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School Policy Indicators Work Group

Identifying, Collecting and Communicating Common School Policy and Environment Indicators Related to Health and Health Behaviors


Resources:

Purpose of the committee:
There is a growing understanding of the role that policy and environment play in both promoting and
preventing childhood obesity and other health conditions and behaviors.

Many state and local agencies across Colorado are focusing efforts on changing school policies and
environments to support students and staff in being active, eating well, avoiding substance use, and
maintaining a positive sense of self. State-level programs have collected polices from schools across the state at various times in order to understand the scope and implementation of these policies. It has become clear to many state agencies that coordination of this work at the state level will minimize the burden on schools to respond to request for their policies and will maximize opportunities to build a state-level picture of trends in school policies and environments using consistent measures.

The purpose of the School Policy Indicators work group is to: (1) identify a limited set of indicators of
positive school policy and environment around physical activity, nutrition, substance use, and mental health; (2) coordinate data collection in these areas using the same measures; and (3) communicate findings to stakeholders such as local and state policy makers, school associations, school districts, parents, and students. Participating stakeholders, as well as others whose work involves school settings, will agree to coordinate and collect data on the common identified indicators through the programs or services available to them. The result will be an ever-clearer picture of school policies and environments in Colorado as they relate to these health behaviors. Over time, the data can be used to monitor changes in school climates that support students and staff in adopting and maintaining healthy behaviors and hopefully will bereflected in the bi-annual “Healthy Kids Colorado” student survey.


Members of the committee represent:

Action for Healthy Kids Jefferson County Public Schools
Boulder Valley School District  Kaiser Permanente, Institute for Health Research
Children’s Health Foundation

 Pueblo City Schools

Colorado Association for Health, Physical
Education, Recreation and Dance
Poudre Valley Health System
Colorado Department of Education Rocky Mountain Center for Health Promotion and
Education
Colorado Department of Public Health and
Environment
*Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center, UCD
Colorado Health Foundation Tri-County Health Department
Colorado Legacy Foundation Thompson School District
Colorado State University University of Colorado Denver
​Denver Public Schools WPM Consulting
​Douglas County School District ​Western Dairy Association

*This group has been providing in-kind administrative support and personnel resources to run monthly
meetings since 2007. Prior to that, the Colorado Department of Health and Environment led the group.

Note: Tobacco policies are not part of the SPI group’s purview since community partners and state agencies are already coordinating efforts to collect school level environment and policy data.

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