The Arkansas Act 1220 of 2003 launched comprehensive efforts to curb childhood obesity. As a result, Arkansas district wellness committees are required to conduct assessments at the building and district level using CDC’s School Health Index (SHI). These assessments are traditionally completed through quarterly trainings on CSH topics. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dictated that the trainings be conducted virtually for the 2020–2021 school year. Fortunately, Arkansas was able to streamline each of the four quarterly CSH trainings from 6 hours to 3 hours, which increased participation from the previous school year by more than 25%, as shown below.
The impact of these virtual trainings can be shown through the words of people who participated in them.
When in-person CSH trainings resume, they will revert to a 6-hour format. However, Arkansas will still offer a virtual training option. The additional three hours for in-person trainings will include small-group technical assistance to develop more specific health-focused policy based on the needs of the individual district, create comprehensive school physical activity programs, and provide skill training for all school personnel.