The School Wellness Investigation is a needs assessment tool that will help you and your school team members collect information about your school’s current nutrition and physical activity environment – and identify opportunities to make it even better.
Why should our school conduct the School Wellness Investigation?
Completing the School Wellness Investigation will help you:
Support your district wellness goals related to nutrition and physical activity
Define goals that will really suit your school’s needs
Find out what priorities are most compelling to students
Document starting points in order to show progress over time
Identify the Fuel Up to Play 60 Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Plays that will help you meet your school’s wellness goals
In addition, if your school is applying for Funds for Fuel Up to Play 60, you need to complete the School Wellness Investigation as part of your Funds application and again as you prepare your report on how you used the Funds. Conducting the Investigation as part of your Funds application will help you engage students right from the start, ensure that you have reached out to key stakeholders in your school and help you identify existing opportunities for strengthening nutrition and physical activity in your school. Gathering the Investigation data again as you prepare your final report will help you track the success of your Fuel Up to Play 60 program. The School Wellness Investigation helps us know more about your school – but the results of the Investigation are not used in evaluating your Funds application.
What does the School Wellness Investigation involve?
The School Wellness Investigation includes three modules: Module 1: Nutrition Services; Module 2: Physical Education/Physical Activity; and Module 3: Family and Community. An Overall Score Card caps off the Investigation, allowing your team to see at a glance how your school is doing. For specific instructions on how to conduct the Investigation, click here.
Who should conduct the School Wellness Investigation?
The self-assessment process allows members of your school community – students and adults – to work together to identify what your school is doing to promote nutrition and physical activity.
An adult – preferably your school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 Program Advisor – should serve as the coordinator of the Investigation. This person can ensure that all three modules are completed and can facilitate students’ ability to collect information from key adults in the school building.
Where possible, students should gather the information, but in some instances they’ll need to reach out to:
the school nutrition manager
the physical education department chair
other school administrators and staff members
The Program Advisor (or other adult coordinating the Investigation) should make sure that these key adults know the importance of the School Wellness Investigation and that they provide the needed information.
How can we use the results of the School Wellness Investigation?
The School Wellness Investigation allows you to collect information about the current nutrition and physical activity environment in your school – and identify opportunities to make the environment even better.
Use the results to:
Applaud your school for the good work it’s doing
Identify areas that can be improved
Identify the Fuel Up to Play 60 "Plays" that will be most helpful to your school
You can also use the School Wellness Investigation to track your progress over time. For example, you might conduct the Investigation at the beginning of the school year and again near the end of the school year to see if you’ve made improvements in targeted areas. NOTE: If you conduct the Investigation again at the end of the school year, ask the same people to gather and provide the information.
Why are there two versions – a print version and an online version?
The print version can be useful for students as they gather information. When students (and supportive adults) have finished gathering data, the Program Advisor (or another adult in the school) should enter the results via the online version. As an adult, you can access the online version when you log onto your Dashboard, your home base for everything related to Fuel Up to Play 60 in your school. In fact, the School Wellness Investigation is stored on your school’s Dashboard, and other adults in your school can consult it at any time. It’s a great shared resource!
Should the School Wellness Investigation be used to compare or rate schools?
No! The School Wellness Investigation is your school’s self-assessment tool – and should not be used to compare schools or to foster competition among schools. You should use your School Wellness Investigation scores only to help you understand your school’s strengths and to identify areas for improvement.
You may find that your school may have a low score, but knowing this will help you plan for improvement. Low scores do not indicate a low-performing school. Instead, they show you where your school can strengthen its commitment to nutrition, physical education/physical activity and outreach to family and community.
What is the School Wellness Investigation based on?
The Fuel Up to Play 60 School Wellness Investigation asks questions that are aligned with best practices in school wellness.
It is adapted from Students Taking Charge, a toolkit developed by Massachusetts Action for Healthy Kids to help students use their voice to influence nutrition and physical activity policies in their school, and from the School Health Index, designed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both of these tools include additional modules and questions covering other areas of school health and wellness. They are excellent resources to help schools assess their overall health and wellness environment.
The School Wellness Investigation is also in alignment with other authoritative guidelines, including the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth and the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Inventory.
NOTE:If your school/district has recently completed the CDC’s School Health Index, use the responses as a reference when completing the Fuel Up to Play 60 School Wellness Investigation. See your school wellness coordinator and/or school nutrition manager for help.
What will Fuel Up to Play 60 do with the results of our School Wellness Investigation?
The information you provide on your School Wellness Investigation will be completely confidential. The results may be summarized by Fuel Up to Play 60 as aggregate statistics, but your school name will not be identified in any such statistics or reports.