Over 400,000 students in all 17 of the state’s districts are benefiting from increased outreach to improve policies and practices for student nutrition and physical activity.
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (NV DHHS) and its partners provide professional development and guidance to support improved policies and practices related to school nutrition, physical education, and physical activity. Nevada’s School Wellness Policy exceeds the federal requirements under the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
Working with the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDAG), NV DHHS focused on increasing outreach to additional stakeholders, including Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) leaders, parents, and afterschool coordinators. NV DHHS developed parent-focused resources in collaboration with NDAG and the Washoe County Health District.
NV DHHS also developed a group of trainers from four school districts who apply a train-the-trainer approach to bring Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) training to the state’s school districts and guide schools’ development of CSPAP plans and actions to increase physical activity.
As a result of the focus on increased stakeholder engagement, all 93 schools in Nevada’s second largest school district, Washoe County, distributed a resource pamphlet to educate parents on student wellness, which encouraged increased parental interest and involvement.
The professional development efforts resulted in all 17 school districts revising their policies to align with the state’s policy, potentially improving school health for over 400,000 students statewide. Six middle and high schools are also piloting a new system of physical education assessment software that synchronizes student data from wrist-based digital heart rate monitors. The new system helps to assess moderate to vigorous physical activity and additional behavioral and academic data sources per assessment protocols set by schools.