Healthy School Environment
Establishing healthy behaviors during childhood is easier and more effective than trying to change unhealthy behaviors during adulthood. Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behaviors. Research shows a link between health behaviors of young people - like physical activity - and their academic success.
In 2014, the Nevada School Wellness Policy was updated and in May 2015 the Clark County School District subsequently updated and adopted their Student Wellness Regulation. This regulation outlines nutrition, physical activity and wellness standards for schools in the Clark County School District. Learn more about the school wellness policy and how you can support healthy environments in our schools using the resources below.
What can parents do to promote a healthy school environment?
How to Help Promote Healthy Nutrition
- Learn more about the nutrition standards for school meals.
- Eat school breakfast or lunch with your child.
- Review school menus with your child, and encourage them to try new menu items. CCSD has implemented ‘Taste It Tuesdays’ where they debut new menu items on the school lunch menu.
- If you have questions about items on the menu, ask the school to learn more. Sometimes food service directors aren’t able to market all the changes they are making (e.g., using whole grain bread or pizza dough).
- Talk with other parents about the benefits of the school meal programs.
- Ask to join your child’s school wellness committee. The Principal will know who the Wellness Coordinator at their school is.
- Suggest non-food alternatives for classroom celebrations to your child’s teacher. For example, give extra recess, have a dance party, or go on a special field trip.
- Bring in healthy snacks (e.g., fruits, vegetables, whole grains, water) when responsible for contributing items to events and celebrations at school. Check with the teacher to see what their guidelines are and then consult the approved snacks list to make sure what you bring is in line with the Student Wellness Regulation, or use the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Smart Snack Calculator.
- Check snack ingredients to makes sure foods don’t contain allergens that may be harmful to students with food allergies.
- Make healthy snacks together with your child. This is an opportunity to learn about healthy food choices.
- E-mail or discuss with other parents the importance of having healthy foods and beverages offered during events and celebrations.
How to Help Promote Healthy School Fundraisers
- E-mail or discuss with other parents the importance of having healthy school fundraisers.
- Talk with the parent-teacher groups about healthy alternatives for fundraising events.
- Work with community groups or local businesses to sponsor a physical activity fundraising event, such as a skate-a-thon or dance-a-thon.
- Learn more about the types of fundraisers available at school.
- When you see a healthier fundraiser in place, reach out to the organizers, and let them know you appreciate their efforts.
How to Promote Physical Education at school
- Volunteer to help with physical education class or monitor free time on playgrounds before or after school.
- Offer to help with activities, such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program and the annual field day.
- Donate equipment to be used in physical education classes.
- Ask the physical education teacher to provide information about physical activities you can be doing with your child at home, as well as helping them practice what they learn in physical education class.
- Help raise money through healthy fundraising to support the physical education program at your school.
- E-mail or discuss the importance of physical education with other parents.
- Encourage your child’s teacher to provide short breaks of physical activity, and offer to help coordinate some of these activities.
- Offer to help with school-wide initiatives to promote physical activity in the classrooms.
- Volunteer to help identify and lead classroom physical activity breaks in your child’s classroom.
- Volunteer to lead a walking school bus in your community, where a group of students walk to school with one or more adults.
- Be physically active as a family. For example, go on a family bike ride, play catch, or go for a hike together.
- Help schools advocate for changes to the built environment to make biking and walking to school safer (e.g., adding sidewalks and crosswalks).
- Advocate to school leaders to have recess before lunch. This practice can reduce plate waste, and students are more focused in the lunchroom after getting some playtime during recess.
- Suggest offering recess as a reward to students for good grades, high test scores, or good classroom behavior.
For more information on how you can get involved like the Clark County Student Wellness and Achievement Facebook Page.