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:

  1. High-quality physical education
  2. Physical activtiy during the school day
  3. Physical activity before and after school
  4. Staff involvement
  5. 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
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.