The HSW Program works to improve student health and academic achievement by improving opportunities for healthy eating, physical activity, and chronic disease management. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington’s priority school districts had planned to complete the School Health Index (SHI) and WellSAT 3.0 external iconto assess school environment and policies that affect student health, such as those pertaining to fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. However, in-person meetings and trainings transitioned into virtual formats.
In May and June 2020, the HSW Program developed a four-step process to complete the assessments virtually to address the issues identified in the Healthy Youth Survey:
- Identified and assembled a team of content experts to be responsible for completing the
- Used a skilled group facilitator to navigate each SHI team through SHI modules to enable schools to identify strengths and weaknesses of health and safety policies and programs.
- Convened a 2-hour professional development (PD) session to review SHI
- Completed the WellSAT 3.0 in another 2-hour PD session.
The COVID-19 pandemic limited the ability of the HSW Program and Washington’s priority school districts to take measureable actions based on these assessments. However, the school districts that participated in the four-step process trainings submitted health improvement action plans describing the policies and procedures they intended to address once COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.