Improving Wellness Policies and Helping School Nurses Manage Chronic Conditions
Healthy Kansas School grantees helped districts strengthen wellness and nutrition policies and increase physical activity during the school day.


Kids on The Playground

Healthy Kansas School (HKS)External district grantees are selected using a number of criteria including: 50% of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch, level of readiness (i.e., eligible districts must have participated in Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) trainings), and community health grants currently in place in the district.

HKS grantees sign an annual contract with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and agree to accomplish a set of deliverables that vary depending on the needs of the program. Grantees work with schools to complete the School Health Profile Surveys, the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the Youth Tobacco Surveys, and the Step Up and Be CountedExternal study for school nurses to make data-based decisions about what deliverables would best serve their districts. Grantees are also required to participate in professional development and training through the Kansas School Nurses organization, team calls, or webinars.


HKS grantees used the WellSATExternal assessment and an adapted form of CDC’s School Health Index and based their plan to strengthen policies on the outcomes of those assessments. One commonly strengthened policy is recess. For example, instead of one recess per day at 10 minutes, some grantee schools now have two recesses per day at 15 minutes, effectively tripling active time for students. Other schools rescheduled recess before the students’ lunch break in order to accommodate for more activity time.

Grantees also put into action the School Nurse Asthma Care Checklist developed by the National Association of School Nurses and the Diabetes Checklist developed by the Kansas School Nurse Advisory Committee. After two rounds of revisions, this checklist has now been disseminated statewide. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment and HKS grantees are now establishing referral systems for the families of students with chronic health conditions, like asthma and diabetes.

This program was supported by CDC’s State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health cooperative agreement (DP13-1305).