219050 Policy in Action: Improving access to physical activity opportunities through school district policy

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 : 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM

Lindsey Cox, MS , Public Health Institute, California Project LEAN, San Diego, CA
Jessica St. John, MA , California School Boards Association, West Sacramento, CA
Martin Gonzalez, Esquire , California School Boards Association, West Sacramento, CA
Victoria Berends, BS , California Project LEAN, Public Health Institute, Sacramento, CA
Peggy Agron, MA, RD , California Project LEAN, California Department of Public Health, Sacramento, CA
Betsy McNeil, MA , California School Boards Association, West Sacramento, CA
Background: School board members play an important role in providing physical activity opportunities before, during and after the school day through the adoption, monitoring and evaluation of local board policies. This presentation will share findings from a joint project of The California School Boards Association (CSBA) and California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) (CPL) to educate school decision-makers on policy strategies to increase opportunities for physical activity for all students before, during and after school.

Methods: CSBA and CPL developed and administered a survey to California school board members which provided quantitative and qualitative data about what school districts need to adopt, implement, monitor and evaluate policies to improve physical activity in the school setting. The formative research informed the development of school district trainings, policy briefs, sample policies and other communication pieces. A post-survey assessed school board member perceptions of policy and training materials developed and disseminated in the project.

Results: Expected outcomes from trainings and resources provided to California school board members include: elevated importance of physical activity and P.E.; stronger evidence and tools to improve physical activity and P.E. in schools; and an increased number of districts establishing policies and improving implementation and monitoring of existing policies to support physical activity.

Conclusions: This project illustrates how to engage school decision-makers in developing effective strategies to improve school-based physical activity for students, particularly in communities where access to physical activity opportunities are limited.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Define the role and responsibilities of school boards in increasing physical activity opportunities before, during and after school for all students. Describe case studies and resources highlighting successful strategies to implement physical activity policies in school districts. Identify the challenges and opportunities in collaborating with school decision-makers to improve physical activity in schools for all students.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee the project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.