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ERIC Number: EJ812045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 25
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
A National Snapshot of Local School Wellness Policies
Moag-Stahlberg, Alicia; Howley, Nora; Luscri, Lorry
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v78 n10 p562-568 Oct 2008
Background: The federal mandate for local wellness policies (LWP) provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve schools' practices that support student health, which, in turn, supports academic achievement. With a full agenda and budget challenges, districts need resources and support to turn policies into sustainable practices. The purpose of this study was to assess district policy goals and compare them to the federal mandate and benchmarks of best practices. It is hoped that this information will lead to development of specific assistance in the areas of policy implementation, evaluation, and revision. Methods: Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) collected a convenience sample of 256 approved LWP. The sample included districts with small, medium, and large student enrollment from every state (except Hawaii). Policies were compared to federal requirements and the AFHK Wellness Policy Fundamentals, a tool which documents best practices for nutrition and physical activity in schools. Results: Sixty-eight percent of policies sampled were consistent with the mandates set forth in the law. Thirty-two percent did not address 1 or more goal areas set by the federal mandate with 15% not addressing goals for evaluation and monitoring. None of the policies addressed all components of AFHK's Fundamentals. Less than 1% addressed all 4 of the evaluation components. Teacher requirements and training for nutrition and physical education were addressed by 43% and 45% of policies, respectively. Conclusions: This study's findings indicate schools will need assistance to meet each of the mandates provided by the federal mandate. Areas lacking attention in policies, yet essential for sustaining wellness practices, include assurances of qualified staff, opportunities for staff development, and implementation, evaluation, and revision of the policy. (Contains 2 tables.)
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). 10801 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852. Tel: 800-638-8255; Fax: 301-571-0457; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A