Schools for Healthy and Thriving Students: A Wellness Policy Consortium Success

To support school districts in the Central Valley of California with updating, strengthening, and developing more comprehensive Local School Wellness Policies (LSWP), Valley Children’s Healthcare, in partnership with CWN, created the Schools for Healthy and Thriving Students: A Wellness Policy Consortium (Consortium).

The Consortium is aligned with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model and engages school district leaders within Fresno and Madera counties in the Central Valley of California.

Chawanakee Unified School District (CUSD), located in Madera County, California, serves over 1,400 students, where 49% qualify for free or reduced meals through the national school lunch program. CUSD actively engaged in the Consortium which prompted them to update their LSWP.

CSUD formed a seven-person Wellness Committee that met in January of 2020 for a visioning session after reading the current policy. They used the WSCC model as their roadmap—a strategy that not all districts incorporate, yet one that demonstrates a more comprehensive approach to addressing student, employee, and community health.

The committee was divided into subcommittees to take on this comprehensive approach and ensure local information-gathering took place. The committee met twice in person before California’s statewide stay-at-homeorder was announced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic put into sharp focus the importance of health and wellness. Moving to a virtual format due to the pandemic, several key areas of revision were identified by the committee to better support student and employee health:

  • Nutrition and Food Services
  • Physical Wellness
  • Mental Health

To learn more about CUSD’s experience, you can review their in-depth story in the Chawanakee Unified School District Case Study by clicking here: CUSD Case Study

The study presents the process leading to demonstrable changes to support healthy futures for all CUSD’s students.

To access the CUSD Health and Wellness Planclick here.

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