Wellness Policy in Action (WPAT) Glossary

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Active learning strategies include interactive teaching methods to encourage student involvement rather than relying solely on a lecture format. Active learning strategies include:

  • Supervised practice.
  • Discussion.
  • Cooperative learning.
  • Simulations and learning games.
  • Teacher and peer modeling.
  • Role playing.
  • Goal setting.
  • Rehearsal.
  • Visualization.

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Breakfast in the classroom means breakfast is offered/served in the classroom and eaten in the classroom.

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Certified or endorsed means teachers who have been awarded a certificate or license by the state, permitting them to teach physical education.

Comparable means about the same number of students per teacher as in other classes.

Competitive foods and beverages are those outside the federal meal program. They include those offered in vending machines, a la carte, school stores, snack bars, canteens, classroom parties, classroom snacks, school celebrations, fundraisers, or school meetings. These foods and beverages are required to meet science-based nutrition standards, as published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and are often referred to as “Smart Snacks.” (See also Smart Snacks in School.)

Consistent means that the curriculum addresses the key learning objectives or performance indicators identified by the standards.

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Extended school day means time during, before- and after-school activities that includes clubs, intramural sports, band and choir practice, drama rehearsals, etc.

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Grab and Go to the classroom means breakfast is offered/served from one or more central locations at the start of the day, and students have the option to eat it in their classroom after the bell has rung.

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Interscholastic sports refer to competitive sports that a school sponsors. Examples are:

  • Baseball.
  • Basketball.
  • Cheerleading or competitive spirits.
  • Cross-country.
  • Fast pitch or slow pitch softball.
  • Field hockey.
  • Football.
  • Golf.
  • Gymnastics.
  • Ice hockey.
  • Lacrosse.
  • Soccer.
  • Swimming or diving.
  • Tennis.
  • Track and field.
  • Volleyball.

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Nutrition services involve access to a variety of nutritious and appealing meals that meet the health and nutrition needs of all students. School nutrition programs reflect the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and other criteria. The school nutrition services offer students a learning laboratory for classroom nutrition and health education and a link to nutrition-related community services. Qualified child nutrition professionals provide these services.

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Outside school hours means before and after school and during evenings, weekends, and school vacations.

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Physical activity breaks are actual breaks that occur in the academic classroom, allowing students to take a mental and physical break from current academic tasks. These breaks can occur at any time during the school day, last from 5–30 minutes, and occur all at one time or several times during the school day.

Physical education means structured physical education classes or lessons, not physical activity breaks or recess and not substitution of participation in a sport team, ROTC, marching band, etc., for physical education course credit. Physical education is a planned, sequential, K–12 curriculum that provides cognitive content and learning experiences in a variety of activity areas, such as basic movement skills; physical fitness; rhythm and dance; games; team, dual, and individual sports; tumbling and gymnastics; and aquatics. Through a variety of planned physical activities, quality physical education should promote each student’s optimum physical, mental, emotional, and social development, including sports that all students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives. Physical education is provided by qualified trained teachers.

Professional development is the systematic process used to strengthen the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes of those who serve youth to improve the health, education and well-being of youth. It is consciously designed to actively engage learners and includes the planning, design, marketing, delivery, evaluation, and follow-up of professional development offerings (events, information sessions, and technical assistance).

Prohibit exemptions and waivers means that the school does not allow courses or activities such as interscholastic athletics, ROTC, marching band, cheerleading, or community athletics to be substituted for physical education courses and credits.

Punishment should not involve physical activity. Neither punishment nor reward should involve food. For example, schools should prohibit making students run laps or do push-ups as a consequence of inappropriate behavior or not giving one student a snack or meal that is offered to all other students because of inappropriate behavior. Use of food as a reward would include, for example, providing candy or fast-food coupons to students because they have behaved well or met an academic or fundraising goal. Similarly, schools should prohibit withholding physical education class as a consequence of inappropriate behavior in another class or failure to complete an assignment in another class. (Physical education teachers can discipline students during physical education class by having them sit out for a period of time.)

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Recess is an opportunity for unstructured physical activity.

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School campus means all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students during the school day. It includes areas that are owned or leased by the school and used at any time for school-related activities such as the school building or on the school campus, including on the outside of the school building, areas adjacent to the school building, school buses or other vehicles used to transport students, athletic fields and stadiums ( on scoreboards, coolers, cups, and water bottles), or parking lots.

School meals are school-sponsored or district-sponsored programs that are designed to meet the current USDA School Meal Nutrition Standards. As mandated in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the USDA established new meal patterns and nutrition standards for all school meals served in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. Key changes include:

  • Ensuring students are offered both fruits and vegetables every day of the week.
  • Requiring that whole grain-rich foods be offered each week.
  • Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.
  • Establishing age-appropriate calorie limits for meals.
  • Limiting the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats, and sodium.

Second Chance Breakfast (Grab and Go) is breakfast offered/served from one or more central locations, and students can pick it up between 1st and 2nd period to eat in their classroom after the bell has rung.

Second Chance Breakfast (Cafeteria) is breakfast is offered/served and eaten in the cafeteria between 1st and 2nd period, and students have at least 15 minutes to eat.
Sequential means a curriculum that builds on concepts taught in preceding years and provides opportunities to reinforce skills across topics and grade levels.

Skills needed to maintain and improve health include:

  • Critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Decision-making and ability to assess consequences of decisions.
  • Communication skills.
  • Refusal skills.
  • Expressing feelings in a healthy way.
  • Articulating goals to be healthy.
  • Accessing valid and reliable health information.
  • Identifying and countering health-compromising marketing (eg, tobacco or alcohol advertising) or media messages (eg, “unprotected sex has no consequences”).
  • Coping with hard personal situations such as negative peer pressure and family changes.
  • Managing anger.
  • Building positive relationships.
  • Reading food labels.
  • Planning healthy snacks.
  • Developing a safe, individualized physical activity plan.
  • Wearing and correctly using protective equipment (eg, bicycle helmet, seat belt, eye protection).

Smart Snacks in School are a set of science-based nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold to students on the school campus during the school day, which is defined as the midnight before to 30 minutes after the end of the school day. These standards, published by the USDA and required by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, went in to effect July 1, 2014 and are required for all foods and beverages sold outside the school meals programs, including vending machines, a la carte, school stores, snack or food carts and in-school fundraising. The SHI refers to Smart Snacks in School in questions regarding foods and beverages that may not fall under the scope or time frame of Smart Snacks in School; however, consistent use of these standards when and wherever foods and beverages are available to students helps ensure a consistent message about healthy eating and nutritious choices is being sent to students at all times in all places.

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Universal Free Breakfast is breakfast is offered to all students free of charge, regardless of their free, reduced, or paid lunch status.

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US Department of Health and Human Services logo and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention logo
UCONN Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health logo