School Wellness

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About

The School Wellness working group is a network of researchers and school health practitioners initiated in 2014 to share ongoing work pertaining to school wellness policies, programs, and practices, and to foster partnerships for continuing this work.

The working group aims to identify and address research and practice gaps and is focused in particular on the implementation and evaluation of district policies, state laws, and federal policies and their impact on wellness practices in K-12 school settings.

Mission

The goal of the School Wellness working group is to support the establishment of strong local school wellness policies and their successful implementation in US school systems/districts and schools, consistent with the requirements of the Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.

Key Activities and Findings

Key Activities include:

  • Identified interested stakeholders and created working group. Members include academics and representatives from non-profit agencies and school systems (n=49)
  • Hosted formal presentations by members during bimonthly meetings via conference call
  • Facilitated on and off-line information sharing
  • Prepared and submitted a conference abstract
  • Initiated first working group project
    • Identify tools for measuring wellness policy implementation via systematic review and member communication. Develop measures repository.

Future Activities:

  • Hold monthly meetings with speakers, planned/scheduled in advance
  • Grow membership with planned outreach to content experts and those with school district or building level expertise
  • Resubmit or repurpose conference abstract
  • Complete current working group project
  • Generate new working group projects

Resources

Download the School Wellness Policy Overview for more information

Download the ‘Wellness Teams Work’ brief here

View recording and meeting minutes from monthly calls below:

September 2018: Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program – CSPAP (Russell Carson – University of Northern Colorado, Collin Webster – University of South Carolina)

July 2018: Preliminary Results from Physically Active Classrooms Energize! (Hannah Calvert, Boise State University)

June 2018: Strengthening Wellness Policies Through Assessment (Deirdre Kleske, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative)

May 2018: ” Updating School Wellness Policy Measurement: WellSAT 3.0 and WellSAT-Interview” (Marlene Schwartz, UConn Rudd Center)

 

April 2018: “School Wellness Programming through SWITCH (School Wellness Integration)” (Greg Welk and Joey Lee, Iowa State University)

 

February 2018: “Empowered Eaters: A Road Map for Stronger Nutrition Education Policies” (Pam Koch and Claire Uno, Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education, and Policy)

 

December 2017: ” Structuring Urban Districts to Support Strong Wellness Policies Engaging Parents in School Health: Parent for Healthy Kids” (Amy Moyer, Action for Healthy Kids)

 

November 2017: “Spice My Plate” (Chris D’Adamo, University of Maryland School of Medicine) and “Evidence Supporting School-Based Wellness Teams: The Maryland School Wellness Partnership Projects” (Erin Hager, University of Maryland School of Medicine)

 

October 2017: “School-based Lunch and Recess: The Impact of Recess Schedule on Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Behavior” (Gabriella McLoughlin, Doctoral Candidate, University of Illinois)

 

September 2017: “Working on Wellness: National Wellness Policy Study State and District Reports” (Betsy Piekarz-Porter, JD)

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August 2017: “School wellness committees are associated with lower BMI z-scores and improved dietary outcomes in U.S. schoolchildren”  (Lauren Au, PhD, RD), “America’s Healthiest Schools: Campaign Overview” (Renee Gross, JD)

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June 2017: #WellnessWins Campaign Report” (Meghan Dinh), “Investigating How to Align Schools’ Marketing Policies with Federal Standards for Competitive Foods” (Michele Polacsek, PhD)

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May 2017: “Building Healthy Communities: Elementary School Program” (Erin Centeio, PhD), “FoodCorps: Creating Healthy School Environments” (Eva Ringstrom and Pamela Koch)

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April 2017: “Food Marketing in U.S. School Districts: Findings form the School Health Policies and Practices Study, 2012.” (Caitlin Merlo, PhD), “Curbing Marketing to Students: What the Final Wellness Policy Rule Means for Schools” (Alexis Etow and Sabrina Adler),

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March 2017: “Development and Validation of a Photo-Evidence Method to Examine Effective Drinking Water Access in Schools” (Anisha Patel, MD), “Safe Water in Schools” (Christina Hecht, PhD), “Alliance for a Healthier Generation-#wellnesswins Campaign Preview” (Renee Gross, JD)

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February 2017: “Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) Evaluation” (Jeanne Barcelona, MA, Doctoral Candidate), “Let’s Move Active Schools” (Victoria Jarzabkowski, MS, RDN)

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December 2016: “Perspectives on “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA)

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November 2016: “Creating Intersections for Policy, Practice, Research, and Community Collaboration: A State-Based Example”

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September 2016: ‘Student Feedback on School Meals’ and ‘Look Alike Snacks Study’

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August 2016: ‘The ScOPE Project: School Obesity-Related Policy Evaluation’ and ‘Student Photo Voice to Promote Wellness’

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July 2016: Associations between School Demographic Characteristics and Physical Activity Practices in Nevada

 

June 2016: The Maryland Wellness Policies and Practices Project

 

April 2016: Healthi Kids – Parents as Partners: A Grassroots Approach to Advocacy for Children’s Healthy Weight

 

March 2016: Developing a Reliable, Valid Measure of School Wellness Policy Implementation: The WellSAT-I

 

December 2015: Culinary Bootcamp

 

Contacts

Erin Hager, PhD
University of Maryland
School of Medicine
Email: ehager@peds.umaryland.edu

Lindsey Turner, PhD
Boise State University
Email: lindseyturner1@boisestate.edu

Gabriella McLoughlin, PhD    

Post-Doctoral Research Associate

Iowa State University

Department of Kinesiology

Email: gmclough@iastate.edu