What is a Wellness Policy?
Any school district that participates in the National School Lunch Program is required to have a Local Wellness Policy. Wellness Policies address aspects of wellness for the whole child, with emphasis on the promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.
Wellness Policies apply to all schools in the district. It’s up to individual schools to carry out the policy. Many schools have Wellness Teams tasked with overseeing implementation of the Wellness Policy at the school. The Maryland Teacher Toolkit is an essential resource for Wellness Teams helping improve their school’s compliance with the Wellness Policy.
Take action to help your school Wellness Policy:
- Read your school district’s wellness policy to understand what’s in it: A Guide to Accessing and Understanding Your Local Wellness Policy
- Join (or start!) a Wellness Team:
- Invite teachers, administrators, staff, parents, community members, and students to participate on the Wellness Team: Local School Wellness Policy Outreach Toolkit
- Assess your school’s current implementation of the Wellness Policy, and other wellness best practices: Maryland School Wellness Scorecard
- Prioritize the items that are most important and feasible to change this school year, and create a plan to make one or two high-priority changes this year: Maryland School Wellness Scorecard (see page 2)
- Share your plans with your principal and request their support and the support of key individuals for selected changes (remind them of the importance of school wellness to student learning!)
- Don’t reinvent the wheel! Browse the Maryland Teacher Toolkit to find the resources you’ll need to put your plan in action.
- Get to work, and document your progress!
- Celebrate your successes, and seek recognition: America’s Healthiest Schools award
- Repeat the assessment and plan your next project!
- Learn about the ten components of the WSCC model, and how to address student mental health through each component: Implementing the WSCC Model in Schools to Support Mental Health