160587 Policy in Action: Best Practices for Implementing School Wellness Policies

Monday, November 5, 2007: 10:30 AM

Victoria Berends, BS , California Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, Sacramento, CA
Joanne Gooley, MA, RD , University of California, San Francisco, California Project LEAN, Sacramento, CA
Cyndi Guerra-Walter, BA , California Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, Sacramento, CA
Peggy E. Agron Agron, MA, RD , California Project LEAN, California Dept. of Health Services, Sacramento, CA
Throughout the country, efforts are underway to make schools healthier places to learn. In response to poor nutrition in schools, lack of physical activity among students, and rising youth obesity rates, federal, state and local agencies are requiring policies that aim to impact students' eating and physical activity behaviors. By the 2006-2007 school year, schools participating in the national school lunch or breakfast programs were required to establish a local wellness policy. California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity & Nutrition) (CPL), in partnership with the California Action for Healthy Kids, California Department of Education, and California School Boards Association, provided training and technical assistance to school districts across the state using CPL's Policy in Action: A Guide to Implementing Your Local School Wellness Policy toolkit. The Policy in Action toolkit provided school districts and their partners with user-friendly hand-outs, including: training materials school officials could use to develop their local implementation plans and a PowerPoint presentation with speaking points they could use with their key stakeholders. This session will highlight how specific school districts throughout the state have used the Policy in Action guide to identify strategies that have led to the successful implementation of their local wellness policies while also outlining the challenges of monitoring policy implementation. Local examples will include strategies for communicating with key stakeholders, ensuring a la carte foods and beverages comply with nutrition standards, and increasing opportunities for physical activity.

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify key resources for guiding health advocates through the policy implementation and monitoring stages. 2. Highlight key strategies for successfully implementing and communicating local school wellness policies. 3. Outline the challenges of monitoring policy implementation and strategies for addressing barriers.

Keywords: School Health, Wellness

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.