School Health Model Policies

Georgia Shape   |  Shape School Grants  |  For Early Care Providers  |  School Health Model Policies


Research demonstrates that a positive school climate is associated with academic achievement, student engagement, and positive social skills development.  The Health Promotion and Health Protection divisions of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is promoting model language for school health policies to support creating and maintaining a positive school climate. 

100% Tobacco Free Schools Policy:

This policy is designed to protect all students, staff and visitors from the dangers of secon hand smoke on all school grounds, buildings, athletic fields, off campus sponsored events by eliminating tobacco use (including Electronic nicotine delivery systems ENDS) at all times. To learn more about this policy please visit: https://dph.georgia.gov/schools. For questions about tobacco free school policies please contact Alesha Wright, DrPH at: alesha.wright@dph.ga.gov.

Schools

Currently in Georgia, 138 of 181 school districts and 16 charter schools have adopted the 100% Tobacco-Free School Policy, protecting 1,600,079 (including both charter schools and public school districts) students from the dangers and harms of second hand smoke exposure and creating a safe and healthy learning environment. Tobacco-Free School Policy is an evidenced-based strategy for preventing youth tobacco use.

Why are Tobacco-Free Schools (TFS) Important?

A comprehensive Tobacco-Free School Policy does more than deter individual tobacco use. It benefits everyone by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. As a result, Tobacco-Free School Policies impact the health of not only the students but the community at large.

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States and more than 80 percent of adult users started before age 18. Reasons young people start smoking or chewing are varied. Influences come from parents, teachers, coaches and other adults, peers, mass media and the price/availability of tobacco products. Because there are so many influences, efforts to reduce tobacco use must include more than one strategy.

Here’s how you can support your district’s TFS policy

  1. Make sure your TFS policy is being fully implemented and enforced

This document will help you to determine if your school has enough signage to enforce your TFS.

This document will help you determine if your TFS policy is being implemented and enforced at your school's sporting events.

  1. Update or develop a TFS policy enforcement plan for your school

This document will help your school determine the best way to make sure everyone is following your TFS policy.

  1. Communicate the policy to all school staff, students, and visitors

This document will help your school to make sure you are communicating the policy to everyone.

 

How to adopt the 100% tobacco free school

  1. Check to see if your school’s current policy meets the model policy requirements

This document is a template of what a model 100% Tobacco-Free School Policy should say.

This document will help you to see if your current policy meets the Georgia 100% Tobacco-Free School Policy requirements.

  1. Complete the policy adoption steps

This document provides steps to implement and enforce a Tobacco-Free School Policy.

  1. Once your policy has been adopted, develop a TFS policy enforcement plan for your school

This document will help your school determine the best way to make sure everyone is following your Tobacco-Free School Policy.

  1. Once the policy has been adopted, communicate the policy to all school staff, students, and visitors

This document will help your school to make sure you are communicating the policy to everyone.

 

Asthma Friendly Schools Policy:

This policy is designed to help schools create an environment free from common triggers that may cause an asthma episode. Schools can support asthma self-management in students by adopting asthma-friendly policies and procedures. To learn more about this policy please visit: https://dph.georgia.gov/asthma-friendly-schools-0, to review the full policy click here.

For questions please contact: Simone Davis, MPH, CHES at: Simone.Davis@dph.ga.gov

Water Access Model Policy Language for Georgia Schools:

This policy is designed to ensure all students K‒12 have clean, free access to drinking water throughout the school day in multiple points in school settings. This policy supports the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The Act requires each local educational agency participating in the National School Lunch Program or other federal Child Nutrition programs to establish a local school wellness policy for all schools under its jurisdiction. To review the full policy click here

For more information, please contact Georgia Shape, at: Georgia.Shape@dph.ga.gov

Recess Model Policy Language for Georgia Schools:

This policy is designed to ensure all elementary schools will offer at least 20 minutes of daily recess and 150 minutes of PE per week (and 225 minutes/week at the MS/HS levels). Schools will ensure that spaces and facilities for recess meet or exceed recommended safety standards. Schools will prohibit the exclusion of students from recess for disciplinary reasons or academic performance in the classroom. This policy supports recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for at least 60 minutes of physical activity for children each day. This policy is designed to improve a child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social well-being. To review the full policy click here.

For more information, please contact Georgia Shape, at: Georgia.Shape@dph.ga.gov

Food and Beverage Marketing Model Policy Language for Georgia Schools:

This policy is designed to ensure all school districts will prohibit any food and beverage marketing to students on school premises during the school day that does not meet or exceed the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards. This policy is designed to ensure all school districts will prohibit participating in any corporate-sponsored or incentive program that: (a) rewards students with free and/or discounted foods or beverages that are not sold on school premises during the school day for any academic reason; and (b) that exchanges funds for consumer purchases of foods and beverages failing to meet the Smart Snacks standards. Food and beverages may be sold on school premises at any time only if they (a) meet the USDA Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards, (b) outside of school purchase is widely available, and (c) food and beverage packaging is not significantly similar to products that do not meet the Smart Snacks standards in all school districts. This policy is designed to ensure all school districts will not apply these restrictions if the marketing occurs in: (a) product packaging, such as a corporate brand name/logo is physically present on food or beverage products or its container, (b) personal opinion, and (c) media used as an educational tool that is produced outside of school. To review the full policy click here.

For more information, please contact Georgia Shape, at: Georgia.Shape@dph.ga.gov

Healthy Eating Learning Opportunities Model Policy Language for Georgia Schools:

This policy is designed to ensure schools will participate in USDA child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Supper programs, or federal child nutrition programs. School districts will also operate additional nutrition-related programs and activities such as Farm to School programs, school gardens, Breakfast in the Classroom, Mobile Breakfast carts, and/or Grab ‘n’ Go Breakfast. All schools within the District will commit to offering school meals through the NSLP and SBP programs, and other applicable Federal child nutrition programs, that:

  • Are accessible to all students
  • Are appealing and attractive to children
  • Are served in clean and pleasant settings

Meet or exceed current nutrition requirements established by local, state, and Federal statutes and regulations. (For example, the District will offer reimbursable school meals that meet USDA nutrition standards).

  • Promote healthy food and beverage choices using at least ten of the following Smarter Lunchroom techniques.

This policy is designed to promote sound nutrition, student health, reduce childhood obesity, and provide transparency to the public on the school nutrition environment. To review the full policy click here.

For more information, please contact Georgia Shape, at: Georgia.Shape@dph.ga.gov

Nutrition Policy in Georgia Schools:

This policy is designed to ensure all elementary schools will increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, and exclusivity reduce the consumption of high energy-dense foods with the goal to prevent and control obesity and other chronic diseases through healthful eating. This policy supports a positive school environment because school nutrition plays a significant role in bettering the health of students. School nutrition programs ensure that participating students receive foods that are based on nutritional standards, limits certain nutrients for sale, and provides nutrition materials and professional growth opportunities to school nutrition staff. The Food Service is often the lead in establishing systems to implement the federally required Wellness School Policies. To review the full policy click here.

For more information, please contact Georgia Shape, at: Georgia.Shape@dph.ga.gov

Physical Activity Policy in Georgia Schools:

This policy is designed to ensure all elementary schools will recommend students engage in physical activity during the school week. Students will be offered at least 150 minutes of PE per week (and 225 minutes/week at the MS/HS levels). Schools will ensure that spaces and facilities for physical activity meet or exceed recommended safety standards. This policy could act as a valuable catalyst for promoting adequate levels of physical activity. By mandating or encouraging PE and recess through legislation, policymakers can likely increase physical activity opportunities available for students. This policy also supports recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for at least 60 minutes of physical activity for children each day. This policy is designed to improve a student’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social well-being. To review the full policy click here.

For more information, please contact Georgia Shape, at: Georgia.Shape@dph.ga.gov

 

 


Page last updated 11/27/2019