Technical assistance, professional development and training supports improvement in North Dakota’s school nutrition wellness policies.
The North Dakota Department of Health’s (NDDoH) school health team, partnered with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) and provided technical assistance to the North Dakota School Board Association (NDSBA) on their school wellness policies relating to nutrition. Using the WellSAT 2.0 assessment toolExternal, the school health team scored the comprehensiveness and strength of NDSBA nutrition wellness policies. Results from the assessment revealed that none of the nine CDC nutrition performance measures were being met. NDDoH and NNDPI offered recommendations to strengthen wellness policy language, that were adopted by the NDSBA. This resulted in seven of the nine performance measures meeting WellSAT 2.0 standards. In addition to the technical assistance provided, NDDOH and NDDPI supported improvements in school wellness policies by providing professional development opportunities and training related to nutrition and physical education/physical activity for school staff across the state.
In January 2018, NDSBA updated its wellness policy template and made it available to North Dakota schools for adoption in school districts. In addition, 311 administrators, teachers, support staff and other professionals in 153 school districts received professional development and training potentially impacting over 36,000 students.