Healthy Schools

How Your School Can Get Involved

Take an important step toward improving the health of students and the school health environment by following the steps listed below.

  1. FORM or re-energize a Coordinated School Health Team (CSHT) (aka wellness committee) that meets regularly.
    school lunch
  2. REVIEW the local wellness policy and update it as necessary. Reconvene the wellness policy team to review your policy. You may want to combine your wellness policy team with your CSHT if you have not done that already.
  3. COMPLETE the Healthy School Action Tools (HSAT) to assess the current environment at your school. The HSAT was developed to help Coordinated School Health Teams assess whether their school environment offers consistent messages about the importance of healthy eating, physical activity, and a tobacco-free lifestyle AND opportunities for students to make healthy choices.
  4. USE the Healthy School Action Tools results to make policy and environmental changes.
      • One-time events raise awareness and can be good marketing tools. But events and activities that promote policy and environmental changes are even better. Policy and environmental changes have a much greater impact than one-time events, and increase a school's ability to reach a large number of students and staff to sustain positive changes over time focused on healthy eating, physical activity and tobacco-free lifestyles.
    Michigan schools reach over 1.5 million children a day, over 180 days a year.


    Characteristics of One-Time Events
    Characteristics of Policy/ Environmental Change
    Unique: Usually don't result in behavior change
    Repeated, Ongoing: Promote behavior change over time
    Policy level
    Not part of an ongoing plan
    Part of an ongoing plan
    Short in duration
    Long term
    Example of One-Time Events
    Examples of Policy and Environmental Change
    Celebrating 5 A Day Week
    Adding fruits and vegetables to a la carte options
    Hosting a Family Fitness Night
    Making the school athletic facilities available to community members
    Providing health screenings for school staff
    Establish a building-sponsored wellness team
    Participate in Walk to School Day
    Establishing a Safe Routes to School Program
    Providing healthy snacks or breakfast during MEAP testing
    Adopting the Michigan Nutrition Standards Policy
    Participate in Kick Butts Day
    Establish a 24/7 tobacco-free school campus policy
  5. GAIN SUPPORT: Send the CSHT out to build momentum and educate key stakeholders such as the Parent Teacher Association or Parent Teacher Organization, teachers, food service staff, administrators, athletic, art or music boosters, and others.
  6. COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY: Make the education and the communications frequent during the planning and implementation phases. Check out Nutrition News You Can Use to add to newsletters, emails, social media or websites.
Return on Investment
"Fit & healthy students
in schools become adults with greater productivity, lower
health care costs, less absenteeism."
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation