logrado cambios exitosos en la alimentación y en las actividades físicas saludables en sus escuelas. Las experiencias de estos padres y las lecciones que han compartido conforman las bases de esta guía. Con este material y el apoyo continuo de Padres Unidos, usted se encuentra en una posición favorable para levantar su voz por un cambio que promueva la salud en su escuela.

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Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education and Connection with Nature

Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands are pleased to announce the release of Green Schoolyards: A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education and Connection with Nature. This new report documents the journeys and lessons of green schoolyard programs across the country and is informed by a rich dialogue that has been taking place at the national and local levels about how to help children, families, schools, communities and our environment thrive. It shares information and stories as well as tangible steps communities can take to develop their own green schoolyards.

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Read the Label

Welcome to Read the Label, the “next generation” of FDA’s award-winning Spot the Block outreach campaign! Originally launched in 2007, this comprehensive program from the FDA has evolved into a nationwide grassroots initiative. Through this hands-on campaign, kids, families and community outreach leaders unite with the goal of using the Nutrition Fact Label as their everyday tool for making smart and healthful food choices.

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2016 Children’s Mental Health Report

Mental health disorders are the most common health issues faced by our nation’s school-aged children. One in five children suffers from a mental health or learning disorder, and 80% of chronic mental disorders begin in childhood. There is an urgent need to identify the signs of these conditions early in life if children are to get the care and support they need to thrive. This report examines negative effects (suspension, dropout) of mental health disorders in school, early intervention and prevention programs and school-wide behavior plans and targeted interventions.

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2016 Shape of the Nation: Status of Physical Education in the USA

Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, are pleased to present the 2016 update to the Shape of the Nation™ on the state of physical education and physical activity in the American education system. This report is designed to inform physical education policies and practices that improve student health and well-being.

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HSC and TFAH Comments on ESSA Title 1

Jan. 21, 2016

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Health in Mind: Improving Education Through Wellness

Research documents what educators know: healthy students are better prepared to learn and succeed in school. Yet current health and education policy misses several simple, vital opportunities to boost academic success through health promotion and school wellness. We can create a better future for our children and our nation by improving health in schools.

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Principal Toolkit: Getting the Most out of the CPS School Meal Program

Because principals and schools play such an important role in providing students with healthy food and educating them on healthy behaviors, we created this toolkit in partnership with Chicago Public Schools to give you a guide to making sure the school meal program is working as best as it can for your students.

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Parent Checklist: What You Can Do to Improve Your School’s Food

This checklist includes items that CPS is committed to implementing as well as ideas and strategies to help create a school environment that is supportive of the school meal program and students’ efforts to eat healthy.

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Lista de Verificación: Lo que Puede Hacer Para Mejorar la Comida de su Escuela

Esta lista de verificación incluye elementos que CPS se ha comprometido a incluir así como ideas y estrategias para ayudar a crear un ambiente escolar que apoye al programa de alimentación escolar y los esfuerzos de los estudiantes por comer sanamente.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Chicago Public Schools’ School Meal Program

This document will address frequently asked questions about the school meal program from parents just like you. Want to know how CPS is reducing processed food? Want to know how you can get involved? You've come to the right place.

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Preguntas Frecuentes: El Programa de Alimentación Escolar de las Escuelas Públicas de Chicago

Este documento abordará las preguntas más frecuentes sobre el programa de alimentación escolar de los padres como usted. ¿Quiere saber cómo CPS está reduciendo los alimentos procesados? ¿Quiere saber cómo puede participar? Usted ha venido al lugar correcto.

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Strategies for Recess in Schools

This document from the CDC and SHAPE America describes strategies for planning and providing recess in schools to help increase participation in physical activity and improve academic achievement (e.g., performance, behavior, attention).

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Pathways to Excellence in School Nutrition

Improving the nutritional quality of school meal programs is complex and dependent on many factors. The School Food Advisory Groups identified these 10 interconnected pathways that relate to the strategic goals of CPS Nutrition Support Services, as well as action plans that provide a roadmap of how to continue efforts to provide healthy school food in a fiscally responsible way.

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Fueling Academic Performance: Strategies to Foster Healthy Eating Among Students

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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: 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 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: 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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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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School Nurse Leadership Webinar: Tackling Absenteeism

The first of two important webinars focused on School Nurses celebrated two award-winning school nurses and kicked off our 2016 School Nurse Leadership Award. Kelly Graham is a school nurse from Colorado implementing data informed health interventions. An analysis of student data helped her identify students with asthma, implement effective interventions and assist these students in improving school attendance. Eva Stone hails from Kentucky and has also used student data to pinpoint the health reasons students were chronically missing school. In just one school year, all 10 schools in her district saw a decrease in the rate of chronically absent students. Both of these leaders demonstrate the power of school nurses and the importance of using data to improve student health. We’re excited to feature these two leaders and for them to share their strategies for tackling this very important topic.

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Brief: School Fundraisers: Positive Changes in Foods Sold, but Room for Improvement Remains

In-school fundraisers can be problematic nutritionally because, historically, unhealthy foods such as baked goods, candies, and sugary drinks have often been sold as part of these fundraising events. Food-related fundraising is common and has been in existence for many years, though the past decade has brought a variety of changes to the school food landscape. For example, the Smart Snacks school nutrition standards, which went into effect July 2014, define the portions and types of foods and beverages that can be sold outside of school meals on school campuses during the school day. However, these standards also allow states to exempt some fundraisers at which unhealthy foods and beverages may be sold, which has resulted in a patchwork of fundraiser policies and practices nationwide.

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