Environment and Policies
Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP)
A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) is a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifettime. There are five components of this program:
- High-quality physical education
- Physical activtiy during the school day
- Physical activity before and after school
- Staff involvement
- Family and community engagement
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) developed guidance for school districts and schools to develop, implement, and evaluate CSPAP.
School Health Index
The School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment & Planning Guide is a self-assessment and planning tool that schools can use to improve their health, safety policies and programs. It's easy to use and is completely confidential.
The SHI was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with school administrators and staff, school health experts, parents, and national nongovernmental health and education agencies to identify strengths and weaknesses, improve student health, and promote health-enhancing behaviors and better health.
Action for Healthy Kids
Utah Action for Healthy Kids consists of individuals and partnering organizations working together to increase physical activity and healthier nutrition within the school system. Utah Action for Healthy Kids team is currently working on providing a webinar series through the Utah PTA to promote good nutrition and wellness in the school system by increasing fruit and vegetable intake, boost physical activity, and improve school wellness policies.
School gardens offer opportunities for fun and physical activity while also serving as an important educational tool to help students understand how healthy food in produced and where their food comes from. Some research suggests that, when used as part of a nutrition education strategy, school gardens can increase knowledge of fruits and vegetables and influence behavior change among children.
There are a number of resources available for starting a school garden, from USU Extension, Slow Food USA, California School Garden Network, and Center For Ecoliteracy
To see an example of a success story, check out The Edible Schoolyard Project.
Farm to School
Farm to school is a great way for schools, districts and community partners to work together to provide fresh healthy options to students. The Farm to School Planning Toolkit guides you though questions to consider and helpful resources to reference when starting or growing a farm to school program. The toolkit is filled with tips and examples, insights from others, and lists of resources for further research. Each school district is unique, so browse the topics to find the resources most relevant to you and your implementation team!